New Lynn Impact against poverty – action

Written By: - Date published: 4:47 pm, September 9th, 2013 - 8 comments
Categories: activism, benefits, class war, democratic participation, jobs, poverty, unemployment - Tags: ,

Last December I reported on the Auckland Action Against Poverty, Advocacy Activism in Onehunga.

I concluded:

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.

8 comments on “New Lynn Impact against poverty – action”

  1. miravox 1

    In another instance of bashing the poor, from the UK (and where the UK goes on policy for the poor, NZ seems to follow).

    With no reference to a vastly more casualised workforce since the GFC and cynical use of zero hours contracts, especially the ones that don’t allow for the acceptance of concurrent contracts, the Department of Work and Pensions is planning on calling in low income workers to berate them for not working enough.

    One million of Britain’s lowest paid employees will be classed as “not working enough” and could find themselves pushed with the threat of sanctions to find more income under radical changes to benefits, the Department for Work and Pensions has said.

    DWP internal documents seen by the Guardian reveal that people earning between £330 and around £950 a month – just under the rate of the national minimum wage for a 35-hour week – could be mandated to attend jobcentre meetings where their working habits will be examined as part of the universal credit programme.

    Some of those deemed to be “not working enough” could also be instructed to take on extra training – and if they fail to complete tasks they could be stripped of their UC benefits in a move which departmental insiders conceded is controversial.

    Anyone who thinks the war on the poor is simply a war on wastrel beneficiaries (of whom they are not) should really be rethinking things.

  2. xtasy 2

    Good work by AAAP, I must say, and I hope that by helping affected beneficiaries they will also send home the message to Paula Bennett and her Ministry, naturally also this despicable, mean spirited government we have, that enough is enough.

    Sadly beneficiaries are treated with contempt by too many, and have been turned into the scape goat for so much, including hungry kids going to school and for child abuse. Moral lectures though are not what is primarily needed.

    A universal guaranteed minimum income with top ups for particular needs would be a start, and thus a basic income everybody can live off. Instead we get stigmatisation, blaming, punishment and even forcing sick and disabled to make efforts to find work on a tight job market.

    At least in the UK there has been – and is – much debate. I wish we would have more of that here. What must also be noted is the fact, that funds for budgeting and support services (often run by advocates) have over recent years been capped or even cut. So while AAAP can somehow still find resources to pull this IMPACT off, many other services are struggling to cope, or even had to let staff go, like Mangere Budgeting Services.

    We know where the ideas and supposed “evidence” for these welfare reforms come from, and reading the following should enlighten those in doubt:

    http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2013/08/28/unums-unaccepatable-influence-in-the-formulation-of-uk-dwp-atos-disability-assessment-regime-letter-to-president-of-the-faculty-of-occupational-medicine-royal-college-of-physicians/

    http://humanrightspoliticanjournal.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/dwpunumatos-scandal-welfare-reform-redress-for-disabled-people-report-by-mo-stewart-wraf-rtd/

    A professor Mansel Aylward and his connections to a fraudulent US insurance corporation are something the NZ media should start to bloody well look at and report on! Aylward was a senior advisor to the NZ government on how to put together and how to implement welfare reforms.

    Also one should consider how the government tends to follow ideological tendencies when forming policies and legal drafts, rather than empirical scientific evidence. Read for instance a recent report by Professor Peter Gluckman, which is rather damning on this:

    http://sciblogs.co.nz/griffins-gadgets/2013/09/03/gluckmans-audit-finds-patchy-use-of-evidence-in-government/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciblogsnz+%28SciBlogs.co.nz%29

    Gluckman’s report in PDF file format:
    http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/The-role-of-evidence-in-policy-formation-and-implementation-report.pdf

    “Worryingly, some officials had limited understanding of the scientific process of knowledge production, or were uncertain about it. In addition, they were not clear on how research-based evidence could be used to support policy processes,” Gluckman writes in his report.

    “Rather, it seemed that some preferred to work from their own beliefs or rely on their own experience. At its extreme, I find this deficiency to be unacceptable. In part, I think these deficits reflect the dire need to build some basic competencies in research methodologies and critical appraisal skills across the public service, and to bolster the leadership ranks with people formally trained in the relevant disciplines.”

    A table he presents shows that MSD are leaving much to be desired in their use of scientific evidence. No wonder we got the welfare reforms that Bennett and her buddies rammed through.

    • karol 2.1

      Thanks for the links and the detail, xtasy.

