web analytics
The Standard

Tales from the precariat: AAAP

Written By: - Date published: 1:18 pm, September 13th, 2013 - 69 comments
Categories: activism, benefits, class war, health, housing, political alternatives, poverty, unemployment - Tags: ,

Auckland Action Against Poverty did another 3 days of advocacy action this week, this time in New Lynn, as explained in their pre Impact Action press release:

“At least 9 out of every 10 people seen by our advocacy service have been incorrectly or unfairly denied assistance. This ranges from being denied a benefit altogether when Work and Income have incorrectly assumed someone is living in a de facto marriage, to Work and Income not applying discretion in a case where a mother needs additional assistance for food.

“The culture of blame and suspicion which Paula Bennett has whipped up makes it near impossible for people to receive the assistance they are entitled to.”

Last year, in my report on AAAP’s similar Impact Action days in Onehunga, I stated how positive such action is for many people struggling on low incomes.

AAAP’s Facebook page links to some videos from these two weeks of action.

Sandra’s story was posted on youtube on 4 September 3013 (so before the New Lynn Impact), based on her prior experience of AAAP advocacy. Sandra had a bad back and a lumpy bed. Unable to get money for it from WINZ, she borrowed money from a money lender.  AAAP advocacy helped her to get money for this from WINZ, and pay back the money lender.

Aaron’s story was uploaded to youtube on 1 September 2013.  He is an unemployed graduate who had struggled with WINZ.  AAAP helped to get his benefit re-instated along with backpay.

An AAAP video from 11 September filmed at New Lynn WINZ:  advocates, and AAAP organisers, including Sue Bradford, give examples of the stories from people advocates have helped.  They speak of people incorrectly/illegally having their benefits cut, leaving people struggling and hungry.

A Thursday press release from AAAP focuses on “Tales of despair: from the streets of New Lynn” … Ranui … Glen Eden…

Even seasoned advocates running a beneficiary ‘impact’ outside Work
and Income in New Lynn this week have been shocked at the numbers of
people in dire need says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson
Sue Bradford.

“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.

“It is deeply ironic that while there is huge angst about the
difficulty middle class families have in buying a suitable home, there
is little public mention of the families living in cars, garages or
being shunted from one unsuitable situation to another.”

A left wing NZ government needs to urgently repeal Paula Benefits damaging social security “reforms” and return social security to fulfill it’s original 1930s aims.

AAAP protest

Well done AAAP!

69 comments on “Tales from the precariat: AAAP”

  1. Treetop 1

    So the government thought that throwing millions into testing (throat swabs) for rheumatic fever was the answer to prevent the condition. Decent affordable housing is what prevents rheumatic fever and being able to eat three square meals a day and being able to afford to see the GP. While on the topic of third world disease in NZ, whooping cough is claiming the life of very young babies (6 – 12 weeks).

    HNZ has become a shit hole place to rent from. I applied 2 or 3 years ago (after the new criteria)and I was told that it would take three months. The reason I have not pushed for a cheaper home is because of the poverty of many of their tenants and my health has declined and will continue to do so. Most tenants are sick and miserable or have a criminal record and many of the properties have a dirty next door yard/section or an agressive dog near by and I do not like stereo base in my face randomly. I cannot live in a stressful environment.

    Work and Income have become a shit hole place to go to for assistance and to deal with. I will not allow them to intimidate me. The last time I went to Work and Income I had an appointment and the woman who saw me said she had 6 other people to see.

    There needs to be a survey carried out on HNZ and Work and Income. Now that would be an eye opener for the uniformed.

    • Greywarbler 1.1

      The uninformed would indeed have their eyes opened, even just a fraction if they want to remain wilfully ignorant of the sad conditions that our poorly run economy has left otherwise worthy and willing workers in. The list of disadvantage goes through poor jobs, poor hours, poor opportunities, poor transport, poor housing, poor food options, poor services, poor health (with increases in prescription costs from $3 to $5 for each item, absurdly expensive for a family with multiple problems, and a high barrier before costs drop). There are low levels of happiness, which is essential for a life not just an existence, and low income with little or no discretionary income, and low levels of hope for better conditions.

