Pimping the Poor, Ctd

This is part two of an investigative series that explores the unhealthy exploitation of the poor by journalists and politicians. I call it Pimping the Poor, the using of inappropriate case studies in order to manufacture stories of misery which then gets the media salacious headlines and politicians a platform to grandstand.

This behaviour came to light with the Simon Collins series in the NZ Herald culminating in the story of Tania Wysocki.

I gave a short history so that you could have context for what happened next for Tania Wysocki as politicians sold her down the river for some cheap headlines.

As I outlined Tania was extremely frustrated with progress in trying to get cover for childcare so she could attend the Vet Nurse training at Unitec. When I visited Tania yesterday I talked over with her as to why she picked that course and also discussed some of her background. She had touched on this in her emails with me and it became apparent that Simon Collins had left a great many pertinent facts out of his article.

Tania’s back story

Tania wants to train as a vet nurse because she wants to formalise what is years of actual work in the horse racing industry and rural sector. She has assisted with foaling, been on foal watch in the middle of the night, helped vets perform minor surgeries on farms as needed. Tania has worked doing seasonal work even while on the DPB. She is not one to sit still. She love animals and it reflects a lifetime of her work. She has figured that she would be able to provide for her two children better by formalising her qualifications.

She was quick to admit to me that she was silly to leave school at 15. She regrets it. But what is done is done. She explained to me her long term relationship and her first child and how that ended, she also explained to me the details of why it ended but asked to not go into detail on that. Suffice to say I bet she wears a white ribbon every year.

Her relationship ended at the same time as she was nursing her father who had terminal cancer. it was also during this time that she fell pregnant again. Something she never planned for. She could see where she was headed if she continued on this track and made a decision that when she had her second child that she would sterilise herself. She did not want a life a poverty for her or her children or to bring any more¬†children into the world either, perpetrating that lifestyle. So when she had a¬†cesarean section for the birth of her second child she also had a tubal ligation. So committed she was to not having any more children she had a follow up procedure called¬†a Dye Scan to check that the surgery was successful. It was during this procedure she found that the operation wasn’t properly done and so had it done again. this woman is tough, she has resolve and didn’t at all present to me like Simon Collins portrayed her.

He focused on her comments about becoming a prostitute and I asked her why she said that. Tania explained to me that she actually researched it and she put it in her emails and used it in her interview with Simon Collins because she thought that was the only way forward. Personally I think she is wrong, but given that prostitution is legal there shouldn’t be the outcry there was, unless of course that prostitution is wrong…just saying.

However she felt that Simon Collins ignored her past and her story and instead focussed on what would garner the biggest headlines. No wonder she was mad as hell.

Why Train as a Vet?

Tania explained to me the reason why she wanted to take the train to study at Unitec…she had worked out that she could get in a couple of extra hours a day study by taking the train rather than driving, that being a solo mother with two children it was actually a more effective use of her limited time than driving and being unable to study because of the driving.

This woman isn’t stupid. She is driven…and she was impressing me with her drive. I mean how many people have the balls to contact me, some politicians run from the room when I enter and she had the intestinal fortitude to contact me and tell me off and to ask for re-dress for the shoddy reporting she had experienced.

So now we have had the timeline, and now Tania’s background. Both things left out of Simon Collins article. I believe that Tania’s background, her back story to use political parlance is highly relevant and paints an entirely different picture of a woman who is simply after a fair go.

It is the details of the course she wants to do that is causing the problem. Studying to be a Vet Nurse is a NCEA Level 6 course. For some bizarre reason additional hours of child care are only available for NCEA Level 3 and below courses.

It seems to me that we are spending money in the wrong areas. We encouraging the wrong level of student to engage in study when it is people like Tania Wysocki who should be getting as much encouragement as possible to enter and complete training.

Tania said to me herself that she wants to be a taxpayer again, not a bludger. She hates being on the DPB and this two year course will see her employed and providing for her family.

Next up in the Pimping the Poor series – Labour colludes with the NZ Herald to Pimp the Poor

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  • Notrotsky

    Cam any chance of using your contacts to get her on ZB, I’m sure once her story is out there someone will come to the party and help out – FFS if the copious wodgers of cash we spend in welfare was targeted properly there’d be no need for her to have to go down this path.¬†

  • Blam

    One would be surprised at the level of Sole Parents attending Nursing School and the likes of such. Your story is a good example of the many Sole Parents who step up and out of the Benefit.  They are the 99%.

