Greens: Grandparents and children deserve better than National’s ‘penal welfare’

Written By: - Date published: 7:13 am, July 25th, 2017 - 34 comments
Categories: benefits, election 2017, greens, welfare - Tags: , ,

A study highlighted by Grandparents Raising Grandchildren is even more proof that National’s ‘penal welfare’ approach is failing kids, failing caregivers and failing New Zealand, the Green Party said today.

The study of 1000 grandparents raising 1700 grandchildren was published in Kōtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online.

“When 85 percent of grandparents are incorrectly told that they are not entitled to benefits, it shows the social safety net has failed,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“We see this coming through in how Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) treats their clients with only 11 percent of those surveyed having ‘something neutral or positive to say about their experiences.’

“This is the grim result of a welfare system which reportedly incentivises staff to throw people off benefits and deny entitlements to people.

“New Zealanders know that the way WINZ is treating people is wrong, so why doesn’t National?

“Grandparents who have stepped up to raise their grandchildren are heroes and need our support.

“National needs to stop punishing people on welfare by making it so hard to access entitlements and treating those who need help so poorly.

“The Green Party in government will mend the safety net. We will reform WINZ, remove benefit sanctions, increase entitlements, broaden who qualifies for support, and ensure we have a welfare system that works for all New Zealanders,” said Ms. Turei.

34 comments on “Greens: Grandparents and children deserve better than National’s ‘penal welfare’”

  1. Incognito 1

    WINZ is not a “safety net”; it is like a settling tank of a septic tank to trap the dirt and where the scum floats on top so that the grey water can flow on to the next compartment. It is a fucking filtering system of the crudest kind. It needs to be dug out and removed. Enough said.

  2. Tamati Tautuhi 2

    Basically a Stasi Network for information gathering on NZ Citizens do they actually place any New Zealanders in work ?

  3. Chris 3

    I don’t suppose any one is asking why so many grandparents are having to raise their grand kids?

    • weka 3.1

      That would be a strange thing to suppose. Doubly so in this context.

      • Chris 3.1.1

        I’ll admit that the context is probably not ideal, but I just find it odd that all sides seem to avoid it

        Fair point though

        • weka

          I don’t know anyone working in this field or knowledgeable commentators who are ignoring this. If you don’t know, that’s on you.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2

      That’s because blame is useless and an indication that indulging some pathetic vengeance fantasy is more important to you than community well-being.

      This isn’t about you or your sad ideas about how the world works.

      Edit: correction: actually, the way WINZ treats people is a direct consequence of those pathetic vengeance fantasies and delusions about how the world works, so perhaps this is about you a little bit.

      • Chris 3.2.1

        I want to blame people, have a vengeance fantasy, have sad ideas about how the world works and I’m delusional?

        You got all that from one sentence

        You are truely awesome

        Do you have one of those 5 dollar a minute psychic phone lines they advertise in the TV Guide?


        What am I thinking now?

        • Molly

          You are thinking you won that argument.

          Whether that is true or not…

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          So you aren’t looking for ways to find fault with the biological parents in question?

          Yeah right.

          Go on, say something that doesn’t come straight out of the big book of right wing things to say.

          [on the balance of probabilities you might be right, but we don’t know yet, and here I am having to waste my time moderating because you feel that going all Rambo is the appropriate thing to do. Just noting that this is causing problems for the site, I’m not the only moderator whose attention is being drawn to this, and there will be a limit. You’ve been writing lots of good comments lately. The intention to start flamewars is getting really tiresome. – weka]

          • Chris

            I have no idea what we are looking for or what we would find.

            That is why it would seem to be a fairly pertinent exercise

            Now I’m right wing?

            You’re on fire

            [you’ve had the chance and ample time since your original comment to clarify what you do mean and you haven’t. You look like a troll. Either say what you mean, or leave it alone. Count this as a warning – weka]

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              I didn’t say anything about you. I’m talking about the narrative you’re pursuing.

              Why are so many grandparents raising kids? There are lots and lots of different answers to that question including cultural values, family circumstances, workplace fatalities, preventable infectious diseases, suicide, and of course the most pertinent one of all:

              “None of your business, Big Nanny”.

              None of these answers do a damn thing to prevent WINZ attacking people, nor do they help create the conditions where people can live good lives no matter their individual circumstances.

    • It actually shows your bias that you would presume no one had asked that question anyway – are you go geniuslevel that you thought professionals hadn’t been there?

      • Chris 3.3.1

        Not sure how this shows bias in any shape or form, but all good

        If they have they don’t exactly fill the world with coverage

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          That’s because the available coverage is full of right wingers all squawking “Bad choices! Bludgers! Personal responsibility! Get tough! Stop breeding!” in unison, and they have the tendency to drown out anything measured, sensible or competent.

          • Red

            And to deny that some of what you rant against is not also part of the issue on top of others is just as delusional From what i have seen across multiple sources P and achohol with alcohol fetal syndrome is a significant reason for grand parents been lumbered with grand kids, no matter what you think there is some personal responsibility here re choices in life Please don’t ask me for a dam citation, go research yourself

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              You must have noticed by now that simply repeating the litany doesn’t move me. And yes, you’re right, what I think doesn’t matter any more than your zombie litany.