      The uniformed too need to know about the awful conditions for sure, the police, the wardens and other workers, so that they don’t add extra harm to the harm that people with problems have caused to others, and the harm they have caused themselves from practices they adopt to deal with their situation.

    • bad12 1.2

      You have an objection to living anywhere near ‘the poor’???, i beg your pardon, perhaps i could intercede on your behalf and get the Minister to build you a more befitting place out Remmers way,

      There is a dead certain means of not having a neighbour’s messy yard offend your sensibilities as well, keep you nose on your side of the fence,

      i live in one, a HousingNZ property that is, it is pure luxury simply because the rent is affordable, this old girl, my Castle has been housing people like me for over 70 years, on the odd occasion where the street goes into feral mode i either lean on the gate and have a laugh at the show or turn the tv up and ignore it…

      • The Al1en 1.2.1

        “You have an objection to living anywhere near ‘the poor’???”

        I don’t think the word ‘poor’ was used.

        “or have a criminal record and many of the properties have a dirty next door yard/section or an agressive dog near by and I do not like stereo base in my face randomly”

        But scum would have sufficed.

        “i beg your pardon, perhaps i could intercede on your behalf and get the Minister to build you a more befitting place out Remmers way”

        You’d have more chance getting people to live with respect for their neighbours, though judging by some tenants, it’d be a close run thing.

        “There is a dead certain means of not having a neighbour’s messy yard offend your sensibilities as well, keep you nose on your side of the fence”

        Broken window policy for all.

        • bad12 1.2.1.1

          ”because the poverty of many of their tenants”, ring any bells in your cranial cavity ‘the alien’,

          i got stuck in my reply to you at the word ‘scum’, go look in the mirror…

          • The Al1en 1.2.1.1.1

            Look, you jumped both feet into assuming Treetop was being anti poor, which they are not. Settle down.

            “i got stuck in my reply to you at the word ‘scum’, go look in the mirror…”

            😆

            • bad12 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Oh i get it, that one is fully supportive of the poor but just wouldn’t want to live near any of them…

              • The Al1en

                I think it was explained in the first post…

                “and my health has declined and will continue to do so”
                “I cannot live in a stressful environment.”

                So are you picking on them for the fun of it or the idealogical desire to support ‘the poor’ , as you put it, at all costs?

                • bad12

                  i think it all might have something to do with the small fact that ‘i am’ the poor and have been for quite some time,

                  i have to in all honesty do a me to over the fact of not being able to live in a stressful enviroment, such makes me prone to acts of feral violence, closing the door and ignoring the world i find is the best medicine…

                  • The Al1en

                    Poor is relative, of course, but I’m sure many of us posting here currently are, or have been really hard up in the truest sense of the word.

                    My point, perhaps badly made (as usual) is that there aren’t any excuses for some aspects of how we live, because those poor actions are not defined by the amount of money we have.

                  • karol

                    Seems to me both of you are talking about extra stresses that people currently live with in low income areas. It also sounds like part of the stress could be removed if HNZ houses were better managed.

                    Plus, giving people a living wage, and options for engaging positively in the wider community might help, too.

                    • Treetop

                      Section 38 (1) of the 1986 Residential Tenancies Act states “The tenant shall be entitled to have quiet enjoyment of the premises …”

                    • xtasy

                      Treetop, I can relate to your issues with handling stress and unhealthy environments. Yes, there are persons with ill health who are probably more sensitive to noise, tensions, disorder and so than some others may be.

                      I do not hold it against you.

                      Re Housing NZ you are right with criticism, as they now run their BS “corporation” at the smell of an oily rag, put tenants they have into uncertainties and fear (reviews, non performance or delays in repairs and so forth), do not even renovate places properly anymore, and allow private market speculators to buy homes in “expensive” areas to make a nice profit with buying and selling. Tenants get sent letters to tell them their “market rental” “valuations”, so they feel real “guilty” for “depending” on the “honourable taxpayers” subsidising their supposedly “chosen lifestyles”.

                      Entitlement to housing has been tightened, so many on the list will likely NEVER get a proper HNZ home in future (under this government).