    However people will take the 1% and tar everyone with it.

    Your white ribbon comment is a common factor in the breakdown of these relationships.

    I think you your story is not one about the frustrations of childcare orthe likes of such, but a positive story of the motivations of the majority of Sole Parents who want a secure future for their children, Sole Parents, who have found themselves in this position through no fault of their own, to protect their children and themselves.

    Surprising for me to say, but keep up the good work Cam

  • Pete George

    Actually finding out facts changes the complexion of this story  substantially Рhighlighting the dangers of jumping to conclusions based on a media report and poitical opportunism.

    It’s one side of a story, but pretty compelling and demands respect.

    A catalyst for snowballing a blog campaign?

    • Hakim of phut

      Facts :  She was turned  down for extra childcare  when she wanted to study.

      What did the Herald say that  wasnt true about this women ?

  • Hakim of phut

    This bit doesnt make sense 
    “For some bizarre reason¬†additional¬†hours of child care are only available for NCEA Level 3 and below courses¬†”

    It was of course a deliberate choice by THIS government and Bennett . Because until about 3 years ago there was no difference in the childcare between level 3 and above. Ms Bennett  was the recipient of such  assistance  when she  was on the DPB and wanted to study  Social Work.
    Then when she became the Minister responsible she pulled the ladder up behind herself and instituted the ‘bizarre’ rule.

    Funny how the whole problem wouldnt have happened without Bennett making a bizarre rule up to impede this womans choices. ¬†But of course it will all be much more rational to blame Ms Bennett but ¬†your ¬†‘angle’ is to blame the journalist ( and labour) . Go figure

    • Guestosterone

      you need to take a reading comprehension course

      i don’t see the journalist or labour being blamed by cam for creating the problem

      maybe you could get a job at the herald next to simon with your selective analysis skills

      • Hakim of phut

        She wanted to be a poster child … and it came true.
        Whale is just added the bit how she got into the media.. The Heralds story ¬†is still true. These stories dont fall off the back of a truck they come to reporters ‘prepackaged’.
        Whale has a tipline too… which leads back to the National party for some stories

  • Bafacu

    “These stories dont fall off the back of a truck they come to reporters ‘prepackaged’.”

    Isn’t that the problem! Are they journalists or gossip writers? One investigates the stories – one takes selective gossip and publishes. Your choice as to what “Simple Simon” is.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OK7Y7PCSTJ27RCKZ2MGRSAYCTE NEIL

    The shame in this is someone having to “wash their dirty laundry” in public to get help – and she’s not alone in this country.¬†

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  • jay cee

    how many times have you heard of someone being advised to “go to the media with your story”
    meanwhle journos staring at a blank screen on a slow news day are going to pass up a tale of woe with the salacious angle of a woman selling herself?

  • Jim Donovan

    1. I checked re childcare Work and Income  guidelines:

    In addition
    to the Childcare Subsidy qualifications[which relate to parent’s income, child’s age etc.], up to 50 hours a week subsidised childcare
    may be available to clients who are:

    in
    paid employment (including full-time, part-time, temporary and casual) or
    participating
    in an employment-related training course offered by a course provider
    accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority or participating
    in a Job Seeker Development Activity or attending
    a course of study at a Tertiary Institution or Secondary School or temporarily
    unable to continue employment because of illness or injury or attending
    an approved rehabilitation programme or seriously
    disabled or ill caregivers or receiving
    a Child Disability Allowance for a child or their sibling or caregivers
    of a sibling who is in hospital

    Work and Income have confirmed that there’s no additional set of
    eligibility rules involving particular levels of study.
    2. The government’s Tertiary Education Strategy (reflected through institutional plans agreed with TEC) ¬† specifically favours study at Level 4 and above.
    Diclosure. I’m on the board of the TEC)

    • Jim Donovan

      Update: I have just been further advised that, although Work and Income‚Äôs ‚Äúextra hours of childcare‚ÄĚ per se are
      not sensitive as to level of study, the Training
      Incentive Allowance 
      (which pays part of beneficiaries’ employment or study costs,
      including travel and childcare costs) is. As a result of a Budget 2009
      decision, since 28 May 2009 the Training Incentive Allowance has not been
      payable to beneficiaries enrolled in courses at level 4 and above.

  • Jim Donovan

    Apologies for the layout and typos.

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