Simon Collins

Simon Collins is the Herald’s social issues reporter.

Futile search for work leads mum to look at Australia

Kimberley Inu, 36, has never been out of work before. Photo / Natalie Slade
Kimberley Inu, 36, has never been out of work before. Photo / Natalie Slade

If Kimberley Inu can't find a job before her redundancy pay runs out in the next three weeks, she believes her only option will be Australia.

Ms Inu, 36, was born in New Zealand and has worked for 18 years in manufacturing and retailing jobs, as well as bringing up her daughter Marama-Kate, who is now 21.

But she was one of eight workers who lost their jobs in September in a restructuring at Thorn Lighting, an Avondale company that makes industrial light fittings.

"I have never been unemployed before," Ms Inu said.

"I would hear things, I would see things, but it's not until you are actually in that situation that you realise how deep you are in it and you think, 'Holy heck, this is real'."

Ms Inu owns a house in Ranui with her sister and has been able to keep up her half of the mortgage payments because she received a redundancy payout.

But that money is almost gone.

"I can honestly tell you that in two or three weeks there will be nothing left," she said.

She has applied for numerous jobs, dropped her CV into businesses near her old workplace in Rosebank Rd, and has asked everybody she knows to look for a job for her.

She counts herself lucky to have lots of contacts. She is on the Labour Party's Waitakere electorate committee and is on the national executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.

She has started painting, writing poetry and beading to keep active.

But she has also started looking across the Tasman. "It's sad, but Seek Australia has a hell of a lot of jobs and what they pay is much more. In factory jobs here you might get $13.50 an hour; over there it's $25," she said.

"If I don't find anything here, yes, I will consider Australia. It kind of feels like time is running out."

- NZ Herald

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