A South Island man was refused help from Work and Income to relocate to Christchurch for a new job partly because of concerns he would be unable to find another job if a 90-day trial period he faced did not work out.

The man, who did not want to be named, had asked for help to pay a rental bond so his family could move from Dunedin to rural Christchurch.

Work and Income had initially said it would provide a relocation grant if he found a permanent job in Christchurch.

He found work as a truck driver in Christchurch, but Work and Income refused the grant, saying the location of the new home - about 60km outside Christchurch - meant it would be difficult to get another job if he lost his job during the trial period.

He said that instead of the $900 bond, Work and Income paid for the family to stay in a camping ground cabin for three weeks at a cost of $1050 so he could start the job this week.

"I'm dealing with idiots. It's very frustrating."

The case was raised by Green MP Sue Bradford in Parliament yesterday. She said it showed people put on the controversial new trial periods would be discriminated against.

"This man is committed to getting off the benefit and into paid work. He's moved cities and is trying to do his best for his family. All jobseekers deserve to be treated the same, whether the employment they secure is under the 90-day rule or not."

Last night, Work and Income said there was no general policy to refuse help to people on a trial period.

It would not discuss the individual case.

It said relocation must be based on "immediate and essential need" and it could not take lifestyle choices into consideration.

Help with rental bonds was done in the form of an advance payment which Work and Income recovered from future benefit payments or wages.

Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett would not discuss the case for privacy reasons, but said there was no policy for the 90-day trial to affect anyone's entitlements to assistance from Work and Income.