Keeping off the benefit

Date published: July 16, 2012 at 10:23 am | Comments

An unemployed Rotorua man has kept himself off a benefit for three years by washing car windows.

Anaru Hoani, 23, said he could earn up to $400 on a good week and Rotorua was the most generous community he had worked in.

Mr Hoani said he had started washing car windows to pay off a debt and had travelled the upper North Island cleaning windows to support himself since.

He said he would like to have a “normal” job but had not been able to get one.

“I’ve gone for lots of jobs but I never get them and there are hardly any jobs out there,” he said.

Mr Hoani said people were mostly nice although some had threatened to beat him up and he once had a gun pointed at him in Auckland.

“Some people get angry with me, but mostly they’re good about it,” he said.

Rotorua has a bylaw prohibiting car-window washing in public spaces but Mr Hoani said he had been able to get around it by working in private car parks with the consent of owners.

“Some shopkeepers don’t like it but others are really good about it,” he said.

Rotorua’s Inspector Bruce Horne said the police received numerous complaints about window washers “harassing” members of the public.

Mr Hoani, who left school when he was 15, said he was happy to be able to provide for himself but had a word of advice for children who might consider window washing for a bit of extra money.

“It can be dangerous, so you should be careful, and apparently kids are supposed to be in school.”

Stephen Graham, partner at accounting firm BDO Rotorua, said tax must be paid on any income earned, regardless of its source.

Source: Rotorua Daily Post