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Surprising opposition to food stamps

Written By: - Date published: 6:31 am, August 18th, 2011 - 77 comments
Categories: welfare - Tags:

Who said: a payment card for people on a benefit that forbade alcohol and tobacco purchases would require moral judgments by the Crown, would be highly intrusive, would rob individuals of freedom of choice, and would impose an enormous administrative burden on Work and Income, and there was no need to change the way in which welfare is paid or assessed?

The answer may surprise you.

It was Paula Bennett 5 months ago.

How times change.

Now she’s all for a card that will, somehow, prevent a few thousand people who aren’t legally allowed to buy booze and cigarettes from, um, buying booze and cigarettes … oh, and takeaways. Of course, they’ll still have cash component of their benefits to buy these things should they want, and there’s a hundred ways to convert the things you can buy on these cards into things you can’t buy.

If it was a stupid idea for the reasons Bennett listed five months ago, why isn’t it now?

And, moreover, how would it actually work? Presumably, it will mean the sellers need some kind of electronic hardware and software to read the card and block any purchase of certain barcodes. Sounds complicated. Sounds like no-one but the supermarkets would bother – it is only 1,600 people, after all. Sounds like if you’re on the IYB and you don’t live near a major supermarket, you’ll be stuffed. Sounds like GST off fresh fruit and vegetables would be pretty straightforward by comparison.

Note to Labour: why haven’t you put the letter on Red Alert so we can see it?

77 comments on “Surprising opposition to food stamps”

  1. chris73 1

    Is this like Phil Goff ruling out CGT last Feb?

    • Bored 1.1

      Good morning Orcus Secuutus. Anything wise to add? Maybe not.

    • The Voice of Reason 1.2

      Nope, because Bennett is right now in power and implementing a policy that she personally finds repugnant. Goff never claimed CGT was intrusive, expensive and a removal of freedom of choice. Any other pisspoor lines you wanna try out, chris?

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        chris73 needs another cup of coffee this morning before he wakes up.

      • chris73 1.2.2

        Spin it whatever way you like but thats what most swing voters will think (as well as thinking Bennett screwed the pooch big time)

  2. tsmithfield 2

    “Surprising oppostion to food stamps”

    What is “oppostion”, and why should I be surprised about it?

    • Bored 2.1

      TS, place brain in gear and think. Dont go too hard, it is best to start exercise slowly or strains result.

    • lprent 2.2

      Fixed the typo. Bearing in mind the time that post was entered I am unsurprised.

      Bu I see that you don’t want to talk about the content of the post. Kind of interesting that such a weak-arse policy does actually have opposition from within National’s ranks.

      • tsmithfield 2.2.1

        Unlike Labour, people in National are allowed to have their own thoughts.

        • bbfloyd

          look ts…look! the sky is falling in wellington!!! that wasn’t an eggshell tat hit you on the head… it’s reality!!! oh no…… the sky is FAAAALLINGGG.

        • The Voice of Reason

          “Unlike Labour, people in National are allowed to have their own thoughts.”
          And the amazing ability to change them to the exact opposite as soon as they are told to do so by John Key. I imagine the conversation inside Bennefit’s head was not unlike the announcements in Orwell’s 1984:
          We are at war with Eurasia. We have always been at war with Eurasia. I repeat, we are at war with Eastasia. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

        • aerobubble

          National ideology says government bad so government should only concern itself with staying out of the private sectors way.

          Then surprise surprise a bureaucrat PM decides to blame the poorest for their lack of jobs.
          Much like any bureaucrat who doesn’t believe in doing their job and so blames the victim
          of their poor management. A victim who has neither the policy advisors, power, or
          influence even to knwo there is a problem.

          The youth poor are not responsible for the massive debt, they could no more buy alcohol
          legelly than take on debt legally (except with WINZ).

          So its arrogant and hypocritical for government to justify itself when it ran into
          government wanting to stop the loss of choice over which light bulb I can buy.
          Oop, light bulbs not covered by the food card? Could be traded for grog.

