web analytics

WINZ dysfunctional

Written By: - Date published: 12:07 pm, October 5th, 2015 - 22 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, spin, welfare - Tags: , , ,

I guess it’s not exactly news that WINZ is dysfunctional, but its interesting to have some actual data on one of the symptoms:

Complaints about Work and Income up almost 30 per cent under National

Since National took office in 2008 the number of complaints about incorrect information being provided by Work and Income has increased by 122 per cent from 537 complaints in 2008 to 1197 this year.

On top of the increase in incorrect information complaints, there has also been a 62 per cent increase in complaints about Work and Income staff attitudes, and a 66 per cent increase in procedural complaints.

In total, complaints at the Government department have risen by almost 30 per cent from 5695 in 2008 to 7228 this year.

Squeeze any organisation hard enough and of course it will start to break down. The fact that WINZ staff are the front line of implementing the Nat’s beneficiary bashing agenda also doesn’t help of course. Naturally the Nats propose another explanation:

A staggering increase in complaints by Work and Income clients has been written off by a Government ministry who blames the increase on more Kiwis using its services.

“In 2008 there were 850,532 people receiving a benefit from the ministry. This number grew in 2009 to 923,105 with the increase in part attributed to the impact of the Global Financial Crisis and the growth in our ageing population,” a ministry spokeswoman said. To date there are 1,045,837 clients on Work and Income’s books …

An 23% increase [updated for current figure not 2009] in users does not account for a 30% increase in complaints, especially as that increase is due to counting superannuitants who have the least cause to complain. Note that the Nats are always telling us that numbers on the benefit are falling. Now when it suits them they include superannuitants, and lo the numbers on benefits are up!

22 comments on “WINZ dysfunctional ”

  1. greywarshark 1

    I wondered Anthony how come WINZ could say that a higher number of benefit recipients were the cause for a higher number of complaints? WINZ has been saying happily that they have dropped heaps of stitches out of their unravelling security blanket.
    (Nice analogy eh. I give myself 10 out of 10 for that.)

    So us oldies get pulled in to give the appearance of balance on the scales of justice. When it comes to the nation’s welfare we tend to weigh heavy on the scales, so they must have had to juggle a bit to get a steady state reading!

    • Chris 1.1

      There’s no doubt been an increase in the number of people approaching MSD for help but the number of people getting a benefit has decreased hugely. Gatekeeping problem has got out of hand since last big shake-up. Was big enough before but is now MSD’s main MO for reducing numbers. Quite wrong for many reasons but when challenged MSD and government just deny, deny, deny.

      • greywarshark 1.1.1

        There must be many unhappy people out there. And it is interesting how people can get on top of their feelings and have some enjoyment even when times are hard, if there is hope, and some concern and help. The Great Depression is described in some reminiscences as harsh but having camaraderie, and children managed to rise above the difficult times.

        But I think the Min of SW doesn’t do as much for people in need as the governments in the Depression. I think things are worse now because the country is split through.
        On one side a man getting a rise of A LOT through Fonterra (was it $75,000 or $750,000pa), and on the other people are deprived of necessities by WINZ staff on a whim or bad mood because of indigestion or traffic problems on the way to the office.

        • Chris 1.1.1.1

          Many people have now given up applying so the problem has now taken on a new dimension. The likes of Bennett and Tolley just don’t want to know. Certainly evidence that they wanted this to happen from the start. They really must be quite heartless people.

  2. Mike the Savage One 2

    From that stuff.co article:

    “On top of the increase in incorrect information complaints, there has also been a 62 per cent increase in complaints about Work and Income staff attitudes, and a 66 per cent increase in procedural complaints.

    In total, complaints at the Government department have risen by almost 30 per cent from 5695 in 2008 to 7228 this year.”

    I also see a table listing complaints and types of them, and look at the huge increase from the year 2012/13 to 2013/14 in “action taken” complaints.

    That was a 28 percent increase of complaints about decisions WINZ staff made from one year to the following, which will include actions about sanctions, as I may presume.

    Remember that in July 2013 the very draconian new regime started, with the change of benefit types, the abolition of the former “sickness benefit” (merged with others into ‘Jobseeker Support’), and also other changes, including a stronger work ability assessment regime and also social obligations and more harsh sanctions for not meeting obligations.

