Last December I reported on the Auckland Action Against Poverty, Advocacy Activism in Onehunga.
Positive, practical, well-planned, collaborative, good humoured, friendly, inclusive, community-centred action. I like it.
There’s another one happening this week in New Lynn - starts tomorrow at 9am outside the WINZ office. AAAP’s press release says:
Following on from our first beneficiary ‘Impact’ last December, we will be hosting our second event:
9am – 4.30pm Tuesday 10 – Wednesday 11 – Thursday 12 September 2013
Work & Income office 5/9 Hugh Brown Drive, New Lynn.
“During this three day period AAAP, in conjunction with advocates from around the North Island, will provide one-on-one advocacy to beneficiaries, unemployed people and low wage workers who may need assistance with Work and Income issues.
“Anyone who seeks our support with Work and Income is welcome at next week’s ‘Impact,’ without an appointment. Advocates on duty will do our best to help everyone who turns up, with the assistance of a number of extra staff whom MSD has put on especially for the occasion.
“As a result of Paula Bennett’s welfare reforms, beneficiaries need advocacy support more than ever. All too often people have been refused legitimate assistance, with benefits being cut left, right and centre.
I hope AAAP keeps up the good work. A great grass roots practical initiative.
[Update:] Press release from AAAP. Tales of despair: from the streets of New Lynn. Inludes the following and more at the link:
“In the last few days we have worked with many families who are living
with constant hunger and cold, and who are having to wash all their
clothes by hand in the middle of winter.
“We’ve helped people who are seriously ill but still hounded to find
work as a ‘Job Seeker’ rather than being paid the Supported Living
Allowance they are entitled to.
“We are finding many who have been turned down for Work and Income
assistance to which they are entitled, or who are on the wrong
benefits, meaning they are trying to survive on even less money than
an already minimal welfare system allows them.
“If our experience in New Lynn this week is anything to go by,
thousands of New Zealanders of all ages are having an already marginal
existence made even tougher because of Paula Bennett’s welfare
policies and departmental inadequacies.
“On top of that, Government housing policies which have severely
reduced access to state housing mean many beneficiaries are simply
unable to find or afford decent accommodation and are living in damp,
overcrowded and filthy conditions.