          So you see its sticks in every National voters throat, Key blaming them for the lack
          of jobs, because many of them are fearing losing theirs, or have lost theirs.

        • lprent

          I hadn’t noticed. Of course I do tend to mostly see them (party members) here. It usually seems to me that they are like Paula B – their opinion depends what John Key said last.

          The problem I see is that almost all of the National MP’s that I had a modicum of respect for appear to have left parliament. What we appear to have left are the brown-nosing sycophants troughing it like Murray McCully.

        • mik e

          TsThey obviously aren’t very good ones so do your self a favor and keep them to your self. or come up with something original like the politics of envy.

        • RobertM

          Very unlikely considering the stagemanaged conferences. Independence for \Nat members ceased about the time of Muldoon. Since then its largely been a conservative, fundamentalist party with a few weak Kneeded catholics like English and Finnalyson.
          The benefit and food stamp card idea is of course popular with the Labour redneck crossover vote from Labour. The problem of 16 and l7 year olds on unemployment or health benefits is really a distinct problem from the rest of benefiicary issue economically and socially. I don’t neccesarily have any problems with healthy 16 and 17 year old females getting married or breeding after all Keisha Castle Hughes did and so did many Generals wives as recently as WW2. Film stars often married 16 year old including Charlie Chaplin, who married my grandmothers namesake the other Mildred Harris,16 before l920. My grandmother also a Chaplin siren, advertised in the British Press she was not the Mildred Harris marrying Chaplin.
          But really the male 16 and 17 year olds should be in school, in vocational training or locked up.
          Discipline in classes should be enforced. most as in Europe should learn foreign languages-French, German, Chinese, japanese or Indonesian and that requires quiet disciplined classrooms. For the dumber half even corporal punishment may be necessary. THe PPTA attitude that its desirable to keep disruptive pupils and bullies in school is nonsense, they damage many others chances. So I don’t think their should be a dole or benefit for those under 18, possibly just a $100 allowance for those doing vocational training. Real criminals should be in jail from the age of 14.

          • Vicky32

            Robert, I don’t know where to start! You’re the guy with a yen for sex with teens, aren’t you? Hence the rage against religion…
            It may surprise you to know that if you’re 50+ (and internal evidence suggests you are) you’ve got no chance of getting a 14 year old girl to want to have sex with you, even if you have locked up all the 14 year old boys! 
            Stop typing one-handed, and address the point of the post.

            • RobertM

              Outright slander. Ive never had sex with anyone under 18 and would not be comfortable unless their 20. I have long thought Vicky 32 should be banned from all left sites- she would fit in much more comfortably with the National Front or some extreme fundamentalist organisation.

              • Vicky32

                I have long thought Vicky 32 should be banned from all left sites- she would fit in much more comfortably with the National Front or some extreme fundamentalist organisation.

                Issues much? Your sick remark about putting 14 year old boys in prison shows where you’re coming from. I am a leftie, you’re not. Full stop!

  3. You guys (Chris73 and TS) are up early today.  Feeling a little sensitive?

    And tell me, why should matters of principle not apply to 16 and 17 year olds. 

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Well if they were 16-17 year olds of rich parents living in nice families and nice houses, then matters of principle would certainly apply.

      • Tigger 3.1.1

        They’re sensitive because every right winger I know thinks this idea is further proof that John Key is now leading they Nanny-tional Party. They can’t use the whole Nanny State dog whistle against the left now – and it’s killing them.

        • Marjorie Dawe

          I object to the nanny state comment Tigger. I look at Nannies as being kind and benevolent whereas Daddies are usually the ones who mete out the tough punishments. I wouldnt like to insult Nannies at all and would prefer the term “Daddy State” which truly reflects the harsh and “Daddy is the boss” nature of this policy. LOL

    • chris73 3.2

      Sorry to give such a boring reply but I started work early this morning so I got up earlier then normal so I jumped on the net early as well

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    5 months ago Paula was opposed to nanny state, but now she has been rolled in cabinet she merely has to make sure her lips move at the same time as the ventriloquist

    • She could at least have the decency of being embarassed.  But I guess when you operate in a principle free zone changing your mind on issues is not a big thing.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Like all female National Cabinet Ministers she is told what to think and when to think it by the men.