                      As for “quiet enjoyment”, that is the tenancy law meaning the landlord will allow the tenant to not be bothered by the landlord with unreasonable presence and pressures, it does mean nothing re the neighbours. That is where you may have to struggle with useless Council “noise control services”, which are a massive joke here in Auckland, as they never really resolve anything much anyway.

                      Once there were functioning communities in Housing NZ neighbourhoods and other neighbourhoods, but with the “reforms” in the early 1990s, that has all gone. Also look at the stats for crime sky-rocketing after 1991! Everything has a cause and effect, some ideologues confuse the two.

        • marty mars 1.2.1.2

          Why exactly are they scum allen – cos their yards are untidy, their music is too loud, they apparently have criminal records – what is it that causes you to describe them as scum?

          • The Al1en 1.2.1.2.1

            Work out and use your own definition, Marty – You don’t have to agree with my interpretation and vice versa.

            Me, I say scumbag neighbours are those who show little or no respect for others in the community.

            • marty mars 1.2.1.2.1.1

              lol – like those who go around calling others scum.

              • The Al1en

                “lol – like those who go around calling others scum.”

                If you like, well done. 😉

              • Greywarbler

                marty mars
                lol – like those who go around calling others scum.

                Are you determined to start a fight over who is the poorest or whether people have the right to want something better than the pits? Do you actually care about people in poor conditions, and the problems they have with people who are not in control of their lives, care nothing for others and are unpleasant people to live near to?

                What good comes from fighting with people having a tough time or knowing others who are. What improvement does that bring? It’s just senseless and anger is wasted energy that is needed for action to improve conditions.

                • I don’t like someone calling other people scum for no good reason (music, tidiness or whether it is believed that they have a criminal record) – that is my beef with allen. Do you think he was right to call them scum?

                  • the pigman

                    marty mars – aliens was interceding because bad12 had decided to misconstrue Treetop’s dislike for being surrounded by antisocial behaviour. I think aliens was probably trying to draw his attention to the distinction between the poor who do not display antisocial behaviour, and those who do. You might object to the binary and defend the ferals (do you like this word better than scum?) on the basis that their antisocial behaviour is a symptom of their poverty, but that is lowering the bar a little too far I’m afraid.

                    • ferals are not the same as scum – in fact I’ve got a lot of feral in me. Allen added his little toxic bit in and that is what I objected to. I have no issue with what treetop was saying and fully appreciate how difficult the situation can be. To me calling them scum is equivalent to calling beneficiaries bludgers. It is just a blanket derogatory term that dehumanises people, often people who actually are not that bad.

                    • The Al1en

                      “Allen added his little toxic bit in and that is what I objected to.”

                      No, you’re twisting it and spinning bullsh*t because your prejudice and pre conceived ideology got the better of you.

                      That’s not the way to go about things, comrade.

                    • “or have a criminal record and many of the properties have a dirty next door yard/section or an agressive dog near by and I do not like stereo base in my face randomly”

                      But scum would have sufficed.

                      ummm that’s what you said numbnuts – my response was pretty subdued I thought

                      Why exactly are they scum allen – cos their yards are untidy, their music is too loud, they apparently have criminal records – what is it that causes you to describe them as scum?

                      Can’t see any twisting there – is it down the page a bit?

                    • The Al1en

                      “ummm that’s what you said numbnuts – my response was pretty subdued I thought”

                      I know what I wrote, and yeah, most of us will know of the sort of people that have in this thread been more appropriately and quite properly described/classified as anti social. They’re scum bags all right.
                      Your response, predictable and ever so ‘right on’ left wing, places the rights, moral or otherwise, of this type of tenant/home owner, despite all their wrong doing, above those poor sods having to live amongst them. Indeed, you said, and I quote “often people who actually are not that bad.”.

                      Now of course not all people with untidy gardens and criminal records are scum, but that was never the issue, and I dare say you know it.

                      “Can’t see any twisting there – is it down the page a bit?”

