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WINZ Flip-Flop Adds More Grief to Fire Survivors

‘WINZ Flip-Flop Adds More Grief to Fire Survivors’

Tariana Turia, Member of Parliament for Te Tai Hauauru

Thursday 16 February 2006

The change of advice from WINZ staff in responding to Pacific Plastics Recyclers in Otaki has been criticized by local MP, Tariana Turia as ‘heartless’.

The Maori Party today, in Parliament, asked the Minister of Social Development and Employment what support could be provided to the twenty-seven staff, the majority of whom are Mäori, who may be made redundant after fire destroyed the plastics factory.

“These workers, and their whanau, have already experienced huge trauma after fire destroyed their workplace less than a month ago” stated Tariana Turia, Member of Parliament for Te Tai Hauauru.

“To be given advice from WINZ staff that the agency would help them, not just once, but twice at different public meetings, and then that offer withdrawn - and worse yet, a denial that any such statements were made - was shattering for the morale of workers” said Mrs Turia.

“At the very least, one would hope that Government Departments would do their best to be helpful to members of the public” said Mrs Turia. “These families have been through enough with the threat of redundancy hanging over their heads, without the flip-flop attitudes of WINZ staff making things worse”.

“I am extremely pleased that the Minister has now agreed, as he said today in Parliament, that he will meet next week with John Cribb, the manager of Pacific Plastics Recyclers to ensure support is available for the staff and whanau”.

ENDS

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