    But they are not only stuffing up in making decisions based on incorrect information, or by offering incorrect information on a case by case, they present information and supposed “evidence” that is not what it is made out to be. In short, they are misinforming the public about the supposed medical scientific evidence on “worklessness”, on “health benefits of work”, on the risks associated with sickness absence:

    https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/msd-and-dr-david-bratt-present-misleading-evidence-claiming-worklessness-causes-poor-health/

    Or use this link, for a PDF with the same info, for easier reading:
    https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/msd-dr-bratt-present-misleading-evidence-on-worklessness-and-health-post-09-08-15.pdf

  3. McFlock 3

    The 8.5% increase was 2008 to 2009.
    From the article:

    To date there are 1,045,837 clients on Work and Income’s books

    850,532 to 1,045,837 is a 23% increase, by my (notoriously unreliable) math.

    Which is still significantly lower than the 30% increase in complaints – they’ve just increased by half as much again, rather than three times the rate.

  4. infused 4

    I’d expect that under a gfc since not much has really changed.

    You will find the ‘clients’ uptake will be a bell curve over the last 7 years in relation to the complaints.

    Nevermind. OP can’t maths.

  5. red-blooded 5

    McFlock, I think your math may well be unreliable. I make it 18.67%. Still more than 8, but a hell of a lot less than 30.

    • McFlock 5.1

      lol I could well have fumbled it.

      My working was:

      (1045837-850532)/850532*100

      i.e. the difference between 2008 and 2015 divided by the 2008 number, as a percentage.
      So it’s an increase on 2008, not a decrease on 2015

      • Lanthanide 5.1.1

        That is the correct way to calculate a percentage change since a benchmark.

        • red-blooded 5.1.1.1

          Hey – your method may well be correct (I’m no maths whizz). Even your way it still comes up as 22.96, though.

  6. rob 6

    i got a letter threatening me with court action about wages i had received and not declared not long ago and was stressing me out! it was all declared when i earned it BUT wasn’t put into my account until the next month as this particular person does his accounts like that.(not my fault at all) my obligation is to take any work available! i had been told by winz that i had to declare each week regardless. but because the amount was paid in total and fell in the next month i had to explain myself to some dipshit winz person who didn’t really want to listen, just spoke to me like i was scamming them. just complete assholes.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      Yeah, this is a really difficult and typical situation.

      If you follow the letter of the law, you get pinged by idiots who don’t understand their own policies.

      If you just say “these people are idiots, the law is stupid, I’ll just report things in a way that makes sense for them”, then you get pinged for not following the law.

      My sister had similar sorts of problems when she was at university and was entitled to a student allowance. She had a variety of circumstances where some years she worked and other years she didn’t, but none of them were particularly unusual. She said that not one single time did anyone at WINZ correctly determine what she was entitled to – and this was the WINZ branch at the university for whom this should be their bread and butter!

  7. rob 7

    and didn’t complain, so just the tip of the iceberg.
    got a letter today stating i declared $85 a couple of weeks ago and was overpaid buy $3 something on my bene last week so have to pay that back. what a joke, the paper a postage would have coated more than that. they are fucking hopeless

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      “what a joke, the paper a postage would have coated more than that. they are fucking hopeless”

      Yes, but if they didn’t follow this up, a lot of people would quickly work out that they could scam the government out of $3 or $4 here and there. If only a couple of people do it, it’s not a big deal.

      But if a few thousand people do it every week, it soon adds up to a lot of money.

      • McFlock 7.1.1

        well, yes and no – all they need to do is forego a couple and then issue a totalised letter, unless it’s over a “send bill now” threshhold or remains under the “who cares” threshhold

        • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1

          Yeah, I thought of that. Probably make the threshold $5.

          Can’t be too high, because then you’d have people ending up with demands for money they can’t pay because they already spent it.

  8. rob 8

    even if all did it for 3-4 bucks still won’t come to the amount of the millions of tax avoiding pricks.
    seems so unjust me. try to do the right thing, for what!

  9. Kay 9

    Those numbers are just the reported complaints. In reality most of us haven’t got the mental or physical strength to go through the process. If we did, Tolley wouldn’t have a hope in hell of spinning her way out of it.

  10. linda 10

    this is why shot guns are becoming popular at winz

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago