Families, education, and health should be the focus of the budget announced today, says a Flaxmere mother-of-10.

Brenda Wainohu works as an administrator at Cape Physio in Flaxmere, while her husband Paul works for Unison.

Together they have raised 10 children, with four aged between 21 and 12 still living at home. Having a large family had not been easy, Mrs Wainohu said, and she thought the 2016 budget should focus on helping families provide the best for their children.

She hoped for better alignment between the Ministry's of Health, Social Development, and Education, to give children better starts in life - by reducing poverty, inequality, and creating housing which was cheaper but of a high standard.


Mrs Wainohu said she would like a housing initiative to be included in this year's budget so their younger children had the chance to own homes like their older siblings, and parents did.

Mr and Mrs Wainohu had been able to build their own home using the $6 they received each week from the family benefit in the 1980s. The home enabled the couple to help their older children buy homes, using its equity.

"We want our children to be independent," she said, "families don't have $30,000 or $40,000 dollars saved to go and buy a house and that is where things have moved to."

With such an initiative, Mrs Wainohu said families could spend more money on their children's education and wellbeing. She also hoped family members who cared for those with illnesses, either their own children or other relatives, could receive a supplement or be more appropriately paid.

Families could also benefit from extra money if there was a reduction in the "crazy prices" of tertiary education.

She said unlike some in Flaxmere, four of the Wainohu children had been able to attend university with help from their parents.

Higher education benefited the community, she said, and hoped the Government could offer more degrees in the region for "our local children".

"Some people are family-oriented and don't want to leave home, if the Government brings education closer to home that will definitely help families as well, then they can remain living in the Bay."

She also thought the Government should increase wages - four of her children had left their trades in New Zealand and moved to Australia, where they were now earning more money.