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Pressure on Work and Income staff not OK

3 September 2014

Media Release

Pressure on Work and Income staff not OK

“It is not acceptable for Work and Income staff to be bullied or threatened, regardless of a person’s situation,” says Michael Barnett, Chief Executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

Responding to the rash of threats on Work and Income staff since the events in Ashburton earlier this week, Mr Barnett said as a community “we need to send a message that Work and Income and other social agency staff need to be safe and shouldn’t be threatened either physically or through bullying behavior.“

There are a lot of New Zealanders who live under difficult circumstances-they need our support. Business owners and operators know this and are happy to help negotiate processes if required.

“But to respond to difficult circumstances with threats and bullying behavior is not ok. As New Zealanders we all need to recognize that Work and Income and other staff of social agencies are there to help.”

“They deserve our respect for the tough job they do,” said Mr. Barnett.

Michael Barnett is Chief Executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust.

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