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


Welfare reforms helping thousands get ahead

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development

Associate Minister of Housing

20 December 2013 Media Statement

Welfare reforms helping thousands get ahead

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is delighted over 62,700 people went off benefit and into work in the first nine months of 2013 alone.

“It’s not easy taking the plunge into work, but we’re seeing an average of over 7,000 people a month going off welfare into work,” Mrs Bennett said.

“People are stepping up and building better futures, and it’s important we recognise just how significant the move off welfare is for them and their families.”

In July this year the most significant welfare reforms in decades came into effect, with the Government taking a new active work-focused approach that is making a real difference for New Zealanders.

With intensive support from her Work Focused Case Manager, a sole parent in the Waikato region recently found work in the electricity sector after five years on benefit, and is thrilled to be doing a job she enjoys.

She is just one of over 3,000 sole parents who came off benefit and into work since the reforms were introduced.

An Auckland jobseeker was struggling to find work after being unexpectedly made redundant, despite having experience and good qualifications.

After attending job interview seminars organised by Work and Income, she was matched to an employer who was impressed by her confidence and enthusiasm, and was soon offered a full-time position with a finance company.

Another client who had been on benefit since 2011 was shutting himself out of the job market through his drug use.

With new obligations for Work and Income clients to be work ready and drug free, he was told he’d need to kick his habit or face having his benefit cut. He stepped up and stopped using, and after passing a drug test landed a full-time carpentry job.

Feedback from clients shows they appreciate having a dedicated Case Manager focused on supporting them into work by looking at their interests and skills and asking them – many for the first time – what they can do, not what they can’t.

By making use of incentives like the Work Bonus payment and Working for Families, people are finding they are better off in work financially, and that their families are benefiting too.

In Nelson a jobseeker in her mid-twenties was able to secure work in a supermarket after working with her case manager to address and understand anxiety issues that were preventing her from getting employed. A family member was hugely impressed with this effort and told his own case manager that he would be next to get off the benefit.

“Every week thousands of people are proving to themselves and their families they are capable, and have the motivation, to go off welfare and into work,” Mrs Bennett said.

“For a lot of them it’s tough, but we are right there alongside them offering the right support and incentives to help them get ahead.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Issue Out Now: Werewolf 47

Alison McCulloch: Lest We Remember

Local iwi have plans to spruce up the Te Ranga site as part of the 150th commemorations this year of key battles in the “New Zealand Wars”, but not a lot of money to do it with.

Information gathered from numerous government agencies shows that while more than $25 million is being spent on monuments and commemorations relating to foreign wars, primarily World War I and its centenary, only around $250,000 has been set aside for those fought on our own soil. More>>

Anne Russell: Anzac Day - Identity Politics, With Guns

Even cursory research into media reports from the past forty years reveals a cultural shift in the commemoration of Anzac Day. Among other things, turnout at Dawn services has increased significantly in recent decades.

Contemporary numbers are estimated at 3,000-4,000 in Wellington, and 10,000-15,000 in Auckland. Newspaper reports from the 1970s and 80s estimated Wellington turnouts at 300-800, and Auckland at anywhere from 600 to 4,000. More>>


Parliament Today:

Spookwatch: New Inspector-General Of Intelligence And Security Appointed

Prime Minister John Key hasannounced the appointment of Cheryl Gwyn as Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. The appointment was made by the Administrator of the Government on behalf of the Governor General and is for a term of three years. More>>

Crowdsourcing: Green Party Launches Internet Rights And Freedoms Bill

The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand’s first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Shane Jones Departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. More>>


Multimedia: PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - April 22 2014

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • The recent improvement in the economy with a growing job market • Income and wealth inequality • Easter trading laws • The New Zealander killed in a drone strike in Yemen... More>>


Easter Trading: Workers 'Can Kiss Goodbye To Easter Sunday Off'

The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. More>>


ACT Don't Go For Maximum Penalty: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

Three strikes for burglary was introduced to England and Wales in 1999. As in New Zealand, burglary was out of control and given a low priority by the police and the courts. A Labour government passed a three strikes law whereby a third conviction for burglaries earned a mandatory three years in prison... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home. More>>


Elections: New Electorate Boundaries Finalised

New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. More>>


Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news