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Government Trying To Pull Off WINZ ‘Snow Job’

Adding to the Government’s current woes in major portfolio areas is its attempt re-package and re-sell WINZ under the leadership of Christine Rankin.

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey this week confirmed that he will be launching the Government’s so-called ‘fresh start’ for WINZ around June 19, promising changes in the management of the ‘Department of Work and Income’, as he now calls it.

However, ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said Mr Maharey will in fact merely be making cosmetic changes to try to create the appearance that he has done something with WINZ.

“The only real change the Government has made is to stop calling the Department WINZ. What Mr Maharey is trying to pull off is an impossible snow job. He wants to hide the fact that WINZ will continue under the stewardship of Christine Rankin,” she said.

“Steve Maharey knows that his PR exercise to launch a ‘fresh start’ for WINZ has no credibility for either WINZ or the Government while Christine Rankin remains in the top job,” said Muriel Newman.

“Trying to re-launch WINZ with the champion of corporate style in charge is like trying to re-launch the Fire Service Commission with Roger Estall in charge,” she said.

“The Government knows it is in real strife over WINZ. Maharey and Rankin have to try to keep a lid on their explosive relationship for another year until Ms Rankin’s contract runs out,” she said.

“Until then, no amount of PR and re-launches from Steve Maharey will convince New Zealanders that the Department is back on track,” said Muriel Newman.


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