        • Bill

          I reckon you’re being a tad unfair there CV.

          While what you say probably has some truth to it given the gender (im)balance in National, it’s a fucked up outcome of heirarchical organisations that, in an attempt to appear unified, quash dissent and impose ‘party lines’.

          No dynamism. No creativity. Just plodding fucking dinosaurs that won’t die.

          And it applies to the parliamentary left as much as the right. And the scores of ‘authoritarian’ left sects that (unfortunately, to my mind) continue to pepper the landscape.

          It all results in disempowerment – a hi-jacking of political discourse – and the de-politicisation of the majority of people who, lets face it, don’t have a natural inclination to walk in lock step.

        • jackal

          National has female MP’s… Which ones?

          Administration = $24 m ÷ 1,600 = $15,000 ea. Is that value for money?

          • mik e

            They could set up a scheme like in Onehunga and get them all transitioned into a job at that price .But then they would have no one to scape goat and punish to get the Redneck hairs standing up.Joyce lord HAW HAW is behind this knows theirs vote to be had .

        • Vicky32

          I agree, CV!

      • bbfloyd 4.1.2

        mind?? bennett??? now i am confused..

  5. Bill 5

    Maybe during the five months some ‘bright spark’ reckoned they’d figured out a way around the administrative problems? And was convincing enough for a pilot scheme to be launched?

    The rest of what Bennet said appears to be ideological kneejerks.

    Supermarkets already deal with food cards. It is already the case that neither alcohol nor cigarettes can be bought with them. (And that might work simply by informing check-out operators that they don’t sell cigarettes or alcohol to anyone under age or to anyone with a green card.)

    The only difference being suggested is that a dollar amount is loaded onto the card every week instead of when a beneficiary claims to have no money left for food due to having had to spend their money on other things.

    And it is already the case that the card can be loaded via telephone. (I don’t know quite how that works, but imagine that if it would be a small step to hook ‘registered’ cell phones and some text scenario into the scheme of things).

    As to why such a scheme is attractive? Savings for WINZ that are somewhere north of the $80 million per year mark. (And damn the effects on people).

    So two ideological standpoints were in contradiction to one another and one had to prevail. And cuts in public spending is more fashionable than (so-called) freedom of individual choice at the moment.

    edit. As for GST. Beneficioaries tend to buy frozen veg. Not fresh. And 15% won’t alter that.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      As to why such a scheme is attractive? Savings for WINZ that are somewhere north of the $80 million per year mark. (And damn the effects on people).

      That’ll fund a tax cut of $80K p.a. to the thousand richest people in NZ! Awesome!

    • just saying 5.2

      As to why such a scheme is attractive? The electoral advantages shouldn’t be overlooked. The hate campaign against those beneficiaries who are not on super, or getting WFF is a foundational part of National’s election strategy, and it’s all win-win.

      Every time National makes this kind of move, and Labour doesn’t protest, it moves Labour further to the right, further alienates the poor and social democrats from the party, solidifies the hatred vote (and that’s a small sub-section of those who would agree with the move). And very importantly too, makes Labour look weak, as only a leader too afraid to stand up for one of its own from bullies can look. Labour is forced to collude in a kind of secondary victimisation, that makes it incredibly hard for them protest when such an action is inevitably ratchted up a few more and a few more notches.

      This kind of strategy allows National to publicly position Labour where it wants it, and debase it in the process. Handbag poodles spring to mind. Not a good look in an election campaign.

      • Bill 5.2.1

        I think Labour doesn’t protest because they kind of agree with the shit.

        You’ve pointed it out in previous comments, as have I and others, that Labour showed by its actions that it didn’t give a toss about beneficiaries.

        However, given the vague public perception of Labour (that it ‘cares’) and the mileage they get from that perception – or myth – they can’t go around overtly hammering beneficiaries. Their duplicitious covert attacks on the financially weakest was pretty evident though in their wff policy and their (almost) under the radar implementation of Temporary Additional Support.

        They’re happy for National to make hay on the benefits front but only because they themselves couldn’t have taken the hit it would have entailed for them had they done it. (Different constituencies/expectations).

        • just saying

          I agree that those with power in the Labour Party, and certainly most, if not all of its parliamentarians don’t care. The poor in genreal, and beneficiaries in particular became “acceptable collateral damage” to them a long time ago. But the membership and Labour supporters by-in-large either care or like to think that they do. There are many Labour supporters here who I believe care deeply. It’s the Labour Pary movement that I was talking about, activists and all, that I was talking about as being pushed to the right.

          Those with power within that movement are becoming less and less constrained by the desire to appear to care. The mythology you mention is unraveling and Labour is repeatedly exposed by National in policies such as this one, as standing for nothing more than the mere possibility that they might do less harm. This looks weak because it is weak.

      • mik e 5.2.2

        NO they don’t they want young people working .Labour has always done better employment. just look at the stats going back to the 1930s labour has had lower unemployment except for the second term when that left wing bastion Roger Douglas was in power!

    • Vicky32 5.3

      As for GST. Beneficioaries tend to buy frozen veg. Not fresh. And 15% won’t alter that.

      I assume you don’t know why? Because it’s cheaper, at least that’s why I buy frozen veges in preference to fresh. Cauliflower $2.78 for a half, frozen mixed veg (on special) $3.99. The cauli might last me 2 meals but the frozen veg will last for 6+… 15% might alter that, because I vastly prefer fresh, broccoli for choice…

  6. I have an alternative spend for the $24m needed for the policy that I believe will have a much more beneficial effect for our society.  Spend it on breakfasts for poor primary kids instead.  By my calculations it could pay for 50,000 kids school breakfasts each year.  Imagine the improvements in behaviour and learning this would cause.
    Way better than trying to administer teenagers into jobs that do not exist.

    • Bill 6.1

      Better still. Allocate the $24 million (and then some) to increasing the levels of core benefits.

    • vto 6.2

      Yes, agree 1,000%

    • Wouldn’t it be better addressing the core problems rather than just resorting to band aid solutions?

      The state should not have to spoon feed breakfast to kids.

      Providing food for children is a pretty basic role of parenting. Is it known how much of it is due to lack of parenting and how much is due to lack of money?

      • mickysavage 6.3.1

        The last time I checked the best way to address the core problem of kids not having enough to eat was to feed them.  It ain’t a band aid, it solves the problem.  It lets kids learn better and improves their health.

        If the state should not spoon feed breakfast to kids then why should it spoon feed money to teenagers and tell them how to spend it?

        Who cares why it happens.  It does.  Something should be done about it. 

        • Pete George

          Feed them lunch and dinner as well? What about the weekends. Free happy meals?

          The most basic responsibility of a parent is to provide food for their children. There is something very wrong if that’s not happening. Should the state change nappies as well? Provide wet nurses? That would be real nanny state.

          A lot of poor parents manage to make sure their children are fed, that’s, like, a bit of a priority.

          • jackal

            I take it you don’t approve of National’s Nanny state agenda Pete George? You might not be aware that many kids aren’t getting food because many parents have to decide whether they pay the rent and bills or buy food each week. Being that you cannot receive the dole if you do not have a place of residence, the priority is keeping a roof over your families heads.

            According to a recent OECD report, New Zealand rental properties are overpriced by 43%. That means the majority of peoples benefits go to the landlord. A recent BRANZ study puts the amount of NZ houses that are not maintained properly at 59%. That means people are paying too much for their badly maintained rental properties that are cold and damp and make them sick.

            I know there are parents who do not look after their children properly, but when you factor in high inflation on food, huge rental costs, increases to power prices, gas prices and pretty much everything that people have to purchase to survive, then one can conclude that many parents are not looking after their children properly because they simply cannot afford to.

