Home' Hastings Mail : August 9th 2011 Contents 15
HASTINGS MAIL, AUGUST 10, 2011
If you were in the care
of the State before 1992
and have concerns about
your experiences ....
You now have the chance to be heard,
in confidence, by a panel of qualified
people who will be visiting your area.
Talking with the Panel will provide an opportun
for you to share your concerns. The Panel will
listen and where needed a tailored package
of assistance can be offered.
State care includes children's homes, foster care
the special education sector, health camps
and other residential health facilities.
For more information
call our freephone: 0800 356 567
or write to us at PO Box 5939
Lambton Quay, Wellington 6145.
& ASSISTANCE SERVICE
An independent agency supported by the
Department of Internal Affairs
CLOSING SOON - ACT NOW.
distinctive by design
At Barnardos KidStart we understand that your child
needs a warm, happy environment in which they can
grow their imagination and explore new ideas. Our
trained KidStart educators provide home based care and
education for children aged from birth to fve years.
We currently have places
available in Hastings and Napier.
To fnd out more, call 06 8344642
or visit www.barnardos.org.nz.
Difficult times for
those out of work
Looking for work: Tony Maaka outside his Takapau home with daughters
Geavana, 8, and Teresa, 12.
Tough times: Tony Maaka on Ruataniwha St.
Tony Maaka s been hard at work since he was
eight, chasing the cows into the shed, feeding
pigs, and making tea for the people who raised
him after his parents adopted him out because
they had too many mouths to feed.
Now Maaka -- a weathered man of 50 -- is out
of work. He is one of 306 who lost their jobs when
Waipukurau s Ovation meatworks shut last
He has earnt a crust with carpentry, milking,
bricklaying and pruning grapevines. He can drive
a forklift, repair a fence and muster sheep. He s
handed CVs to cockies at the Waipukurau pub,
and applied to other meatworks and for a milking
job, but with no luck.
Some workers walked into new jobs at
Ovation s Feilding plant, 120 kilometres west, the
meatworks in Hastings or nearby Takapau
(where Maaka lives). Others are retraining -- for-
estry, homecare, driving.
Maaka, who hasn t worked since May, has
I m not very good at reading and spelling. I m
more a hands-on man. I m just from the old school
-- get out there and do the job.
He received $2800 in redundancy, but much of
that went on car repairs. He
gets the unemployment ben-
efit, but that doesn t go far.
I m not saying I m poor.
But I m almost in that line.
In his three years at
Ovation as a boner and
trimmer, Maaka worked
maybe six months in 12;
many meatworkers are laid
off and rehired seasonally.
He earned about $400 a
week, and plugged the gaps
with odd jobs and the dole.
His benefit now is $250 a
He s sold his big fridge
and freezer, downsizing to a
There s no pub money, and
little petrol for social calls.
Worse, there s no money
spare for his children -- aged
eight, 12 and 17 -- who live
with their mother in
Waipukurau and stay with
him during the school
holidays. He helps with
weekend sport, too.
He still pays $10 to 15 a
week child support, but can
no longer afford to drop the
odd $5 into the kids bank
accounts. Fortunately, their
mother is still in work.
Just to support them is
my goal. Hopefully I ll get a
decent job and support them
Waipukurau s Wayback
Furniture traders, open for six weeks, is doing a
roaring trade in $89 sofas. Manager Paul Douglas
says a lot more locals are looking to trade their
goods for cash.
At Central Hawke s Bay Budget Services,
adviser Angela Robinson says the effects of the
Ovation closure haven t hit yet. She praises
Ovation for helping workers find new jobs and for
paying redundancy. But for many, the cheques
It s tough for people with a working partner, as
they can t draw a benefit until the redundancy
has been used up.
As the money runs out in coming months, says
Robinson, people will lose their homes; there ll be
mortgagee sales, and court fines for unpaid car
registrations and warrants of fitness. There ll be
debt collection, HP defaults, bankruptcies,
How can she be sure it ll get so bad?
We ve seen it over several years, as the
seasonal layoffs have got longer because of stock
shortage, says Robinson.
It ll start next week. The ones who have
already run out of money -- we will get them when
they start going to Winz for repetitive help.
Those who have mortgages may be hit hardest.
To sell their home and move away isn t as easy
as for some of the seasonal people, who rent and
can just move.
Maaka s home in Takapau is a Housing Cor-
poration rental but he s not free to roam. He d
work in Feilding, even Gisborne, but his kids
need him near.
And there are some economic benefits close to
home. He has silverbeet in his yard. For firewood,
he can head to the river and start up the old
Food is everywhere.
You can go out and get the old watercress.
You ll go down the road and see a big garden with
veges, and there s no harm in seeing the owner
and saying, Eh, any chance of grabbing any of
Cabbage, broccoli, whatever -- they always
leave apples on the ground, too. But it s good to
go in and ask them first.
Maaka s a Labour man, though he ll vote Mana
this year, because he thinks it s time for a
National should be helping all these people
here who ve really been working their arses off,
and they lay them off . The Government needs to
find some way to put everyone back to work .
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