      I guess AAAP can find resources because they use unpaid volunteers.

      I guess it’s too much to hope that the MSM would cover this action, and report on it accurately.

  3. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    Thanks X, particularly for the info re lack of evidence in policy formation.

    I find the belief that disabled lack good “work ethic” (what IS that statement based on??) particularly disturbing as it assumes attitude of their long term clients is to blame for lack of adaptation for disabilities by employers.

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    Went to that Onehunga activity for a couple of hours and Karol is spot on–“Positive, practical, well-planned, collaborative, good humoured, friendly, inclusive, community-centred action”.

    Several people had actually come over from West Auckland for assistance from the team of advocates. People were really impressed with the change in attitude from case managers (faced with volunteers who knew the law and departmental policy), “never been treated so respectfully at WINZ” one said to me.

  5. karol 5

    Saw quite a few people in AAAP tee shirts around New Lynn centre yesterday – looking friendly and engaging with people in conversations – handing out leaflets. Looked like a great way to engage with the local community face-to-face as part of their practical advocacy work.

  6. xtasy 6

    karol and others –

    here is a new website, with probably familiar info, but perhaps a bit better presented. It is designed as a prospective “blog”, I do not view it as being a blog as such yet, but I presume it may evolve into that. At least some crucial information is there for easy access, and perhaps better to read than some posts on it already on ACC Forum:

    http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/the-health-and-disability-panel-and-its-hand-picked-members/

    http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/medical-and-work-capability-assessments-based-on-the-controversial-bio-psycho-social-model/

