'I want to be a pilot' - Air Force hopes to inspire next generation of female recruits

The Air Force is on a mission to attract more women to its ranks by holding one of its biggest female-only recruitment drives.

Forty-eight secondary school students are spending a week of their holidays at Ohakea Air Base at an all expenses paid camp.

The year 13 girls have been learning about aircraft, and mechanical work, and they have spent time flying helicopters in a simulator.

Akesa Waitai-Ifopo’s school paid for her flights down from Kaitaia and she says the experience is a dream come true.

“I want to be a pilot so I was enjoying playing with the controls… having that fun and getting the gist of what it would be like in the future,” she says.

One camp organiser, George Magdalinos, was inspired by her own experience of being the only female in her class 20 years ago.

“I think it’s the isolation factor and for girls especially, you can’t be what you can’t see,” she said.

Currently fewer than 20 per cent of the Air Force is female, with a goal of a quarter by 2025.

However there are still barriers to overcome.

“[Girls] are worried about the requirement to be masculine, the requirement to be supreme athletes… and there are a few misconceptions that we’re breaking down,” George Magdalinos says.

- By 1 NEWS reporter Mei Heron

Ohakea will be home to 48 students for a week, who are learning about aircraft, mechanical work, and handling helicopters in a simulator. Source: 1 NEWS

Ministry says sorry to woman told her benefit was stopped because she'd been on two Tinder dates

The Ministry of Social Development has apologised after a case manager mistakenly told a woman her benefit was stopped because she had been on two Tinder dates.

RNZ reports the ministry has apologised to the South Auckland solo mother of three over the incident.

The woman said she told her Work and Income case manager the man paid for dinner and a movie, though she had offered to pay for herself.

The case manager had said it was a dependent relationship.

"Now I'm on the benefit they want to treat me like garbage," RNZ quoted the woman, who was not named, as saying.

The ministry said it did not suspend her benefit because she had told them she'd gone on two dates, and would never stop paying someone for that reason.

Her benefit was stopped because of separate allegations which have since been dropped after the ministry could not substantiate them, it said.

It had received an allegation she had been living with a partner, shared a mortgage with him, and that they both had jobs. 

Secondly, she failed to attend two consecutive appointments this month, the ministry said.

WINZ office Source: 1 NEWS