                      But you don’t deny spinning bullshit. 😉

                      Edit…
                      And now you’re fighting a one man epeen, inet weeing contest with yourself because you can’t/won’t accept you didn’t think it through before you took the default position of defend and attack.
                      Seriously, do better, or wear the fake tag yourself 😉

                    • “Now of course not all people with untidy gardens and criminal records are scum” then why call them that or are you just going to bullshit some more cos you’re bored. Just take it on the chin, as you said you often badly make your points – I accept that and I’ll let it go :)

                      Edit: Ha! Thought the fake bit might break the skin – maybe flake was better, less painful for your ego lol

                    • The Al1en

                      “Now of course not all people with untidy gardens and criminal records are scum” then why call them that or are you just going to bullshit some more cos you’re bored. Just take it on the chin, as you said you often badly make your points – I accept that and I’ll let it go :)

                      You’ll let it go 😆 No doubt, you’ll want it all to be forgotten, never to be mentioned again, funny that.
                      Don’t play if you can’t lose, my old fella used to say.

                      Point made badly or not is up for debate, but it’s quite clear the type of tenant we’re talking about here, and I’m not alone in conjuring the mental image.
                      Like I wrote earlier, you can defend their rights to make peoples lives a misery, in fact, you should make your case and stand by it, but anyone who’s lived next door to one of them will know you’re talking bull and are full of sh*t.

                      Now you can quote from here ’til sunday and back again, with all manner of sage commentary to go with it, but it changes nothing. Some people are scumbags. This is a fact. Living near them is a nightmare, and decent folk deserve better. Argue contrary if you must.

                      Edit…
                      “Edit: Ha! Thought the fake bit might break the skin – maybe flake was better, less painful for your ego lol”

                      Love me or hate me, what you see is what you get. I’ve never been called a fake before, well not by any one that’s been able to back themselves up.
                      If it were me that had said it, I wouldn’t have bought it up again unless I had the proof to make it stick, credibility and all that 😉

                    • your making your point badly again allen – come on get your shit together will you

                      btw what exactly is a ‘decent folk’

                      hint – you don’t have to quote my whole reply back – I can follow the conversation and it just clutters everything terribly

                      edit – I very surprised no one has called you a fake before – just goes to show doesn’t it

                    • The Al1en

                      “your making your point badly again allen – come on get your shit together will you

                      btw what exactly is a ‘decent folk’

                      hint – you don’t have to quote my whole reply back – I can follow the conversation and it just clutters everything terribly”

                      I think you’ve had enough for now, ’cause you’re oozlum birding it, somewhat 😆

                      “marty mars …
                      13 September 2013 at 8:53 pm
                      Get fucked wanker”

                      That’s pretty classless, I can do a lot better. 😉
                      https://soundcloud.com/theal1en/one-plus-one

                    • yeah it was but class is so overrated

                      Edit – I don’t mind your music – that was quite good

                    • bad12

                      the pig-man, from a re-read of what treetop wrote in his/her first comment i misconstrue nothing,

                      Your defence of alien is pathetic, whereas treetop gives every impression of not wanting to live near those in poverty for a stated list of reasons, your mate alien takes this to a whole new level of insult by inserting the word ‘scum’,

                      If you think alien’s first comment was anything to do with making distinctions i suggest you need get at least your eyes checked,

                      it is HousingNZ’s mission to house the mad,bad,and plain sad and in my opinion they do the best they can with only half a set of tools and far too few houses which obviously means that the more timid among the clientele are more likely to end up face to face with the above,

                      Alien’s claim that there should be some form of ‘broken windows policy’ would tend to suggest that ‘it’ thinks that tenants should be given the kick for such ‘crimes’ as having a messy yard,

                      A grand idea with the result being that instead of offending some sensitive souls sensibilities such people will end up back on the streets where many of them come from doing a lot more damage than simply having a messy yard…

                    • The Al1en

                      “yeah it was but class is so overrated

                      Edit – I don’t mind your music – that was quite good”

                      Thanks very much, I just wish I could sing and play.
                      I wrote it the day a f*ckwit scumbag, going well over the 40k school zone speed limit, nearly rear ended me outside the school at pick up time, and who then objected to getting the finger by offering me out for a fight, in front of my daughter and all the other mums and dads, like a big twelve year old kid.
                      A bit of a chat later, by the time we were done, his passenger was laughing so much at him, this clown was so angry, when he took off doing a burnout he slid into the kerb and popped his tire.
                      F*cked how I drove home in a straight line as I stopped and gave him the last line of the song for his troubles. 😆

