27 October 2013

Everything 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.

Many 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 treatment.

Work 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.

Rarely 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 people.

This 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.

Service Centre Manager bringing bad news

The simple fact is that most disabled people who approach Work and Income for assistance do not get their entitlements.

Pam 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." How true.

Most 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.

Government's 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 which makes provision for assistance; are not followed.

There 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.

For 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.

Work 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 entitlements.

To 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.

From 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.

"Justice is rebuffed and flouted...for truth falls in the street and equity cannot enter." Isaiah 59:14