A fraudster who swindled more than $40,000 claims he is now on the straight and narrow after finding a second chance at life knuckling down a Waikato dairy farm.

Joshua Anderton credits his fulltime job as a farm assistant as helping him turn his life around and wants others trying to move past addiction to know there is hope.

"Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it."

Anderton battled methamphetamine and gambling addictions which fuelled criminal offending that included selling but not providing goods to buyers.


He defrauded people to the tune of more than $40,000 - some of the offending was done while Anderton was on bail.

In the grips of addiction he ripped off his own parents, weighed just 53kg, and lost custody of his two sons.

"I was in a bad head space. I was basically a mess," Anderton said.

"I don't want to see other people go down the road I went down.

"It's not worth it. You are going to have no-one. You are going to have nothing.

"No-one is going to trust you."

Anderton attended Odyssey House, an addiction treatment center in Auckland, after being incarcerated for nine months starting in December 2017.

He claims he is now staying clear of illegal drugs.

"I regret everything I have done," Anderton said.

"Every morning, I look in the mirror and I say, 'I am never going to do drugs again, I am never going to gamble again'.

"I always think about the consequences... I've been punished for my crime and it wasn't a nice feeling. It's a hard feeling that people don't like you."

After at first struggling to find employment, Anderton began working at a Waikato dairy farm where he lives in a three-bedroom house.

He now weighs 79kg and works out daily.

Anderton said he was "grateful" for the second chance his employers had given him - an opportunity he never dreamed was possible while he was behind bars.

His employer, who did not wish to be named, said Anderton regularly worked in the milking shed and picked up other odds jobs such as fencing and feeding out.

When she employed him in mid-March, she was aware he had struggled with drug-use in the past.

"He was very up front about his addictions," she said.

"He told us at the interview people had said 'no' straight off the bat.

"My partner and I are definitely ones who want to give second chances to people."

She admitted she was a bit nervous about what the future held because they had been badly burned in the past.

Without the certificate from Odyssey House, they would not have taken the risk, she said.

Joshua Anderton with a certificate from Odyssey House. Photo / Supplied
Joshua Anderton with a certificate from Odyssey House. Photo / Supplied

"He was keen to get his life back on track, get a full-time job, and keep his mind off it."

Anderton was doing really well, she said, and despite some small hiccups they had decided to keep him on.

He had a very positive attitude about work and "gets in there and gets it done".

Anderton claims he is paying back $23,000 in reparations at a rate of $183 a fortnight.

"Now that I am working full-time, I can afford to pay a lot more [than previously].

"I have been off the benefit now for two months."

Anderton said he wanted to encourage others it was possible to come back from addiction.

"If I can do it other people can. I'm not the brightest guy in the world," Anderton said.

"I am turning my life around and it is going pretty damn well.

"The life I am living now is actually a blessing."

But the road to recovery is not easy, Anderton knows people struggle to trust him because of his chequered past.

There were people who were simply not going to trust him again, he said.

"It's going to take time to prove myself," he said.

"I have apologised to a lot of my family."

He wished he could apologise to everyone of his victims in person, he said.

The Parole Board does not hold a release decision about Anderton as by law offenders serving less than two years are automatically released after serving half of their sentence.