9 Oct 2012

Hunger-striker still waits on Work and Income

8:52 pm on 9 October 2012

A Kaikohe amputee on a hunger strike over his treatment by Work and Income says he won't give up despite receiving an increase in his invalid's benefit.

Sam Kuha stopped eating almost four weeks ago after he asked Work and Income if he could use his food coupon entitlement and was told to seek budgeting advice.

He had been receiving $244 a week, but says Work and Income has now increased the benefit slightly and cut repayments on a loan he took out to get electricity in his home.

Mr Kuha says he's grateful, but still won't eat.

He says he's had great support from families who have been put through the same hoops to get food when their children were hungry.

Mr Kuha says he won't end the hunger strike until Social Development Minister Paula Bennett acknowledges their plight.

He says his doctor had told him that at this rate of weight loss his health will be in danger in about a week.

Mr Kuha has lost about 13 kilograms and now weighs about 60kgs.

A spokesperson for the Social Development Minister says Mrs Bennett can't comment about Mr Kuha's situation due to privacy reasons.