                    • The Al1en

                      “Alien’s claim that there should be some form of ‘broken windows policy’ would tend to suggest that ‘it’ thinks that tenants should be given the kick for such ‘crimes’ as having a messy yard,”

                      I’d be happier if you’re gonna quote me or use my name to make a point, you at least try and read and understand what I’ve written instead of just making it up or lying 😆

                    • xtasy

                      With much grief, once again, I see the poor, disowned, downtrodden, stressed out tending to argue and fight amongst each other. This is exactly the result of the kind of government and the divisive policies we have, and this is exactly what Key, English, rotten Paula Bennett and their (financial stakeholder) backers want to happen. Divide and rule, that is their motto.

                      Perhaps reflect, a functioning society needs debate and clearing the air at times, but in the end, sufficient unity and solidarity will the be only way to defeat the crap to drives us all to stress, depression, tension and despair.

                      Sometimes we need to agree to disagree, but live and let live also.

                  • The Al1en

                    “I don’t like someone calling other people scum for no good reason (music, tidiness or whether it is believed that they have a criminal record) – that is my beef with allen. Do you think he was right to call them scum?”

                    Go on, empathise with and support the type of inconsiderate low life scumbags that make some people prisoners in their own homes.
                    We know they exist, what’s wrong in calling it like it is?
                    Too un pc, or too close for home? 😆

                    Oh, and get over yourself and harden the f up, as the natives, figuratively speaking say. 😉

                  • Greywarbler

                    marty mars
                    Do you think there are people in the world who deserve to be called scum? If not do you have a bottom line for behaviour that you will tolerate? And how many times would you allow such other people to limit or take from you either things or your money or your secure personal space, or the people or pets you love, or your security, or your self-respect etc? Because that is what people called scum do?

                    • Scum are key and his exploitative mates that encourage substandard housing, inadequate income and deprivation on those most at need – that is my definition and example of scum.

                  • karol

                    Well said xtasy @12.12 am

                    Maybe others should take a note of his important points, and calm down a little – look at the bigger picture and how things can be made better and we can all learn a bit about learning to live together.

                    What xtasy said:

                    With much grief, once again, I see the poor, disowned, downtrodden, stressed out tending to argue and fight amongst each other. This is exactly the result of the kind of government and the divisive policies we have, and this is exactly what Key, English, rotten Paula Bennett and their (financial stakeholder) backers want to happen. Divide and rule, that is their motto.

                    Perhaps reflect, a functioning society needs debate and clearing the air at times, but in the end, sufficient unity and solidarity will the be only way to defeat the crap to drives us all to stress, depression, tension and despair.

                    Sometimes we need to agree to disagree, but live and let live also.

        • Greywarbler 1.2.1.3

          Cripes Bad12 Give someone a bit of leeway to say what they honestly feel. And what is real and important for them in their situation, though it’s not the same for you. There is not a case for giving Treetop a hard time, you sound as judgmental as some of the officious government workers must sound to people having troubles. Have a bit of empathy, it isn’t just about whether you are satisfied or can tolerate what you have.

      • Treetop 1.2.2

        I rented with HNZ from 1986 until 2000. There has been a steady decline in the maintenance and availability of the properties. It costs money to dump rubbish and mow the lawn. When I talk about a “dirty next door yard/section” I am talking about dumped furniture and dog poo not picked up for weeks. Some HNZ properties do not have fences.

        I have an objection to the government not supplying enough fit to live in affordable homes. It is about time that this changed.

        • The Al1en 1.2.2.1

          Make no mistake, there’s plenty of rich folk who are scumbag, neighbours.
          Being poor isn’t a prerequisite for the mantle.

          • Treetop 1.2.2.1.1

            I knew that some people who rent from HNZ may take offence to my comment and that some people may have a field day.

            Just because rental is low there is no excuse for the governments maintenance to be poor or to have a critical shortage of properties.

            I always laugh when a person quotes you when a spelling mistake has been made e.g. bass.

            • The Al1en 1.2.2.1.1.1

              “Just because rental is low there is no excuse for the governments maintenance to be poor or to have a critical shortage of properties.”

              Quite right, just as there are no excuses for some tenants to make life miserable for their neighbours, HNZ or otherwise.

            • bad12 1.2.2.1.1.2

              A hint: check out the property thoroughly befor you accept the lease, then you will see if the neighbours leave s**t all over the lawns etc,

              Make up a little narrative befor you go looking, ”Hi i am your new neightbour blah blah” sort of thing and check out your neighbours either side, if you don’t like the scary facial tatt’s, the kids beating each other with heavy blunt instruments, or the cat chewing up the dog,

              Say no thanks to HousingNZ and wait in the line again…

              • Treetop

                Hard to check out a complex with 10 – 20 units, this is the unhealthy cheap direction that HNZ are heading in.

                Irrespective of where I live, if I know that family violence is occurring, I will contact the police, as I would not like it on my conscience were a serious injury or a death to occur, especially an innocent child.

  2. Greywarbler 2

    I haven’t heard of Sue Bradford for a while but felt sure that she would be active at the coalface. She is better doing what she is now drawing attention to the dire conditions that some are suffering so she can report the painful facts.

    I hope that AAAP has enough money to continue with this because the Three Monkey Denial practice that the NACT government wants to apply to difficulties they want to ignore, is particularly potent when looking at Welfare in Poorer Benefit’s Patch. (The 3 Monkeys have their hands, over their eyes, mouths, and ears to ensure they Know Nothing.) Perhaps Sue could let us know how AAAP are situated financially themselves.

    • karol 2.1

      I don’t know how AAAP are doing funding-wise. But their website asks for donations and other forms of support.

      AAAP is a collection of Beneficiaries, Community Activists, Academics, Students, Trade Unionists and members of the Church community. Getting involved can be as easy as contributing some funds, but we really need people to join us organising against National government reforms. Administration, Media, Action planning, flyering, picketing, outreach- we need help with all of these.

      If you want to get involved email us at contact(at)aaap.org.nz and let us know how you would like to contribute. We try to support one another as much as we can in upskilling, so if something specific interests you, you can let us know as well. If you’re not sure what you would like to do but want to keep updated send an email to our contact email saying you would like to subscribe to our email list.

      Donation notice down the bottom right of the web page.

  3. Rosie 3

    Thank you karol for your report. It’s great to be informed about these actions happening around the country.

    Hearing those stories made me feel a bit teary, but also angry that people who are struggling and/or in crisis are treated with such contempt and indifference. Such treatment is degrading and no one should have to bear the loss of their dignity on top of circumstances in their life that are beyond their control.

    The volunteers that make up AAAP are true angels doing crucial work. It’s a sad reflection on the state of our welfare system that they have to exist.

  4. Mary 4

    “A left wing NZ government needs to urgently repeal Paula Benefits damaging social security “reforms” and return social security to fulfill it’s original 1930s aims.”

    Too true, just a pity it’s not Labour’s policy to do this. For this reason we need to continue to expose Labour as a party that does not look after the poor, and hope that the Mana/Green presence within a coalition is strong enough to stand up to Labour’s refusal to do anything about poverty in New Zealand. We need to publicly abandon any hope that Labour is a caring party, instead of treading around carefully hoping not to show a divided left. When it comes to social security Labour is not a left-wing party. It’s time we told the truth about this and let Labour persuade us through action that this isn’t the case, if it can.

  5. xtasy 5

    Yes, some shocking news is trickling through from AAAP and their experiences in New Lynn, and the most scary stuff about it is, that so many affected do not dare to raise their voices, and that many do not even know their rights and entitlements.

    Our so “hard working” Principal Health Advisor” for MSD and WINZ has most recently been avoiding making comparisons between benefit dependence and drug dependence, but he continues unchallenged (by his employers) and unimpressed by any criticism – with his “therapeutic work” and “work will set you free” kind of agenda.

