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Leader supports zero tolerance approach over WINZ threats

4 September 2014

Media statement

Ngapuhi leader supports zero tolerance approach over threats at WINZ offices

Te Runanga-a-iwi o Ngapuhi Chairman, Raniera (Sonny) Tau, says he totally supports the Police and the Ministry of Social Development in their “zero tolerance” approach to anyone making threats to WINZ staff members.

“WINZ and its staff are providing an essential service to many whanau throughout Tai Tokerau. Making threats to good people who are doing their best in difficult circumstance is madness, and has got to stop.

"There are WINZ offices throughout Tai Tokerau with a large number of employees — many being our own Ngapuhi people - who professionally carry out their duties according to the government’s policies.

“Their job is often difficult as they are interacting with people who need help, who are facing great difficulty in their lives at that time or who are in crisis.

“Nevertheless, it is totally unacceptable for anyone to threaten WINZ staff, in the Tai Tokerau or elsewhere.

“WINZ staff have a right to feel safe in their workplace, just as we all do. It’s time to remind those who are making these threats that not only are they affecting and distressing staff, but potentially they will disrupt the service to the many thousands of New Zealanders who come into Wi NZ offices each day.

"Te Runanga-a-iwi o Ngapuhi gives it unequivocal backing to the Police and Ministry of Social Development whenthey say there will be serious consequences for anyone making threats to WI NZ staff or damaging WINZ offices.

"We note that the Ministry has stepped up security at WINZ offices throughout the country, and we support this decision too.

“The bottom-line is that WlNZ employees and WINZ clients must always feel safe."


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