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Caritas advocates make impact on benefits at annual event

5 August 2014

Caritas advocates make impact on benefits at annual event

Representatives of New Zealand Catholic groups are among 40 benefit advocates that have gathered in Auckland to support people living on benefits at the Mangere Benefit Impact being held at the Mangere office of Work and Income New Zealand from 5-7 August.

Now in its third year, the annual event is an intervention in which beneficiary advocates come together from different organisations to help as many people as possible over a concentrated three day period at one Work & Income office.

To ensure those in need get the best help possible, all the advocates spent a day training and preparing for the Impact at the Mangere Community Law Centre on Monday 4 August.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is one of the supporters of the event, which is organised by Auckland Action Against Poverty, and two Caritas staff members are working with other advocates to ensure people on benefits are treated with respect and are made aware of what they are entitled to.

Caritas Advocacy and Research Manager Lisa Beech says the Benefit Impact is a good way to support beneficiaries in a practical way, while increasing understanding of what welfare policy changes mean for people on benefits.

“We know from our parishes, schools and social service organisations that some of New Zealand’s poorest families sometimes find it difficult to access essential items to meet their needs and to participate in the community.

“Participating in the Benefit Impact is a way to increase our understanding of the barriers faced by people living on benefits, and to support a number of families in a concrete, practical way,” Ms Beech says.

Caritas was also a supporter and participant in the 2013 West Auckland Benefit Impact, which supported 257 cases over three days.

Sisters of Mercy (Wiri), Wellington Catholic Social Services and the Catholic Peace Movement Pax Christi are among a number of Catholic groups participating in the event this year.

Event: Mangere Benefit Impact
Dates: 5-7 August, 2014
Location: Mangere office of Work and Income New Zealand
93 Mascot Ave, Mangere, Auckland

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is the New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ agency for justice, peace and development, and incorporates Mahitahi - Catholic Overseas Volunteers. We are working for a world free of poverty and injustice through community development, advocacy, education, and emergency relief.
Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is a member of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 165 Catholic aid, development and social justice agencies active in over 200 countries and territories.

ENDS

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