Desperate job hunters without any criminal convictions who have applied for dozens of jobs with no success say they would jump at any job offer to be able to better provide for their kids.

Werohia Richards and Chris Reede are among the jobseekers who contacted the Herald saying they would love to be offered any of the jobs former prisoner Mark Cropp had turned down.

Cropp has been inundated with responses after he posted a photo of his large facial tattoo with the words DEVAST8 he got in prison saying it was stopping him from gaining employment. He says he has only received two firm offers and is speaking with his parole officer.

But Cropp is not the only one struggling to get a job.


Werohia Richards has been looking for employment since she and her partner moved to Auckland with their 4-year-old daughter in March.

The 22-year-old had lost count of how many jobs she had applied for, but estimated it was more than 20.

The young family had been living in the Coromandel, but moved in with her father in Manurewa as her partner had been unable to get a job there.

He secured a job in Auckland, but after resigning from her job at a cafe in Coromandel Town, Werohia has not even been able to secure an interview.

Werohia Richards, 22, has been looking for a job in hospitality for the past four months and can't even get an interview. Photo / Supplied
Werohia Richards, 22, has been looking for a job in hospitality for the past four months and can't even get an interview. Photo / Supplied

"We moved thinking it would be easy for me to get a job in hospitality and he got a job and I still don't have one."

She had worked in a cafe waitressing, making coffee and had also been a cook, but was open to anything.

"I get a lot of feedback that I don't have enough experience - I can make coffee but I'm not a qualified barista. I can make coffee, but I don't have any qualifications.

"I don't think I've done anything wrong except for having no qualifications and he's getting all these offers and someone perfectly capable with no convictions at all finds it so hard. I don't even have any tattoos."

"It's kind of painful actually [not getting a job]. It sucks."

Hamilton father of one Chris Reede agreed. He has been looking for almost two months and has also applied for more than 20 jobs. So far he has had five interviews.

The 34-year-old solo dad wants to get off the benefit and return to work after being a stay-at-home dad for two years. He wanted a job so he could give his 5-year-old son a better childhood than his own.

"I'm just sick of having next to nothing for your income. Being on the sole parent benefit you get f all. It's not just feasible. And then when your son asks for something in the shop and you say sorry son I just can't afford it - that's just bollocks.

He said most of his benefit goes toward heating their "stone-cold uninsulated" private rental property and once he got a job he would look for a warmer house to live in.

Reede was last employed in the agricultural/dairy sector as a farm hand, but said he wasn't fussy.

"I will take any [job] really."

While he had found there were quite a few jobs on offer, many called for heavy machinery qualifications or six months experience in that particular trade.

Reede said he had no convictions, did not drink, was punctual and a quick learner. He also had his own form of transportation.

A Wellington man also contacted the Herald saying he was desperate for a job to support his family and feared they may have to live in their car again if he did not get one soon.

The solo dad said he would move to get any one of the jobs Cropp had been offered and that the situation was so dire his sons had gone begging for change just to buy bread and pies to share for dinner.

"Some days I go without eating for days and what food I can get I give to my kids and if there's any leftovers, I would take my kids' leftovers into the kitchen and I would eat what was left on their plates. I wish I could get job offers like this guy has been offered."