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Winz lavishes $1.3 million on 'Api' ads

2000 web siteLabour social welfare spokesperson Steve Maharey says the $1.3 million being spent on advertisements by Work and Income NZ would be far better spent on practical job creation programmes for the unemployed.

Mr Maharey released an answer to a parliamentary question which reveals that the Government has budgeted $1.3 million for the television advertising campaign which it plans to run over several months.

"This is another sign of the all-glitz-no-substance approach of Winz. The advertisements are all about image and raising the department's profile. They are doing nothing to create real jobs for the unemployed.

"If the $1.3 million had been spent on a programme like Job Plus, something tangible might have happened in terms of getting people into work. Instead taxpayer money is going into what is little more than corporate fluff.

"National's Social Services Minister Roger Sowry has overall responsibility for this new department. Under his direction, Winz has bumbled and stumbled from one public relations disaster to another with no sign of any practical strategy to address New Zealand's huge unemployment problem.

"Mr Sowry needs to pull into line the high spending Winz chief executive, Christine Rankin, and also crack down on Associate Social Services Minister Peter McCardle, who is responsible for day-by-day oversight of Winz. It is well known that Mr McCardle, who is soon to retire, has lost interest in his job. Mr Sowry needs to step in and try and put some controls in place.

"What Winz should be focusing on how to create real jobs and establishing coherent regional development strategies to generate employment in the provinces, not patronising New Zealanders with trite advertising campaigns," Mr Maharey said.

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