A unemployed man trying to stop Manners Mall from becoming a bus-only road says his dole has been cut after he admitted he had no intention of getting a job.
Activist Benjamin Easton, 49, also revealed he had not had a job interview since he went on the dole nearly three years ago.
He met Work and Income for a work test yesterday after telling The Dominion Post he was on the benefit deliberately so he could bring the "people's challenge to the courts" and that he was "perfectly capable of earning".
Mr Easton said last night he had received a letter from Work and Income telling him he did not meet eligibility criteria and his benefit had been stopped as of yesterday.
His $70 weekly accommodation supplement would continue.
The Social Security Act states that anyone receiving the dole has an obligation to look for work and be available to work.
Mr Easton said after the meeting that he had no intention of looking for paid work and had not applied for any jobs since going on the dole in 2007. "I am not going to stop doing what I'm doing."
Work and Income deputy chief executive Patricia Reade said all beneficiaries knew of their job-seeking obligations.
"This is a person who has a track record of challenging the system and by his own admission does not want a job."
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett was appalled that Mr Easton had no intention of finding a job despite being on the benefit.
"That's simply not acceptable. It is an abuse of a welfare system designed for people in real need.
We have highlighted Paula Bennett's comment for good reasons. In our exceeding humble opinion, it encapsulates everything that is wrong with the welfare system. We've somehow migrated from helping those in genuine need to providing a lifestyle choice. Successive governments from both sides of the political divide have shied away from making tough political decisions.
Does John Key's government have the political will to overhaul welfare? Bennett is certainly making the right noises, but there's a huge challenge in dismantling a system which is so entrenched. Should National get a second term next year, we would hope that there will be some meaningful reform of the social welfare system. In the meantime, rorters such as Benjamin Eaton are now aware the end of the golden weather is nigh.