Kanoa Lloyd: I wouldn't be where I am without the benefit
A day after Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei admitted she had to lie to WINZ in order to get by on the benefit, The Project co-presenter Kanoa Lloyd has revealed her own family's struggles.
Lloyd spoke in an emotional moment on the show, which has been transcribed below.
OPINION: It was a calculated risk and potentially an easy take-down. But today Acting Prime Minister Paula Bennett's response was underlined with empathy.
"When I was on the benefit, I always wanted to get off and kept trying to get off," she told the AM Show.
It's not glamorous, but for 280,000 of us working-age Kiwis, the dole is a part of life. Many more have relied on the benefit for some part of our lives - from students to sole parents, the ill, the low-paid and the unemployed.
Jermaine Clement is another one, raised by his mum and grandmum in the Wairarapa. They relied on social welfare for part of his childhood.
Then there's Wellington mayor Justin Lester. After his father's death, his mother raised him in state housing.
It's so cool to hear from those people because I think there's a certain part of the population, when the benefit pops up in the news, that likes to shame and dismiss people who have been in the welfare system as 'cheaters' or 'liars', or a certain kind of person, a stranger.
But they're not. They're politicians. They're artists. They're television presenters.
My family, we benefited from the welfare system growing up. And I would not be in this position now if we hadn't had that help.
People need help, and they need support.
And they do not need to be shamed or judged because believe me, that shame and judgement is built into that system just fine.
So keep your negative opinions to yourself.
Kanoa Lloyd is a presenter on Three's The Project.