            It seems to be a favourite pass time of RWNJ’s to stigmatize beneficiaries and say they do not prioritize their finances, but my question to you is to provide relevant data and/or studies that show beneficiaries are not spending their money properly? The simple fact of the matter is that they do not have enough money to begin with, that’s why their children go hungry.

            Is it any wonder that we have social dysfunction when poor families are getting such a shit deal?

            • Pete George

              You may have missed my question a few posts up.

              Is it known how much of it is due to lack of parenting and how much is due to lack of money?

              And I’ll add – how much is a lack of money due to a lack of good management of money.

              Many poor parents manage to care for their kids very well on limited budgets, they make sure they have the necessities. Some don’t. It would be useful to know how many.

              • jackal

                I did previously see your comment Pete George.

                My point is that there’s no relevant data and so the assumption of RWNJ’s that people on benefits are spending all their money inappropriately is exactly that, an assumption.

                Stigmatizing all beneficiaries without proper information is like saying all rich people are money grubbing arseholes who care only about money. Generalizations are not helpful in finding solutions for what is a problem that cannot be ignored.

                Many poor parents do indeed manage to look after their families adequately. They often manage to bring up healthy and well rounded adults that are not stigmatized because of a lack of funds. They are lucky and buck the trend of impoverishment normally leading to social dysfunction and jail.

                A percentage of families do not manage because benefits are very low in comparison to the cost of living, and their circumstances do not allow them to feed, clothe, school and meet the emotional requirements of their children properly. We can blame them or the system for 20% of New Zealand children currently growing up in poverty.

                Personally I think it’s the system that has disadvantaged people and trapped families in poverty. Can you honestly argue that anybody would choose to live in squalor and not be able to feed their offspring properly? They have been disadvantaged, and the cost of repairing that mistake is going to be huge and ongoing. National’s delay of not addressing the problem will compound that cost.

                It’s my contention that the amount of families that fall through the cracks so to speak, because of their own decisions are very few. Nobody chooses to be poor, and under normal circumstances they do not chose to starve their children either. A stupid card will do nothing to remedy the underlying dysfunction the system has caused.

          • mickysavage

            Geez Pete

            You are all for spending huge amounts of money making sure a few teenagers do not buy fags but totally against spending the same amount of money making sure many more kids get breakfast.

            You on the one hand say that teenagers have to be controlled but on the other hand are saying that it is ok to let kids starve.

            Who cares what the problem is, whether it is poverty or “lifestyle choices”.  Why not feed the kids?

            If it allows good parents a bit extra cash and at the same time allows delinquent parents to buy more alcohol then so what. 

            • Pete George

              You must be mistaking me for a “support everything a party proposes” drone. I’m not sure about National’s approach to welfare, they’ve only released a smal amount of policy so far.

              I think you misjudge a widespread sentiment – it really grots a lot of people off to see children poorly treated by parents who waste taxpayer money on booze, fags and pokies.

              It’s a complex issue, and it’s very difficult finding workable solutions, but one approach that no government has or will support is just handing out more and more money. It always has been targeted to an extent, and it needs to be better targeted and it will help those children and parents in real need if some didn’t waste a lot of assistance.

              • Colonial Viper

                You must be mistaking me for a “support everything a party proposes” drone.

                No, but you are a drone, and that is also exactly what you do in your comments.

                Pete George = a Man of the People for the People (spew)

              • Vicky32

                it really grots a lot of people off to see children poorly treated by parents who waste taxpayer money on booze, fags and pokies.

                That these parents “waste taxpayer (sic) money on booze, fags and pokies” is your assumption, not a proven fact. I am reminded of this close-to-obese bus driver who forced to endure his paean of praise to John Key when I was on  my way to Parnhell a few months back. He spent the trip in equal parts praising NACT and whining about how much he hated his sickness beneficiary brother who (he thought) was a malinger! (I doubt this git had even finished high school). If I was as good at cutting people down to size as my son is, I’d have asked him what medical school he’d graduated from that he knew his brother was swinging the lead!