    Here is Dr David Bratt with some of his newest “presentations” – that he gave to GP conferences not long ago. He has been “updating” his so “informative” propaganda on the “health benefits” of paid work on the open market, and included details about the new welfare reforms that are being put into practice now:

    http://www.conference.co.nz/files/docs/gp13/1100%20-%20cs3-a%20-%20happy%20docs%20true%20generalism%20with%20welfare%20reform%20-%20david%20bratt.pdf

    Dr Bratt and Professor Aylward joining forces to push the pseudo medical science propaganda:

    “Shifting Your Primary Focus to Health and Capacity”

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/WS%20142%20Bratt%20-%20Shifting%20Your%20Primary%20Focus%20to%20Health%20and%20Capacity.pdf

    Watch the duo Bratt and Aylward defend their agenda promoting the “health benefits of work”, in an interview with Lucy Ratcliffe from ‘NZ Doctor':

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPNqBJ4n-x0

    P.S.: I am not sure whether it is mentioned in one of the presentations the links above lead to, or in another one, but not so long ago I saw one where Bratt strongly suggests, that there are now “Special Needs Grants” available for longer lasting contraceptive measures (implants or so), so women can access them and now become more “attractive” for the job market, more “work ready”, by avoiding the “risk” of getting pregnant!

    • Mary 5.1

      xtasy – Are there any statistics that show that while the number of people receiving benefits has increased the average amount each of those individuals receives has decreased? This would be a damning rebuttal to Bennett et al who constantly rely on the total spend as showing how “generous” our social security benefit system is.

      • xtasy 5.1.1

        Mary – good question. I have no information on that, and I suppose it is not readily available. Some research may be worth doing in this area. But it will be hard to establish, as most benefit recipients will receive various components, being the base rate – plus top ups for accommodation, temporary additional support, for in some cases still special benefit (where some may have continued to get it without interruption, since it has been replaced by TAS), and also for disability allowance.

        The Ministry is playing a lot of “smoke and mirror games” with such figures, and realising that so many individuals will have different circumstances, there is no real chance to get a clear enough set of figures to prove that less is being paid per person on average. The standard answer to OIA requests is often, that “such information is not centrally collected or recorded”, it is instead “kept in individual client files”. The Ministry then usually refuses information, as they claim it will be too costly and time consuming to collate such information, which is enough for a legally valid reason for them to not supply it.

        Only by adding up all total benefit components, by adding up all benefit recipients and then comparing such figures year by year, may one get some hint of a “trend”.

        What I know for sure is, that over the last year or two, at least about a couple of thousands have been “culled” from the former invalid’s benefit.

        There will also be many former sickness beneficiaries pressured into some forms of work over the coming years, but as they will be a new “sub group” in the new Jobseeker Support group, on whom too little detail of info will be made available, it will be hard to track, how many will shift from “deferred” Jobseekers (too sick to work) to no longer deferred Jobseekers (those “fit” for work). I suggest those interested send in as many OIA requests as they see fit to shine light on all this in coming months and years.

        • Mary 5.1.1.1

          I wonder if it isn’t as simple as adding the total amount spent across all benefits paid under the legislation, including add-ons etc, comparing that figure with previous years, and then matching each year’s total with the corresponding number of people in the benefit system? The question could be along the lines of an average per capita spend on all benefits under the Act, compared across previous years. There’d be a need to take account of certain tax credits like Working for Families paid under the Tax Act and perhaps one or two other things but I suppose my point is that it mightn’t need to be too complex ascertaining some sort of average spend per capita compared over previous years?

          • xtasy 5.1.1.1.1

            Mary – many may also be working part time and only get parts of their benefits week to week, and with employment, part time and full time fluctuating, it would make it difficult to argue any case, based on beneficiaries being underpaid so to say. There are too many scenarios and variables at play.

            What is a fact is, that beneficiaries have for so many years been ill advised by at least some case managers, or not being told about all their entitlements, it is nothing really new of a problem. What is new, is the amount of pressure put on case managers, also now doctors and therefore beneficiaries affected, to first try and prove there is no work for them, to prove they are sick and disabled and incapacitated enough, to “deserve” any benefit or top up.

            Hence the worsening feed back that AAAP and advocates have received.

            • Mary 5.1.1.1.1.1

              “There are too many scenarios and variables at play.”

              But if all the variables have always been present in both the past periods and at the present time then wouldn’t it mean we’re comparing apples with apples? The issue I’m raising is simply one of comparing average welfare spend per capita over various periods? Am I being a little naive here by missing something obvious?

