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Review may be smoke screen for splitting WINZ

Wednesday 16th Feb 2000
Muriel Newman
Media Release -- Social Welfare

ACT social welfare spokesman Muriel Newman says Labour's ministerial review of WINZ looks like a smoke screen for splitting WINZ back into two departments.

"Just as the Government seems to be using the Quigley review to justify not going ahead with the F16 deal, it seems as if it will use this review to turn the clock back in social welfare," Dr Newman said today.

"WINZ has not been well managed and may have bitten off more than it can chew in taking on the management of student loans and allowances. The core focus of WINZ must be to help people back to work, to help them gain independence from the state," Dr Newman said.

"The progresses they've made in assisting the long-term unemployed has been heartening and the reduction in DPB figures for the first time in a decade is also positive. When WINZ focuses on its core business it can succeed.

"Part of the reason for this success is the use of the single case manager in the one-stop shop. Splitting WINZ back into two separate government departments will make it impossible for the case management system to work. Welfare agencies all round the world are moving to the one stop shop/case manager system. Splitting WINZ would run counter to the way the rest of the world is moving."

Ends

Contact Dr Muriel Newman 025774834 or Kathryn Asare 04 4706637

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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