              • mik e

                PGThis is nationals employment policy borrow hope and bash {brash]

        • Bill

          When I was a kid everybody got school meals. (Can’t remember ever seeing a ‘packed lunch’). Those kids whose parents were on low incomes didn’t pay. Yes, there was a stigma attached to those kids, but those kids wouldn’t have been known if a slightly different collection system had been used. I remember that it was the teachers who collected the dinner money from us kids at the start of the week in primary school by calling our names in class…which made the free dinner kids stand out like dog’s bollox. Totally unnecessary if unintentional (not) name and shame.

          And school meals were the norm right on through secondary or high school too.

          • Pete George

            Totally different to my experience, except for a while milk was provided.
            I presume you are talking about lunch and not breakfast.

            It’s a bigger problem if pre-schoolers and babies are not getting sufficient decent food and nutrition. The real problem can begin at birth – or before. That’s where the most atention should be given, and if it can be rectified in the first 1000 then ithere’s far less a chance of it being a problem by the time the kids get to school.

      • bbfloyd 6.3.2

        exactly….. so why aren’t your heros doing a fuckin thing about those “core” problems??

        or are you another numbnuts who thinks that all these people are just too lazy to find those THOUSANDS of jobs that they created? therefore deserve to be treated like cattle..?silly question really…. we know you are..

  7. Craig Glen Eden 7

    Exactly Mickey $24m being spent on big stick measures. This from the party that believes in individual responsibility supposedly . How does more state control assist individual responsibility in in these 16=17 year olds. This is desperate politics from a party that stands for nothing and has no idea on how to address the issues facing the Nation.

    Time for John the con to RUN off on holiday for a very long time, his game time has come to an end.

  8. vto 8

    I really do not know how politicians do this shit.

    It is no wonder they end up with wringing hands, sweaty brows and twithces and tweaks. Benson-Pope had a good one of those.

    I guess what that shows is that you need to be very very very very good at not telling the truth.

  9. Tangled up in blue 9

    To me it seems that she wasn’t talking in the context of it applying to 16-17yr old only.

    But nonetheless the card is a pragmatically useless election stunt.

  10. Micromanaging youth is designed to discipline them as a potential threat to social order. It will have the effect of criminalising them as they inevitably rebel against this discipline and so create an ‘anti-social’ target for the rednecks to villify while the banskters rip off the rest of the nation’s assets. Keyword ‘fascism’.

  11. weka 11

    Here’s a copy of the letter (copied off the tv3 video)

    Dear [      ],
    Thank-you for your email which I received in my office on 22 February 2011 about a special credit card payment system for all people receiving a benefit. You suggest that alcohol and tobacco be forbidden purchases.
    You may be unaware that there is already a payment card in place where for any food grant that is made alcohol and tobacco are forbidden.
    I would like to explain that a  key principle of the benefit system is that benefit payments are payable to the individual who qualifies for that assistance. Youre suggestion would require the Crown to make moral judgements about the appropriateness of each decision. Such oversight by the Crown would be highly intrusive and rob individuals of their freedom of choice. Spread across the entire benefit system, this kind of oversight would impose an enormous administrative burden and cost upon Work and Income. Most people do not receive a benefit for a long period of time and move into work as soon as they can.
    It is most unfortunate that there is a small minority of income support recipients who do not use their monies prudently. I cannot agree that this should change the way welfare is paid or assessed. These people are generally well known to Work and Income and are often under the watchful eye of other organisations such as budgeters and welfare groups.
    Thank you for taking the time to write. I am always interested in receiving suggestions.
    Yours sincerely
    Paula Bennett


    • freedom 11.1

      “It is most unfortunate that there is a small minority of income support recipients who do not use their monies prudently. I cannot agree that this should change the way welfare is paid or assessed.”

      even if placed specifically and directly onto the 16-18 year olds currently being sent through the dock-yards for tagging, this letter shows she has done a sweet 180 on her values in five short months.

