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Are Work And Income Breaking The Law?

4.8.08


Are Work And Income Breaking The Law?

Can the claimants sue Work & Income??


Spokesperson Paul Blair from the Rotorua Peoples Advocacy questions whether the Work and Income Service of the Ministry of Social Development in Rotorua is breaking the law by being insulting, dismissive and abusive to people seeking assistance and then if people stand up (sometimes literally stand up) against that behaviour, the security guard runs across to see if the “case manager is OK!” and then they issue a trespass notice against the client?

In the welfare provision context it is the applicants that are in the powerless and vulnerable position and can be “done over” by those case managers that have clearly passed the “Humiliation 101” course. Case managers caught behaving like that should be “trespassed” immediately in our view. What usually happens though is we see WINZ closing ranks to protect them.

RPAC wants to see them severely dealt to and removed by the security guards to the upstairs “cooling off” room and trespassed from their workplace for 2 years in exactly the same way that applicants are treated if they step out of line.

In Murupara a case manager screamed right into the face of a client(s) (on more than one occasion) and to their everlasting credit, it was a fellow case manager and the security guard that complained about that case manager’s outrageous behaviour. The Rotorua Peoples Advocacy Centre wrote also to the Chief Executive about the same incident. However, that case manager still works there.

If a Bank Teller was caught behaving like that they would be escorted from the Bank to the front door, booted out, and told never to return. In Rotorua, In New Zealand it seems, if its social security beneficiaries then its OK to do this.

RPAC has asked Sue Bradford to raise the issue in the House of the latest case of a young solo mother in Rotorua Work & Income office with her one year old son in her arms, being told to “F*** Off” when she tried to apply for a food grant.

ENDS

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