Drive for work re­warded

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By PET­RICE TARRANT

Af­ter 17 years strug­gling on a ben­e­fit, Rosemaree Man­son has fi­nally caught a break.

The Pu­taruru mother-of-one has landed a taxi-driver job in Taupo.

Ms Man­son’s life- chang­ing news came af­ter she ap­proached the South Waikato News in De­cem­ber.

The story re­vealed she was one of two ben­e­fi­cia­ries who had been threat­ened with ben­e­fit cuts if they failed to at­tend Work and In­come meet­ings in Toko­roa, de­spite hav­ing no way of get­ting there.

But things are look­ing up for Ms Man­son who will start a full­time job in Fe­bru­ary.

It’s some­thing she has not done in more than a decade.

The last job she had was part­time bus driv­ing with her, then, 2- year- old daugh­ter Jes­sica buck­led up be­side her.

Dur­ing that time she re­ceived a ben­e­fit top-up.

‘‘I’m com­ing off the ben­e­fit af­ter 17 years, I won’t know my­self. There will be chal­lenges but the ex­cit­ing thing is my think­ing will be dif­fer­ent and I’ll have some­thing to do.’’

And the $250 pay rise is an ex­cit­ing bonus.

Work bro­ker Jeremy Hall lit­er­ally went the ex­tra mile to help her out.

‘‘He drove me down to Taupo, took me to my in­ter­views and took me around to look at a few houses.’’

Bay of Plenty re­gional com­mis­sioner for so­cial de­vel­op­ment Mike Bryant praised Ms Man­son’s ini­tia­tive.

‘‘It’s pleas­ing to note Rosemaree was proac­tive in con­tact­ing a Toko­roa work bro­ker fol­low­ing a meet­ing with her case man­ager.’’

She will be granted close to $2000 in as­sis­tance which will pay for mov­ing and set-up costs.

But the road to em­ploy­ment has been a rough and bumpy one. Last April Ms Man­son ap­proached Work and In­come re­quest­ing as­sis­tance to re­new her taxi li­cence and was re­fused.

‘‘They told me I had to have a job.’’

She spent the next three months sav­ing the $250 fee as well as trans­port and ac­com­mo­da­tion costs for the trip.

Ms Man­son’s for­mer neigh­bour Sarah War­ren, who was in a sim­i­lar predica­ment two months ago, has had the stress taken off her back too.

The stay at home mother-of­four is no longer re­quired to travel in to Toko­roa for her monthly meet­ings – a trip she made on foot twice to en­sure her ben­e­fit was not cut.

Photo: PET­RICE TARRANT

Steer­ing straight: Rosemaree Man­son is back be­hind the wheel for a liv­ing af­ter 10 years on a ben­e­fit.

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