    • Vicky32 11.2

      That letter goes to show that some “concerned citizen” wrote to Petulant Bean, suggesting some ideas he had for further benny-bashing..
      I wonder if he is the kind of person who has the WINZ ‘allegation line’ on speed dial?

  12. randal 12

    I guess she is now a believer in what mathew hooton calls “rebstocks theories”?

    • Bored 12.1

      Go wash you mouth out Randall, mentioning two nasty things in one sentence…unclean, unclean.

  13. Red Rosa 13

    OMG – if pensioners are denied their booze, there really will be a riot…;)

  14. Treetop 14

    I have done a bit of detective work to find out what is currently available through WINZ to pay for weekly expenses before a person receives their benefit. I was unable to find the following form in the download section for WINZ forms, but could find the Appointing of Agent Form.

    Redirection of Benefit Payment
    V19 – Jan 2011.

    Before I go into the contents of the form I do not know if it is a new form or an updated form or if there was a print run of the form in Jan 11.

    Redirection of benefit payment is where part or all of your benefit is paid to another person or organisation; please complete this form if you want this to happen. Requests will only be approved in special circumstances and for good reaon.

    You will need to show us why you need Work and Income to pay part or all of your benefit to another person or organisation, and why you can’t use other options, such as paying by direct debit or using your bank’s automatic payment service.

    The other person or organisation who receives your payments doesn’t have any power to act on your behalf in relation to the rest of your benefit or other dealings with us. If you want to give extra powers to another person or organisation, such as letting them access your Work and Income file or having them act on your behalf with Work and Income, you will need to complete an Appointment of Agent Form.

    When you apply for a redirection of benefit payment you will need to:

    Complete this form, including giving the reasons why you need to have part or all of your benefit paid to another person or organisation and what alternatives you have tried.

    Attach proof to support your application, for example, a recommendation from a doctor or a budget advisor, a tenancy tribunal decision, or proof from a bank that they will not provide the service you need (such as not allowing you to open an account or set up automatic payments).

    Attach proof of the bank account of the person or organisation that you want to receive your benefit payment.

    Have the person (or a representative of the organisation) who will receive part or all of your benefit to sign this form to show they agree to the redirection.

    Some of the questions in the form would deter most people from using a Redirection of Benefit Payment form e.g:

    3. Why do you need part or all of your benefit paid to another person or organisation?
    On the side Q3 note: You need to have good cause for this, for example, you are ill and unable to manage your own affairs, or you are having major problems managing your finances.

    4. Please explain what efforts you have made to find an alternative to Work and Income redirecting your benefit payments (ie, using automatic payments or direct debit).

    Bennet can quite easily tweak this form so that people can use this option if they CHOSE to.

    Does Bennet even know that there is such a thing as a Redirection of Benefit Payment form?

    • Descendant Of Smith 14.1

      See my post yesterday re this.

      The Pernicious Food Card

      “Requests will only be approved in special circumstances and for good reason” is there to ensure there is a high threshold before doing this.

      This part of the legislation is the same as in the 80’s when we fought for people’s rights to control their own money.

      Landlords would love you if all it required was simple tweaking:

      Nah I’ll evict if you don’t pay her benefit to me – nope piss off and exercise your legal rights that exist now

      Doctors – No more medical treatment if you don’t pay $10-00 per week

      Childcare providers – no more childcare if you don’t pay up

      Power companies – no more power if you don’t give me $50-00 per week

      Butcher, baker, candlestick maker.

      Wait who’s money is this again?

      And these people have paid taxes – they pay their tax every-time they spend money, every time they go to work, every time they do a part-time job. If they are young their parents did – I pay tax so there is a welfare state for young people, including my own children if they need it, or they will be future tax payers.

      I detest those wankers who somehow think if you lose your job, or if your husband buggers off, or if you become unwell that you are suddenly not a tax payer – you somehow magically move from pillar of society to leech.

      people can use this option if they CHOSE to

      You only refer to the illusion of choice. If you can’t get a tenancy unless you do this what choice do you really have? If you doctor won’t treat you or your counselor won’t see you what choice do you really have?

