National | Government

A nanny's struggle to survive

A solo-mother in South Auckland leaves her full-time job as a social worker to study in the hope she receives more income when she graduates.  Ahead of a child poverty report due on Monday, Kimi Herewini wants better outcomes for low income families.

Ms Herewini says, “Financially it’s hard because I get very little from the Government for a student allowance. It’s to help care for my children and grandchild.”

Currently studying to get her degree in Social Work after spending seven years as a full-time social worker in South Auckland. Her student allowance only gives her over $300 per week to look after her three children and grandchild.

“Milk is expensive, such as the case with bread as well. I’m talking about the staple food in the house. So, it’s hard seeking additional funding for my family to live in this house.”

Senior Policy Analyst Alan Johnson from Salvation Army says the Government could do more.

“The Government seriously needs to look at putting the value of benefits up. They went up two or three years ago by $25 but they really haven't risen against inflation, against wages since the 1990's”, Mr Johnson said.

“I think it's time that we reviewed budget benefit levels and made certain that people can afford to pay the rent, can afford to pay the power and can afford to pay for food.”