Bludgers Report: Entitled beneficiary denied a taxpayer-funded treadmill


Some people seem to have a bad case of Entitlitis.

Work and Income has won its legal battle against a beneficiary who bought a $3000 treadmill after seeing it on a late-night television advertisement.

Debbie Port, who was receiving support for anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome and Raynaud’s disease, wanted the treadmill to help with an ankle complaint.

In 2014 she bought it and arranged to pay it in 72 instalments.  

She initially won an argument for the $27 of the $42 each week to be included in her disability allowance.

However, High Court Justice Simon France says the ministry doesn’t have to contribute to Ms Port’s payments as it was a one-off cost and not an ongoing expense.

In his decision he also denied a request for name suppression, which would be futile as the matter was widely reported last year.

Outrageous sense of entitlement.

The correct process would be to get a medical assessment to support the need for a treadmill, then ask Work and Income if they will assist.

Alternatively, she could have started…you know…walking…like normal people do.

Some people just have to bludge.


– Newshub


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  • Chris Bell

    Looking at her photo I’d say all those named conditions aren’t half of her problems!

  • Gazza

    Is that a Sky remote control sitting in the cup holder of the treadmill?? Cancel that subscription and pay for the treadmill…..theres a thought

    • Aucky

      Well spotted Gazza. She probably bought the treadmill off one of the shopping channels. I wonder if she got her set of steak knives.

  • David Moore

    I don’t have a huge problem with the purchase of a treadmill if its an effective solution.

    Paying $3 grand for something that can be had for well under a thousand and then expecting someone else to pony up is the problem.

    • Boss Hogg

      I still have a problem. We are surrounded by foot paths, just get a brolly and go for a walk and shut up.

      • David Moore

        There are very good reasons a treadmill could be a better answer than ‘walk and shut up’. Your inability to see that is just telling us about your ignorance, nothing else.

        • Boss Hogg

          For short term rehab after injury – yes, perhaps. Nothing like the variability of the real world with varying inclines, stairs, up hill, down hill etc. etc. is the best solution to full injury recovery. I bit like comparing free weights to weight machines when doing gym exercises.

          • David Moore

            Agree on that. Like I said, I don’t have a problem with WINZ finding a solution to a problem, if that happens to be a treadmill, fine. I think the issue is expecting someone to bail you out from a late night purchase.

  • Damon Mudgway

    My kids think I have a severe case of IBS, maybe I could claim some compensation for it. Does anyone here know where I sign up?

  • Totara

    It isn’t just the sense of entitlement that’s the problem here. There is also a complete lack of any sense of shame.

    Most civilised people have done some dumb stuff in their lives. But the difference is that they know they did wrong; would feel embarrassed if it was widely known by their peers or community; and so keep their heads down.

    I’d add bad childhood upbringing to her list of problems.

    • MaryLou

      Heh, shame and self respect are well gone, Totara, either from the woman wanting $5 outside the pub, the window washer wanting your can of drink you’re in the middle of drinking, or the relatively high-level employee who clearly articulates he wants a few thousand to not cause trouble, because it’s easier than being dragged through employment courts regardless of outcome. One would probably argue they are different from the other, but it’s all the same to me.

  • Dave

    Parents are currently approaching their 90’s and try to exercise as they want to keep mobile for their age. They can afford several treadmills or whatever. They get out for short walks every morning, and most evenings. Dad can’t get far, he has a bowel issue after several operations so he stays close to home, however, several laps to the corner and back see to that, and never more than 3 mins from home.

    A treadmill is a luxury, and denies her fresh air!

    • Wheninrome

      God forbid she is in a mouldy house. Payme payme payme could be the refrain for a begging song.

  • Nyla

    she was working it the way they always do …. payday, night party drugs etc … next day cant pay power bill, winz pays it because they HAVE to have power … another scenario … payday, drugs toys, need internet/fone, winz pays for it because its a must have … only this person was abit grandeur … I know of another dolee that bought a 2nd had walker, but winz wouldnt pay up, he got grumpy but had to return it … worth a try as it usually works

  • Sailor Sam

    How long before the media/green/lab party will be pimping her story again.
    Oh wait, she had/has a treadmill, so she obviously does not live in a car, she actually seems to have a house!
    Ok, move on, nothing to see here.

    • The Fat Man

      They will be advocating that every rental house should have one and the Landlord should have to pay.

  • biscuit barrel

    She is on a benefit and yet commits to $42 a week payments for an extra. The state is fairly generous for those with a disability but her lack of financial nous has got her in hot water.

  • XCIA

    I’m sure that given the opportunity the Devoy female will come up with at least a page of reasons why her human rights have been impinged by this decision.

  • Wheninrome

    Just donated a lot of goods to Hospice while there I noted a number of exercise machines, for a small payment they could be bought, there is the feel good factor of helping a worthy cause to be had as well.
    silly me she thinks she is the worthy cause.

    • Aucky

      Secondhand is no good if you want to keep up with the Jones’ in the waiting area at WINZ. Brand new state of the art is mandatory.

  • SuchIs_Life

    Who pays for the court case?

    • peterwn

      The long suffering taxpayer in all probability. Seems WINZ do not bother trying to screw costs out of a beneficiary in such cases – it would just cost more money and cause aggro.

      A big part of the problem lies with beneficiaries’ support groups – they try these things on regardless of logic etc. Their attitude is if the trough is there you are entitled to put your snout into it.

  • Craig

    I notice that everyone of her aliments are incredibly hard to diagnose correctly, but that being the case none of them stop her from working.

    • Wheninrome

      “Working” or walking on the spot on a road to nowhere?

    • Keyser Soze

      Yes, ailments that have largely self-reported symptoms rather than anything measureable. She’s clearly trying to remain on the benefit treadmill rather than joining the workforce treadmill.

      • JustTinkering

        I challenge you to work comfortably with Raynaud’s disease. It’s not easy. Of course that doesn’t effect your ability to walk.

  • papagaya

    Can somebody enlighten me on this: is it true that Winz will pay for gym memberships? I’ve heard this, but don’t know if it’s true and damn well hope it isn’t.

  • Woody

    People like this give me the [self censored, so – irritable bowel syndrome].
    Walking in the fresh air is cost effective and better for your whole wellbeing.

  • Keyser Soze

    This is a win for the taxpayer how? Expensive court case won, check We won’t pay the $42/week for the treadmill, check. But that now leaves a $42 hole in her weekly ‘essentials’ budget which I have no doubt we will be bullied into ponying up for by some beneficiary’s rights group. As I see it we’re down an expensive court case from which the lawyers were the only beneficiaries. The system is broken.

    • Boss Hogg

      It is all about legal precedents. Lose this one and you’ve lost the rest.

      • Keyser Soze

        There should be a “We’re not entertaining this stupidity!” decision that prevents idiotic situations like this being considered by the Courts.

  • Keeping Stock

    Another sufferer, and an advanced case at that, of Entitleitis. What’s wrong with going for a brisk walk around the block?

    If she wants a treadmill, fine. She can save up as other people do, and buy one herself. But this whole notion that the taxpayer should pony up for all many of desirables is unsustainable.

  • Cadwallader

    This would be the only treadmill she’s ever had to mount. The rest of us climb on a treadmill each Monday morning to earn our keep, pay our staff and pay taxes to fund her lifestyle. That’s a treadmill of the most exhausting kind.