              When it comes to public policy, you’re entitled to what you can provide evidence for. There’s ample evidence that the shit you believe hurts people then blames them for their injuries.

              • Red

                You need to deal with cure and prevention, the two are linked, that’s not saying the state does not need to step in as a safety net but it also needs to discourage, simply by removing any personal responsibility on the individual is not a good policy We would simply live in a world with entitlement and no obligations, where the industrious my as well just give up.

                • Stuart Munro

                  That’s what your cursed fake government has built you prawn – property speculation should not be mistaken for industriousness.

                  This government is the kind of stain on NZ’s porcelain that made Macbeth declaim:

                  “What senna or purgative drug will scour Bill English hence?”

                  • Red

                    Hyperbole ranting not worthy of a response, sorry

                    • Stuart Munro

                      But you felt you had to make one anyway.

                      Carter may have been able to prevent the loss of government ministers by shitting all over our constitutional conventions of ministerial responsibility, but he could not mitigate the damage caused by their non-performance.

                      Throwing these useless turkeys out would be VERY restrained. They have betrayed the oaths they swore, and the public they were sworn to represent.

                      Your determination to minimize their treason is legalistic and unconvincing.

                • weka

                  The left doesn’t remove personal responsibility. That’s your ideology speaking. In the context of this topic, it’s an idiocy, because children aren’t responsible for choosing their parents, who might have for instance died.

                  • Red

                    Agree and here the state should step in but there are cases where people should be held accountable as well, ie dead beat dads, wealthy politicians who admit to welfare fraud paying it back etc

                    • mauī

                      The state is stepping in ain’t it? We have record numbers in jail and increasing poverty causing all sorts of social issues and likely more kids taken away from parents.

                  • Red

                    One other point green policy re dole with no obligations is not removing responsibility on recipient

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      What responsibility have you ever shown? The shit you believe is driving people to suicide.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  “where the industrious my as well give up.”

                  ‘Give up’ what, and why? Industrious and otherwise hard-working individuals are motivated by a variety of drives and impulses. The idea that enhancing social safety nets will somehow cause all these drives and impulses to whither is wrong-headed.

                  There are successful countries with state safety nets more extensive than NZ’s. And there are many countries with manifestly inadequate safety nets, where basic survival instincts dominate to an unhealthy extent.

                  On that continuum NZ has been moving in the wrong direction.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Red is an ‘industrious’ Coketowner:
                    Whenever a Coketowner felt he was ill-used – that is to say, whenever he was not left entirely alone, and it was proposed to hold him accountable for the consequences of any of his acts – he was sure to come out with the awful menace, that he would ‘sooner pitch his property into the Atlantic.’ This had terrified the Home Secretary within an inch of his life, on several occasions.
                    However, the Coketowners were so patriotic after all, that they never had pitched their property into the Atlantic yet, but, on the contrary, had been kind enough to take mighty good care of it. So there it was, in the haze yonder; and it increased and multiplied.

                    Dickens – Hard Times

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  “Personal responsibility” is nothing more than a nasty rhetorical device you use to blame your victims.

                  • Red

                    In no way do I believe benefit fraud it is the fault of the Tax payers victims and or the great majority of benificiaries who do not commit benefit fraud and are tarred by such, including increasing compliance

                    You really do live in la la land some times OAB,

  4. Ed 4

    This story should shame New Zealand.

  5. greywarshark 5

    We get a bit tired of people who take no interest in the people round them having difficulties for decades, then who want someone else to inform them.

    <i<I don’t suppose any one is asking why so many grandparents are having to raise their grand kids?

    You are right that there isn’t any one here asking. Because the others have been doing their homework and you haven’t.

    The reasons are always a mixture. So not just one thing for everyone.
    1 But probably following peer pressure and societal encouragement through constant exposure on TV to glamourous and sexy stories, there has been a desire to experiment with sex and ‘be grown up’. And not enough awareness about using condoms or contraceptives regularly. And the curiosity and emotional pull towards having sex, and not delaying till older. Pregnancy has arisen.

    2 There have been good cases of post-childbirth education for more NCEA credits that some have been able to utilise and find a sense of purpose and attainment there, and also feel not so isolated with the baby and its demands.

    3 Binge drinking, experimenting with mixed drinks, someone doctoring drinks and then intoxication and then unexpected, unthought-through sex. Same with drugs,
    the everbody’s doing it, its cool syndrome.

    4 Two of the daughters had gone to jail. They may have been involved in a gang
    situation, an it was one that criminality has been the way of life. So they have been prosecuted and GrandMum is looking after some disturbed children.

    And so on. So many things can go wrong. And if the young woman is as ignorant as you are Chris, then there is the big possibility that she will try sex and not be ready with the safeguards against pregnancy.

    And adopting out your child, or having an abortion. That would mean GrandMum or Mum didn’t have the child to look after. There isn’t the right or wrong road, it takes serious thinking and there will be difficulties and sadness.

  6. greywarshark 6

    This an un PC song but still loving about difficult times in a working family and Cilla sings well.

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