Did you know about this? I didn’t. Here is the background to the “Man who smashed the WINZ windows” case from the man himself via Matt McCarten. I say spread this around and let’s make this a real issue about a real man who is hungry in a country full of food!
I’ve spent most of this week in bed sick, so had the rare opportunity to listen to hours of radio talkback while lying semi-comatose.
Most of us live in an insular world of our own families, our work and our own interests.The news about other people is what we hear manufactured through our mass media in sometimes sensational soundbites. Rarely does it impact on our lives directly, so it’s relegated to background noise.
Talkback land is different. Real people call with uncensored opinions. It can be rough and banal. Much of it is interesting. At times I felt like I was in a bar or a party somewhere. Most politicians, senior bureaucrats and business leaders have no idea how their bad decisions affect others.
Mid-afternoon on RadioLive I caught up with Sam, a “first-time caller” from Kaikohe. Sam told us he’d smashed the windows of his local Work and Income office with a hammer after the staff refused to give him a food parcel. He has been trespassed from the Winz office.
Sam is a 58-year-old invalid beneficiary. He was run over 20 years ago in a car accident. He lost an eye, an arm and a leg. Since then he’s spent his life in a wheelchair.
He raised his daughter as a sole parent while working in his own takeaway business. He owns his home.
Sam said he didn’t drink, take drugs or smoke. But after paying his fixed living costs, including his mortgage and insurances, there was virtually nothing left for food.