From Carmel’s Facebook page:
Today I was in New Plymouth to launch some of the changes we are rolling out across MSD/ WINZ offices. These are a few of the changes:
1. Security guards at MSD offices are no longer required to check people’s names off a list or to ask for ID and they are no longer dressed in security uniforms. What they will do now is welcome people warmly and ensure people feel safe coming in for support
2. All MSD offices now have the new MSD client commitment up in their offices – in English, Maori and sign language (other languages are also provided).
3. Water is now available
4. Where possible accessible toilets are being made available (with baby changing tables)
5. The new layout (being piloted at 4 new sites initially) has more private spaces, a kids play area, more clearly marked areas
6. An eligibility guide has been launched and is now available online nation wide and
7. Today we were able to report that as a consequence of changes I asked for a month ago that led to manual benefit sanctions and cancellations requiring an authorised 2nd person to approve the decision, we have seen a daily reduction of 23% in actual manual benefit sanctions and cancellations.
Still so much more to do but I feel like we are on track towards a fairer and more accessible welfare system. A positive environment will equal positive outcomes.