  7. Mary 7

    Anything floating around on the latest beneficiary fraud bill that’s just gone to the select committee? It’s indescribably despicable.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government must apologise over rebuild debacle
    The Prime Minister owes the public of Otago and Southland an apology and then he must come up with an unredacted copy of the business case for the Dunedin hospital rebuild, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. "For too long the interests of ...
    2 days ago
  • Government caves to multi-national tax avoiders in the shadows
    News that the Government has secretly caved in to the demands of multi-national tax avoiders come as no surprise, but will disappoint Kiwi taxpayers, says Labour’s spokesman for Revenue Michael Wood.   “It has been revealed that a United States ...
    3 days ago
  • Cheaper to stay at The Langham than emergency housing motels
    Labour’s comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis and ensure there’s enough state housing, means we won’t be paying through the nose for emergency accommodation like the current Government has to, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “National has ...
    3 days ago
  • Government must come clean on water
      News that the National Government is secretly working behind closed doors on its own water charging schemes shows their utter hypocrisy on this issue, says Labour’s water spokesperson David Parker.  “They have been carping on about Labour’s plan for ...
    3 days ago
  • Government pays twice the price for emergency housing motels – with two more on the way
    Under Labour’s plan to build at least 1000 state houses each year, New Zealand wouldn’t be paying more than double the valuations for motels to house Kiwis needing emergency housing, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Under questioning today, ...
    4 days ago
  • HAM shows country needs Labour on housing
    The latest Housing Affordability Measure report shows affordability dramatically worsening for Auckland first home buyers, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    4 days ago
  • Canterbury kids get more support for mental health
    Children in Canterbury and Kaikoura will get dedicated mental health support to help them overcome the trauma of the earthquakes, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We’ll fund an extra eighty mental health professionals for the next three ...
    4 days ago
  • Statement on Julie Bishop’s comments
    It is highly regrettable that the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has chosen to make false claims about the New Zealand Labour Party. I have been utterly transparent about this situation. I stand by my statements this morning that I ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour stands with Pike families
    A Labour Government will stand with the families of Pike River and reaffirm its commitment to safe workplaces by ensuring there will be a Minister responsible for Pike River, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “The Pike River disaster ...
    5 days ago
  • Yes to Sallies – Labour will build more state houses
    The Salvation Army’s latest report ‘Taking Stock’ shows why New Zealand needs a Labour-led Government committed to a massive house building programme, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “When the Sallies say the country needs 2000 extra state houses a ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealanders deserve better than scaremongering over water
    New Zealanders need to hear from National about how they will fund the clean-up of our rivers and lakes for future generations. Instead, National has broadened its scare-mongering, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    6 days ago
  • School Leavers’ Toolkit to equip young people for adult life
    Labour will give school leavers the practical skills and knowledge they need for adult life with a new School Leavers’ Toolkit, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Our teachers and schools do a great job of teaching our children ...
    6 days ago
  • Pay equity to be a priority for Labour
      Labour will make sure that the country’s mental health workers are a priority when it comes to pay equity negotiations, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “It is very important for me to right the wrong created ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s positive education plan
    Today’s announcement on learning support is more tinkering and proof that only a Labour Government will deliver the resources that schools and parents are crying out for, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “We have a positive vision for a ...
    1 week ago
  • Pike footage raises questions over government’s actions
    The Government’s seeming determination to turn a blind eye to new questions about what happened at Pike River Mine is troubling, says Labour’s West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor. ...
    1 week ago
  • Solution to rent rises lies in building houses and stopping speculators
    The spread of rental increases from the big cities to the surrounding regions shows why we need to get on top of the housing shortage build homes our families can afford, and lock out the speculators, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Clean rivers don’t cost $18 a cabbage
    National is falling into a bad pattern of promising the world and not saying how they will fund it, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for honest answer on transport funding
    National needs to explain how they will fund the $6 billion funding gap in their 10-year Auckland transport plan, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for true numbers on overseas speculators
    It’s time for the Government to give accurate figures on the number of houses being bought by overseas speculators, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Raymond Huo. ...
    1 week ago
  • Fair and sustainable trade: A Green Party vision for New Zealand’s trading relationships
    Trade is a cornerstone of the New Zealand economy. It provides us with the things we want and need, and enables us to pay for those with exports that generate business opportunities and jobs. However, it should be recognised that ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Clean rivers for future generations
    Labour will lead a nationwide effort to restore our rivers and lakes to a clean, swimmable state, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand really can do better on health
    Labour’s commitment to affordable access to high quality healthcare will provide a better service for New Zealanders than the current Health Minister, who will not apologise for statements that he made that wrongly criticised hard-working staff in the Southern DHB’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan the answer to motorway chaos
    Labour’s plan to build a light rail network and improve heavy rail and bus services across Auckland is the only answer to the kind of motorway congestion Aucklanders endured this morning, says Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build rail to Auckland Airport
    A world class city needs a rail connection from the CBD to its international airport – that’s why Labour will build light rail to Auckland Airport as a priority, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Let’s get Auckland moving ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is pay equity just too hard for this Govt?
    You are hard pressed these days to find someone that openly admits their misogyny, that men should still be paid more than women. Politicians proclaim that they want to see women paid more, but do their actions back it up? ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s commitment to our Rainbow nation
    The Labour Party has reaffirmed its commitment to New Zealand’s rainbow community with its 2017 Rainbow policy, featuring the goal to end HIV in New Zealand by 2025. Grant Robertson says Labour continues a long and proud tradition of advocating ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s vision for Auckland more than reheated roads
    Labour is more ambitious for Auckland than the reheated set of transport projects proposed by National, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Waiting urology patients are the tip of the iceberg
    The 10 patients waiting for urology surgery at Dunedin Hospital are just the tip of the iceberg, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.  "Hundreds of patients are waiting for follow-up appointments, but they are not deemed serious enough to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Landowners Misled by Maori Party
    Māori landowners are being misled by Government hui being held throughout the country promoting the troubled Māori Land Service (MLS), which underpins the Crown’s unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s Johnny-come-lately approach to multinational tax won’t wash
    It’s a case of baby steps for a Government that still allows multinational companies to avoid paying their fair share of tax, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. “After nine years in government, five years after the issue of multinational ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Auckland congestion up there with the world’s worst
    Traffic congestion is costing Auckland up to $2 billion in lost productivity according to the latest report from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood.  “This is a disaster and underlines the need for ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Experience in Youth Parliament 2016
    Being a Member of Youth Parliament was an unexpected, but fabulous opportunity for me. It provided me a way to connect with other young people who have some things in common, and to learn what it is like to be ...
    GreensBy NZ Green Party
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour backs renters’ call for warm, healthy homes
    80 per cent of renters wish their home was warmer and drier, and that’s what Labour will deliver, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • We can – and must – do better for Kiwi jobs
    Labour has the plan to get more young New Zealanders into jobs and tackle concerns raised in the latest statistics which show an extra 3000 young Kiwis are neither earning or learning compared to the same time last year, says ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Statement from Jacinda Ardern, Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party
    I want to start by giving my thanks to Andrew. His announcement today and the situation we have found ourselves in is not what anyone expected or wanted In my time working with Andrew I know one thing to be ...
    3 weeks ago

%d bloggers like this: