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Beneficiary Group Threats Unacceptable

PSA Media Release 31 January 2002

Beneficiary Group Threats Unacceptable

The PSA totally deplores the threats made by Ian Ritchie of the Palmerston North Property Action group to photograph and keep files on Ministry of Social Development staff who they believe are "being mean spirited". This kind of threatening behaviour to our members is unhelpful and unacceptable and should be condemned by other beneficiary groups" said PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff.

"This kind of action is a violation of our members privacy and a threat to their safety". We know that there are issues around the payment of special benefits around the country and we are pleased a working group of benefit advocacy groups has been set up with the Department to try and resolve these issues", he said.

"But there is absolutely no excuse for the Palmerston North group to take their frustrations out on staff. Our members working in MSD are there to implement government policy to the best of their ability, they should not be made scapegoats for simply doing their job", said Richard Wagstaff. The relationship between MSD case managers and clients relies on respect and trust to ensure people get what they are entitled to. This kind of behaviour will do nothing to foster those relationships or address the issues the beneficiary group is concerned about", said Mr Wagstaff.

"We will now be meeting with the Department to talk about increased security for staff", said Mr Wagstaff


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