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Paula Bennett must take responsibility

Paula Bennett must take responsibility

On National Radio today, Paula Bennett praised the work of the volunteers who set up a sausage sizzle outside the Hornby Work and Income Office, as a sign of a community that cares.

Liz Gordon, spokesperson, says that they do care. In particular, the group cares very much that the poor, dispossessed, homeless and depressed were sent to a Hornby office where they had no access to water, no food, no toilets, virtually no seats, increasingly dire rubbish bins and long waits in impossible circumstances.

“The WINZ staff were lovely. But they had nothing to offer people except long waits. So I hi-jacked a lovely family’s van, took my barbeque down, went begging around the supermarkets and got a mixture of donated and purchased food, and set up”.

Liz says the barbeque became a magnet for others. “Thanks, to Pita and Bro, Karen, Claire and her family, Lilian and the church group, the Soroptomist lady with her little give-aways, the scone and muffin lady, the apple man and the lollipop person, all of whom came and donated and helped.

“Thanks particularly to Hornby Mall which gave us over $200 worth of food”.

Liz said they mostly cooked sausages but on Monday morning, with large numbers expected, they cooked up egg and bacon sandwiches for breakfast. “People loved those”, she said. But the group are critical of the lack of services offered.

“The Hornby office welcomed us but they gave us nothing. Today we asked them for some money to replenish the chilly bin but they said that had no money for that. The reality is that without us, that office would have left people for hours to be hungry and thirsty in long queues, kids restless and nowhere to sit or go to the toilet. The Minister said we made people happy and smile and that is correct. But that’s because until we arrived, they were in the queue from hell with no services at all”.

The group were upset that the Minister praised their effort, while it was only necessary because of the inhumane circumstances in which the people were forced to queue, compounded by the absolute refusal of WINZ to help out.

Liz says that they have used up all their food and drink, and need donations for tomorrow. “Bread, sausages, bacon, onions, drinks…. Baked goods and whatever people have really”.

Donations can be dropped off outside the office in Shands Road (behind Hell Pizza) from 8.30am Tuesday.

Liz Gordon
Spokesperson for the Hornby Work and Income sausage sizzlers

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