hereto are my opinions, views, and experiences over 12 years of
constant battle with Work and Income NZ (New Zealand Income Support
Services as it was once known). These views and
opinions are expressed pursuant to and under the protection of the NZ
Bill of Rights Act.
New Zealand families include a disabled person.
But if an immediate family member is not disabled then there
is a likely hood that a cousin, aunt, or nephew is disabled and
requires day to day supervision. By that I mean the disabled person
is dependent upon others for support. This is the situation with my
wife Sheryl, who suffers from Residual Schizophrenia - no motivation.
She is solely dependent upon the State for all her financial needs
and is dependent upon myself for her day to day care and in home
and Income NZ's primary purpose has been to save the government money
by disadvantaging the disadvantaged; by ensuring as many persons as
possible who require assistance over and above the basic benefit - a
sickness or invalid's benefit - are refused the help needed to cope
better with their disability.
has Work and Income's cleverly designed ploys to deny sick and
disabled persons their legal and medical entitlements been brought
into the light of public observation and debate. Newspapers are
loathe to print cases in point - probably because every page of the
newspaper would be filled with stories of Work and Income's appalling
denial of meangfull and desperately needed assistance to disabled
is evidenced by the many thousands of deserving people who, through
no fault of their own, are forced to live in a state of paucity until
they die. It is an indictment on
the New Zealand government which has clearly given its approval to
Work and Income NZ to employ all sorts of trick-dickey stuff to
ensure disabled persons remain in poverty, and as a consequence they
remain destitute. Almost none overcome their predicament.
Centre Manager bringing bad news
simple fact is that most disabled people who approach Work and Income
for assistance do not get their entitlements.
Corkery, just after leaving parliament, said that the response from
Work and Income to a beneficiary's request for assistance was similar
to"walking through a minefield."
people who approach Work and Income for assistance and are knocked
back for some reason will often never apply again.
They feel too humiliated or
believe that they have done all within their power to obtain help.
They remain living in deficient dwelling's and unhealthy
circumstances because Work and Income NZ refused to give them
assistance. Often, the reason for refusing assistance is not valid,
but the beneficiary is unaware of this because he is ignorant of
those allowances and grants to which he is entitled., and the
criteria under which they are granted. The
money saved in this manner is given to WINZ employees by way of
bonus's. (where else could bonus money come from). No wonder staff
deny assistance to disabled persons at every opportunity.
encourages this 'dog eat dog' culture. Darren Hughes, a 26 year old
Labour Member of Parliament for Horowhenua, reflects this attitude.
The message I received from his secretary a couple of weeks ago, and
from Mr Hughes during two interviews, was
that legislation means nothing where disability entitlements are
concerned. Misleading statements, diversionary tactics, in fact
anything to ensure that legislation
makes provision for assistance; are not followed.
is ample provision in legislation to enable disabled persons to live
with dignity, comfort, security. However,
to ensure this does not become a reality for disabled persons Work
and Income bosses are constantly revising their coggery and unwritten
policies in order to deny assistance to the disabled.
too long thousands of deserving people have been refused essential
financial help. Each passing day a disabled person is 'thrown out' of
a WINZ office without the assistance he had hoped for, and which he
should have received. Many kiwi's have become conditioned to
accepting being trapped in poverty.
and Income NZ was not set up to assist needy persons, rather it has
been created for the primary purpose of denying as many people as
possible access to legislation which confirms their financial
this end staff are not discouraged from misleading an applicant. And,
if necessary, lie to a needy person who dares to approach them for
help. The word 'bludger' is the label Work and Income staff attach to
all who apply for assistance over and above the meagre basic benefit.
the moment an applicant signs an application for further assistance
every conceivable obstacle is placed at the feet of even the most
needy to deter them from pursuing their lawful entitlement.
is rebuffed and flouted...for truth falls in the street and equity
cannot enter." Isaiah