The Project's Kanoa Lloyd brings her own story to the benefit debate
With a shaking voice Kanoa Lloyd delivered her own story about the importance of social welfare payments during The Project.
Lloyd, one of three regular hosts on the show, hit out at perceptions that beneficiaries were "cheaters, or liars, or a certain type of person".
"They're not. They're politicians, they're artists, they're television presenters," Lloyd said, raising her hand as the report took a personal turn.
She continued: "My family, we benefited from the welfare system growing up and I would not be in this position now if we hadn't had that help."
News of the Green Party's latest social welfare policy announcement had sparked the discussion.
At their party conference during the weekend, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei announced plans to raise all benefits by 20 per cent. She justified that policy with her own story – a controversial one – revealing she had lied to case workers when she was a solo mum on the Domestic Purposes Benefit. Turei said the omissions were necessary because she was trying to do the best for her family.
On Monday night The Project host said: "People need help and they need support. They do not need to be shamed and judged, because believe me that shame and that judgment is built into that system just fine."
A Stuff column from June called The Project "some kind of yin to [Mike Hosking's] yang".
While Seven Sharp host Mike Hosking was well known for his right-leaning commentary, often in support of the status quo, the colum argued that Three had levelled the scales with its counter 7pm show.
Presenters on The Project had also voiced their opinions in support of increasing the Department of Conservation's funding. Jesse Mulligan, who also hosts the afternoon show on RNZ, delivered a cutting editorial criticising Prime Minister Bill English's speech at the National Party conference. Mulligan said English should be ashamed of his government's record on homelessness, youth suicide and house prices.
Seven Sharp was also discussing the topic of benefits on Monday night, but focused on the revelations that Turei had lied to get more money.
Hosking was away from the show, but stand-in Tim Wilson told viewers Turei was wrong to lie.
"She's making chumps of honest beneficiaries. She sort of legitimises beneficiary bashing," he said.
Lloyd's employer, MediaWorks, was approached for comment and declined to be interviewed for this story.