Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Maharey Focused Finding Solutions For WINZ Loans

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey says he is determined to do everything possible to ensure students affected by the WINZ loans processing backlog can access their loans.

Mr Maharey said an evaluation to determine how the problems with loans have developed will be conducted next month once students were in classes. In the meantime WINZ staff have been instructed to make additional assistance available to students caught up by the delays.

"I have directed WINZ to take a number of steps which should help the students who are affected.

"The length of time students are spending attempting to get through on the 0800 line has been too long. To lessen waiting times extra staff have been hired and WINZ is working with student associations to publicise off-peak times when call volumes are likely to be significantly less.

"The 0800 phone line has been opened on Sundays exclusively for loans processing and 60 additional telephone lines have been added to the system. Computers are now staffed from 7am to 10pm Monday to Friday.

"WINZ Student Services outreach centres and staff on campus will be able to arrange for students in financial difficulty to receive Special Needs Grants. These emergency advances will be refunded by recipients once their loans are cleared.

"From this week staff will be placed on 23 campuses nationwide to ensure that when applications are received at the National Student Services Centre they can be processed.

"Technical support staff have been stationed at WINZ's National Student Services Centre in Palmerston North so that they can quickly respond to any problems affecting the computerised Verification of Study (VOS) process. Staff in my Ministerial Office have also been working with institutions to iron out any procedural problems which may have been affecting the VOS process.

"A plain-English guide to getting a loan has been sent to student associations and MP's offices this week and a special hot line for student associations to directly contact the national Student Services Centre for help to resolve particular issues is operating.

"Fixing this problem is a top priority. Students and their parents deserve to know that I am giving it all the attention it deserves", Steve Maharey said.

Mr Maharey thanked both students and institutions for the goodwill they had demonstrated.

"People know that this problem is not of the new Government's making. Our focus is on doing the best for students", Steve Maharey said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>


Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>


Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>


Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>


Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>


Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>


School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>


IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>


Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>




InfoPages News Channels