      • Treetop 14.1.1

        I did read what you and HC had to say yesterday and have no issue with the comments.

        What I meant by tweaking the form was that no reason should be asked by the person (beneficary) who chooses to use it (redirection of payment form) and that it should not be mandatory to use the form or any other system such as a card.

        No other system is required as there is already a system which a person can use in order to ensure that their rent etc gets paid without interference by MSD. The SNG card appears to cover most of the other costs which a person may require.

        What I want to know is who introduced the redirection of payment form?

        • Descendant Of Smith

          Dunno. The form didn’t exist in the 80’s as far as I can recall. As the legislation stood, and I presume still stands, however you couldn’t simply choose to have money re-directed – there has to be a good reason e.g. infirmity, intellectual disability, a history of not managing financially – hence needing support from a budgeter or social worker.

          Banks can do automatic payments, internet banking now exists, you can get off your butt and go pay em yourself, and so on.

          Why would you ever want the state directly paying your bills? It would increase dependency – not reduce it.

          • Treetop

            Why would you ever want the state directly paying your bills?

            If at all possibly only the rent as some landlords banks are not in a lot of areas if you are away from home and not everyone likes to use direct debit or auto authority.

            The teal coloured SNG cards were an experiment and anyone who used the card were not informed as being a research participant.

            Chop the SNG card in two (remove the bar code and identifying number) and post it back to MSD and say you lost the card or a bomb fire night could be arranged in every town which has a Work and Income office.

            I do not like violence so any protest would need to be non violent. I also do not like a person’s rights being walked over.

            • Treetop

              I just want to be clear about my bomb fire night comment. A bomb fire down at the beach so that the teal/green card could be thrown onto it. If no beach a farm paddock and a fire permit.

              Also due to the tiny bank balance margin that those who struggle on, no one can afford extra bank fees.

              I don’t even own an eft pos card and I do not like internet banking.

  15. Marjorie Dawe 15

    This is going to create a whole new growth industry so which of the rich mates will benefit (oops freudian slip) this time when they get this rather large government contract. Will it be tendered openly on the market or will it just be allocated like so many other National contracts. After all, under this government the biggest beneficiaries are those getting corporate welfare.

  16. Gina 16

    Man, paula is now is now a Nanny on steroids. Get out of Kiwis fridges Paula.

  17. HC 18

    My most humble and most urgent appeal to the MPs of the opposition in the NZ Parliament is the following:

    Keep hammering this hypocritical, obviously totally incompetent, repeatedly contradicting, over-paid, under-performing, insensitive “poodle” of the Prime Minister and Cabinet with questions about the letter she wrote months ago, her record as Minister, her performance, her bias against certain beneficiary groups, her presentation of figures about unemployment contradicting the interpretation of such by the P.M. and some statistics, and her total inability to treat the clients that her Ministry is supposed to assist in a manner that is most patronising, judgmental, unsupportive, divisive and unfair!

    We want the truth, we want fairness, reasonableness, respect, a fair chance for all, measures to provide both real training (Training Incentive Allowance for ALL courses), measures to help people into REAL jobs that pay a living wage or salary, not empty grand standing and hypocritical proclamations of no sense, no help, no value and no support.

    Paula Bennett is the most incompetent, most dishonest, most hypocritical of ALL ministers in this government, and she MUST go NOW!

    She is not delivering, not authentic, not honest, not integre to her department and the people she is supposed to help. She is a true liability to New Zealand and must be dismissed forthwith.

    Prime Minister John Key is asked to deliver on this challenge, and if he does not, he should himself resign, call an early election and face the anger of the voters in New Zealand.

    That is how I feel about all this and the rotten government we have tonight.

    Sleep well comrades and folk.


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    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
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  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
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  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
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    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
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    3 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
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  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
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    3 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
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  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
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  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
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  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
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    4 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
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    4 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
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    5 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
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  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
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  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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    5 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    6 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
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    7 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    2 weeks ago