Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Reforms Impacting on Vulnerable People and Service Providers

12 January 2011

Reforms Impacting on Vulnerable People and Service Providers

The increasing hardening of access to government benefits and housing is resulting in higher levels of vulnerability and more people wanting services from social support organisations. The latest New Zealand Council of Christian Social Service (NZCCSS) Vulnerability Report indicates that in the quarter ending September 2011 most NZCCSS members experienced another strong increase in demands for their services.

The changes in benefit eligibility and access to state housing in particular seem to have been having a large impact. “There has been a large drop in the number of hardship grants – including for food and benefit advances to help pay for power. This appears to be a direct result of the requirement to get budgeting advice if you need to get more than three grants a year”, said NZCCSS Executive Officer, Trevor McGlinchey. “Community social service providers have been coping with a surge in budget advice referrals, and while some areas in Auckland had a drop in demand for food parcels many others have had a marked increase in requests.”

The Future Focus Act, which has hardened up access to benefits and other support, has resulted in over 5,000 Domestic purposes beneficiaries and almost 7,500 unemployment beneficiaries having their benefits cancelled. A further 120,000 referrals were made to budgeting activities. The Ministry of Social Development has not reported on what has happened to these individuals and families as a result of their benefits being cancelled.

“Almost all of our members and many other service providers are reporting that more and more people are requesting support”, said McGlinchey. “There has been an increase in people needing emergency support, with more families turning up at soup kitchens or seeking counselling”.

Housing New Zealand (HNZ) is no longer allowing people with low or moderate needs onto their waiting lists and is actively counselling all applicants to look for private rentals. “There is real pressure on emergency accommodation providers across New Zealand, with no members reporting empty beds and with many who have extensive waiting lists,” said McGlinchey. “The changes in approach by HNZ means that many people previously considered high need are no longer in that category, they are now stuck in overcrowded situations are living in motor camps or boarding houses.”

“The social services sector is really feeling the pinch at this time”, said McGlinchey. “Providers of Social Services did not receive a cost of living increase to their contracts in the last government Budget. This must be addressed in the upcoming Budget so that the present levels of services can be maintained and New Zealand’s vulnerable families can receive the support they need”.

Vulnerability Reports will only be published on-line with printable versions downloadable from the www.justiceandcompassion.org.nz website.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Countdown, And Mary Margaret O’Hara

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Key In NY: Prime Minister Addresses United Nations

    Prime Minister John Key has addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, focusing on a call for action in Syria and on other conflicts, reform of the veto process and on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. More>>.


    Gordon Campbell: On The Lack Of Accountability Over Philip Smith

    In New Zealand, accountability is an exotic creature rarely glimpsed at ministerial level, or among senior management. The flight to Rio by the paedophile /murderer Philip John Smith/Traynor is no exception. More>>


    More On Corrections

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news