  6. tinfoilhat 6

    More power to you Sue and AAAP you are doing wonderful work for those most in need.

    I look forward to the happy day when you’re no longer needed.

  7. Treetop 7

    A minority have assumed that some of my neighbours are not struggling students, single parents, on the supported living benefit, aged or terminally unwell, that from time to time the odd neighbour is not on home detention, that there are not old couches, microwaves, car parts in the yard or dumped bags of rotting rubbish on the street not picked up for weeks (not in a regulation bag) unless I ring up.

    In my initial comment I stated “HNZ has become a shit hole place to rent from.” “Work and Income have become a shit hole place to go to for assistance and to deal with.”

    How dare I think that I should have an expectation that the government increases their housing stock, provides the size of housing required, and when required to have the necessary maintenance or repairs carried out on a property.

    Every time a person rings or goes into Work and Income or HNZ, how dare they think that they should have an expectation to be treated respectfully and assisted. This can also be said for dealing with ACC or the DHB.

    I set out with an intended objective to highlight how out of touch with poverty HNZ and Work and Income are and that immediate change is required.

    • Mary 7.1

      “I set out with an intended objective to highlight how out of touch with poverty HNZ and Work and Income are and that immediate change is required.”

      I agree entirely. Just don’t expect Labour to want to do anything about fixing anything for beneficiaries. As David Shearer made clear, “Labour is a party for workers”.

  8. myrlock 8

    Social Housing is changing now. Social Housing will be tiny little cells in concrete blocks.
    Housing Corp properties, the quarter acre section ones, are being sold off and are unavailable to most New Zealanders now.

    • Murray Olsen 8.1

      Your sense of entitlement is unbelievable. Concrete is far too expensive. Social housing will be built of cardboard.

  9. AsleepWhileWalking 9

    @Treetop

    Hope you are still checking in on this thread!!

    I understand about the need to live in a home away from stressful environments and the issues with HNZ. Suggest you try to apply through Keys Social Housing (I believe a division of Pathways). This is my recommendation because the application process is less stressful as they help house mental health consumers so they understand why you need as opposed to “want”:

    – a quiet neighbourhood where you feel safe
    – close to supports (eg transport and doctor, other relatives)

    Better yet Keys manage the tenancy. I know you are ALREADY in HNZ housing but please look into it, ok?

    Many blessings, xo

    • Treetop 9.1

      When you have a physical debilitating health condition which is uncommon, it does take a lot of my energy just to have this managed and properly diagnosed. (Oh how I argue and have argued with clinicians to the point where I have knicked name the DHB the freak show). I try to live as independently as I can and living close to the CBD enables me to do this.

      I rent privately and have resided where I reside for nearly 13 years. I do not see any advantage in living in social housing as there is a time limit and some people may not like young children making noise. As well I do not need to be managed by a social worker/community agency and the system they have to work with, STINKS.

      Ideally HNZ needs to go back to what is tried and true as this is what flourished, with some modifications e.g one bedroom dwellings on the flat.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Stalled TPP chance for wider discussion
    Failure to get the TPP agreement across the line gives New Zealanders an opportunity to put more pressure on the Government not to sign away our sovereignty, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“New Zealand land, dairy and medicines are up for… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling out our homes?
    After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses it’s clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labour’s Trade and Export spokesperson David Parker says. “Labour has… ...
    2 days ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Bennett’s legacy a test for Tolley
    Former Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been thrown under the bus by her successor after its been suggested that Ms Bennett gave the green light to an ‘unethical’ observational study of high-risk children, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Submission to Greater Christchurch Earthquake Recovery: Transition to Rege...
    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Draft Transition Recovery Plan on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party.  It is important that the citizens of Canterbury have a voice in the governance of the next step of… ...
    2 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    3 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act
    In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote.… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    3 days ago
  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
    The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The company has told shareholders it… ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    4 days ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    4 days ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    4 days ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    5 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    5 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    5 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    5 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    6 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    6 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    6 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    6 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    1 week ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    1 week ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    1 week ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    1 week ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    1 week ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    1 week ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    1 week ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere