Clear their WINZ debt!

By   /   May 19, 2016  /   36 Comments

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Yesterday many of us heard were horrified to hear of homeless families affected by New Zealand’s housing crisis who have been left with no option other than to take out shockingly expensive short-term loans from WINZ to pay for highly inflated motel costs. These loans accumulate at the rate of over $1000 per week.

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It’s time for action.

Yesterday many of us heard were horrified to hear of homeless families affected by New Zealand’s housing crisis who have been left with no option other than to take out shockingly expensive short-term loans from WINZ to pay for highly inflated motel costs. These loans accumulate at the rate of over $1000 per week.

Families like those of Nicole in need have agreed to this in desperation so that they and their children could stay off the streets in the short term. We have heard reports of people owing up to $60,000 because of this.

They are family people and the amounts of money they’re expected to repay are sometimes in the tens of thousands. Repaying these loans would have a significant and detrimental effect on their ability to break out of poverty and could put their children at further risk. I personally didn’t know WINZ was doing this. The idea that a social welfare agency could put low income people in a position where they have to pay back loans of tens of thousands of dollars is truly mind blowing…

It’s more than mind-blowing, it’s wildly reckless and terribly harmful.

We want New Zealand children to be safe. For kids to be safe, their family has to be safe. We do not want to see people in poverty going to WINZ for help and then being put into an even more dangerous situation of debt and poverty as a consequence.

We need an immediate audit to inform us how many people are in a similar situation and clear the debt of these all of them. Then they need full and total access to housing so that their children are not on the street or living in garages or cars and they are able to break the poverty cycle and provide a better outcome for their children.

We need a detailed independent investigation into the housing crisis and what can be done to remedy the serious problems including the lack of appropriate housing, the out of control housing market, the over-inflated rent rates, the appalling conditions of many New Zealand homes and a plan on how to remedy this that is in the best interest of New Zealand people rather than politicians.

We need to better for the children of New Zealand and we can’t do that until this country is doing better by the families of New Zealand.

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36 Comments

  1. Afewknowthetruth says:

    30 years of ‘neoliberalism’ has generated the expected results: ruined societies throughout the world, ruined environments, and a much bigger gap between the haves and the have-nots.

    Don’t hold you breath for any of the saboteurs and sociopaths who hold the reins of power at both the national and local level to act for the common good. Do be prepared for everything to be made a lot worse by them because it will.

    • Jack Ramaka says:

      The 1% percenters are doing very well the economic experiment has produced the results exactly as planned, seeded in one of the US Universities 40 years ago, was a guaranteed win , win. Especially when you sell State Assets to your crony mates for a pittance.

  2. Towanda! says:

    Yes, clear the debt, absolutely agree. The government should be acknowledging the problem is a consequence of their own policies.

  3. CaseyK says:

    An absolute disgrace – a system that continues to create entrenched poverty. So much for a ‘whole of government approach’ – there is no connection between the way their own policies and situations like this that have significant repercussions for peoples wellbeing. Lets take the recent final ‘expert’ report on children and families (cyfs) which mentions poverty once in the whole report but mentions trauma 110 x, stating the new system will be committed to addressing trauma. In many cases, its policies like these that are contributing to the trauma for families. There are many cases that are not intentional neglect such as being forced to live in a car with your babies because this government cannot think or behave in a connected and humane way.

  4. Mike in Auckland says:

    The CRIMINALS in the Beehive and Government House deserve to be put into chains and put to work to work, earn and pay off the debt they forced upon our weakest!

    John Key should be the head inmate in the work chain gang, and sweat for the rest of his life, to pay for this.

    I have experience with this myself, having had to depend on WINZ, going there to feel humiliated, asking for food hand-outs and also dental costs to be covered. It took me ages to pay the debt off.

    Today John Campbell and RNZ got more info exposing the facts that most of the debt beneficiaries owe is to WINZ and MSD, not others!

    This proves that WINZ under this government drives people into poverty, yes it is the government itself, at other times going on sanctimoniously about loan sharks and so forth. Even the Herald revealed this a while back:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11565259

    And papers reveal, Bennett knew for a year the emergency housing sector was not functioning, and severely underfunded, and did fuck all:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/304288/emergency-housing-sector-'unaccountable

    Meanwhile the sale of Housing NZ homes continues:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/304291/queenstown-state-house-auctioned-for-$665k

    According to MSD there is no need for emergency housing, John Campbell was told by MSD tonight.

  5. Z says:

    These are the people who did as John Key suggested and asked WINZ for help.

  6. Sam Sam says:

    What’s worse is that motel room is a fucking pensioner flat. Or at least it was a pensioners flat until it was privatised.

    • Towanda! says:

      Please tell me you’re joking.

    • fatty says:

      Oh god, NZ is a shithole…

      Do you have some evidence of this Sam?

      I don’t doubt you or what you’re saying for one minute (you’re always on point), but I think this is a major issue and a reliable reference would be great, cheers.

  7. countryboy says:

    God ! That’s deplorable.

    How about we go and visit michael fay, david richwhite, alan gibb, ron brierly ( RIM. That’s Rest In Misery ) 1980’s BNZ executives, members of the wool board, meat board, apple and pear marketing board and now the dairy board. We must also visit roger douglas, jenny shipely, jimbo bolger, ruth richardson and is that fucker quigley still alive? What about bill birch? God almighty!
    Ten thousand people must gather to visit the above for a nice cup of tea and a wee sit down then they can show us around their nice, comfy homes and gardens. Which the worked very, very hard for of course.
    Not at all like the bludging working people who pay disproportionately higher tax rates then watch dispassionately as the above make off with your stuff and things.

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      Grrrrrr… I agree… and them maybe we can all pitch in for a bus to accompany us on ‘ that tour of the gardens’ – one with blacked out windows and handcuffs on every seat.

      Then off to the high court we go with them.

      They then can be subsidized by us taxpayers to live in a very small room to ponder the plight of those sleeping in cars and under bridges with their family’s while they still get to enjoy 3 meals a day and a warm room.

      Albeit one without a view as they are so accustomed to..

  8. Robert Atack says:

    Don’t forget, it gets darker before it turns pitch black.
    We really are in end times, anything is up for grabs.
    You and I are still living the dream.

  9. WILD KATIPO says:

    ………………………………………………………………………………………..
    ‘ It’s more than mind-blowing, it’s wildly reckless and terribly harmful. ‘
    ………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Its more than that – its a fucking disgrace ,- not only that its a type of entrapment.

    How can WINZ or Key and his Natz claim that’s ‘assistance’?

    When knowingly preying on vulnerable and desperate family’s and confident in the fact these people will never , ever be able to pay that back ?

    I say cancel that debt immediately and we as a public DEMAND a public apology from both the chief’s of WINZ and John Key – WINZ for such a treacherous mode of operations and Key for trying ( unsuccessfully ) to cover up his avarice and deceit by painting the picture that WINZ is ‘ there to help’.

    As if he DIDN’T know whats going on out there.

    I – and most of the rest of the country call BULLSHIT.

  10. Richard Christie says:

    People owing WINZ more than a few thousand dollars quickly lose any incentive to find work and (attempt) clear the impossible to repay debt.

    These loans are as sensible Wellington City Council’s proposal to fine beggars.

    It an utterly grotesque situation.

  11. Ask Chris Trotter he’ll tell you how to fix the problem…if he can’t he will ask John Key and John Key will help out I don’t doubt…yeah right.

  12. Mike in Auckland says:

    FFS, where is the solidarity in Auckland, I hear and see none, it is a sick and destroyed social fabric, one jungle fighter against the other, thank you John Key, selling out the Kiwi Dream and dividing us all along income, ethnic, racial and cultural lines.

    You are the perfect divider and ruler, that is why those with vested interests love you, they are the same supporting anti begging bylaws and the likes. New Zealand as it is now is not the country I once came to, it is sold out, destroyed in its heart and soul, and we have a former currency trader turned human soul trader in charge.

    Throw this bastard out and put him into the chains, thanks, stop punishing our weakest, you bastards.

  13. XRAY says:

    National voters must be so fucking proud.

    This is so very wrong and so utterly beyond belief! Loaning homeless people money to pay premium rates for a motel/hotel/motor camp they couldn’t hope to pay for anyway simply to put a roof over their heads and then expect those who have no money to pay it back? This is torture, it’s a slow lingering death watched by an audience who must have taken such absurd joy in creating such misery

    When did WINZ become Loan Sharks?

    Who in WINZ felt empowered enough to think this insanity and cruelty was acceptable?

    That same person or persons must have felt empowered to do so only because someone above them in government allowed them to do this!

    And that someone has to be the relevant minister Bennett and others and of course that minister felt so empowered because the senior ministers above them, English and Key must have given the green light to carry out this filth.

    This sub-human display from the government of New Zealand is staggering. It has to be more than extracting savings because bad debting the destitute saves nothing. It has to be ideology and even worse than that pure vindictiveness and a warped hatred of those who have not succeeded in Nationals eyes and who do not vote.

    The amazing thing is they have kept this shitty sick game hidden until now. How many more of their doctored stats and fucked up ministries will turn out like this?

  14. une bonne femme says:

    This is the end of an era. I remember being a child at a hall in Thames, there was a market on and Bill Birch walked in. Many were in awe, but even at a very young age I noticed the fear in the older women. Was he here to ensure these pensioners with there entreprenureal skills were declaring the income on those preserves? I now understand that was women’s collective intuition they or they sealed a rat… It has always been bad it has just reached it’s limits. The masks are off, the emperor is naked. What are we all waiting for. We know who the bad guys are. It is all an illusion, we the people have the power. Pull out your history books, or google some documentaries before they are taken down, we know what happens next.

    Vive la revolution!

  15. Mike in Auckland says:

    gosh I am lost for words I really feel sick about the country I live in, ths is bad, it should not hAPPEN TO ANYONE

  16. Mike the Lefty says:

    Having people in debt to you is one of the most powerful positions you can be in.
    National knows this and although it publicly wails about student loan debt and WINZ debts, privately it actually likes this situation because it gives them power over the people.
    The power is in keeping the poor sods down and downtrodden, making them feel dehumanised and dependent on the crumbs that you occasionally give them at certain points on the electoral cycle.
    If you want to talk about dehumanisation look at the present government and you won’t need another example – humanity deserted this bunch years ago.

  17. Lara says:

    Middle New Zealand, whatever that is, seems to be under the impression that people living on benefits are on some kind of nice comfy gravy train. That whatever they want or need will be provided by WINZ, that WINZ regularly just give out money to people on benefits when asked.

    Which of course is not only false, it’s almost the direct opposite of what happens.

    When WINZ give money it’s always a loan.

    It always has to be paid back.

    So when the government publishes figures of how much money beneficiaries owe this is part of it.

    People having borrowed money from the only lender who will give for the most basic of needs. Because basic benefits DO NOT cover basic needs like food and shelter.

    This is what you voted for NZ. Three times in a row.

    And all those who didn’t vote? You’re just as responsible as those who voted National. Not voting is essentially supporting the status quo.

  18. Steve King says:

    This is utterly shameful. Orwellian, dystopian. There is a noticeable absence of national party lackeys commenting here. Maybe, with this is issue, they are rediscovering their humanity.

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      No. Its obvious.. they have been warned off .

      That is why the roaring silence on the Panama Papers and the rort of foreign trusts,…

      This is why the silence of homelessness… they enabled it through their policy’s… many others have noticed the lack of regular far right wing fanatics on this blogsite… these are the reasons why….

      And in just these two cases among many more , this is why the MSM are also so silent.

      It is essentially a blackout on anything that would discredit or embarrass this govt.

      • Steve King says:

        Ah yes, WK the silence of homelessness. i think you are probably right.

        Rats.

        I always want to think that people are better than they are. And I keep getting disappointed, because I think we should be better than we are.
        Roaring silence, indeed.

  19. m.gray says:

    who is this government encouraging to buy motels so who will benefit from the Gnats polices not Nzers

  20. mary_a says:

    For those vulnerable Kiwis suffering the ultimate hell with their young families, I can’t imagine what they must be going through, to witness their children homeless, cold and sick, through lack of a reasonable standard of living!

    I am heartsick at their miserable plight!

    What happened to NZ’s point of difference? That was a time when every Kiwi was valued; did a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay; earned enough to provide the basics for families; affordable health care was available, along with knowing the government of the day (Labour and National) was doing its job of taking responsibility for the wellbeing of its citizens, courtesy of the taxpayer.

    But now …? I can only feel shame at what NZ has come down to.

  21. mary_a says:

    So what happens to the working poor, those Kiwis who work almost every hour given them to provide for their families, on dirt low wages, working in awful conditions?

    If they are working, even earning a pittance, is WINZ going to “assist” them, despite struggling to find accommodation? I think not somehow!

    I feel it’s up to the rest of us to get organized, begin to show some solidarity with our less fortunate Kiwi comrades and hit the streets with some civil disobedience and passive resistance.

  22. Call Me Toby says:

    Oh, but don’t you know what the simple answer is to all our social woes? If we sterilize the poor and take away their children (put them to work in factories where their little fingers can be put to good use) and put the mothers to work in massage parlours, then everything is hunky-dory!! It’s so blindingly simple. That’s why certain Righties keep coming up with these solutions, simple answers from simple minds.

    For my next trick, I solve the problem of entropy and keep the Universe ticking over forever!

    Aren’t I a clever little bunny?

    (This post with my simple solution is dedicated to the simplest mind of all, who posts here, Andrew!)

  23. Robert Atack says:

    The ‘people’ that work for WINZ are from the species called Homo Bureaucratus, just like the people that ran the transport system in Germany during the war.
    http://www.commondreams.org/views/2012/07/23/careerists
    The greatest crimes of human history are made possible by the most colorless human beings. They are the careerists. The bureaucrats. The cynics. They do the little chores that make vast, complicated systems of exploitation and death a reality. They collect and read the personal data gathered on tens of millions of us by the security and surveillance state. They keep the accounts of ExxonMobil, BP and Goldman Sachs. They build or pilot aerial drones. They work in corporate advertising and public relations. They issue the forms. They process the papers. They deny food stamps to some and unemployment benefits or medical coverage to others. They enforce the laws and the regulations. And they do not ask questions.

  24. Jax says:

    Perhaps the ugliest of realities so many have finally seen now is that under Key, Rebstock, Bennett and Tolley etc but also unfortunately those in Labour and the NGO’s as well as non voluntary ‘contractors’ a good many have ALL had their part to play in this type of usury.

    Just as it was designed to in the UK and the U.S in the early 80s under Thatcher and Reagan, as soon as generations of people become ‘indebted’ to the ‘government’, ‘council’ or their corporate or private enforcers they are trapped in the inevitable cycle of poverty, ill health, low wage slavery and of course one form of ‘criminality’ or another to feed the penal system and keep the middle earners fearful and watchful.
    They also are of course the ones who the MSM are encouraged to dogwhistle blame but only as designated dependent what they are trying to divert from by those who in my opinion design and introduce yet more policies not only enable these growing groups as whipping dogs, but in many ways fund and encourage what happens.
    By keeping people angry frustrated idle or totally unable to see ways out other than as part of the ‘systems’
    Sporting gladiators/soldiers/ security guards /gangs of one kind or another?
    Every now and then one of their own is required for ritual sacrifice. The big fish like the Madhoffs or the much more minnow versions like the Alex Swynys here..or the sports or police navy or whatever who DONT get name suppression
    For the most part though they mostly almost all become part of an elite ‘protected’ species, and laws are seen to be byepassed, circumvented, ignored or even changed for them, and of course most of that is suppressed.

    More attention to cables needed here.
    And not just left to poor Nicky Hager to carry the weight of that.
    FYI Bryce Edwards has whole wedge to pick through..
    Interesting how far some of the same post politically ambitious ‘type’ in the remaining Nu-LabourNat-Lite core have in my opinion anyway been ‘groomed’ and or picked out for special attention or..
    well just look at the TPPa.
    Certainly isnt the G4 model now is it?

    All those similarly from a very specific top level elite from 11 more countries have potentially been told they will be able to feast off our poor as well as supply their own desperate workers to come here and compete!
    One more thing..
    Whose collective idea was it who decided to make precursor ingredient medication for colds and flu illegal in NZ when it was available for years while surely knowing it legal and plentifully manufactured and supplied in one of our biggest trade partners domestic market?

    One that also has the most increased permanent migrant, temporary student along with India’s, repeat tourists, targeted high roller and moneyed investment groups…resident or not?
    Was it a cross party group?
    Note also how many times state houses are now in news for so called contamination?
    How convenient that is to drag out every time Paula seems to be in a hole
    Just curious?

  25. Jack Ramaka says:

    Brighter Future, Most Popular PM Ever in NZ History?

  26. Andrea says:

    Habitat for humanity?

    Urban ohu?

    Givealittle and collectively buy a big-enough brown or greenfields site?

    Enlist the skills and knowhow of the people who know (and relish) battling the Great Lethargies (aka councils, planners, building codes and other doorkeeper agencies). Make the Lethargies stretch beyond their current cozy limits. Convention and tradition aren’t going to solve this problem any time soon.

    This government largely ignores, or pretends to respond to, protest and petitions. We know that. Subversion seems more likely to result in decent, affordable living spaces/homes and communities.

    Could we try both? (Protest AND action in the direction of/subversion.)

    Acquire what’s needed – collectively and in more than several locations and towns. Then have a lot of rafter raisings.

    We pay the salaries of the building inspectors. Let’s make a LOT more use of them, for more of the citizens than they currently serve. Helpers, instead of the tired old ‘Computer says no’ mobs we endure up and down the country.

  27. Priss says:

    What a perverse society we live in when a government thinks it is fair to saddle the poorest people in our communities with large debts.

    This isn’t the same country I grew up in. Not by a long shot.

    What’s worse is that so many of my compatriots think that this government was worthy to be re-elected twice. Oh my fellow Kiwis, what ails your hearts???



Authorised by Martyn Bradbury, The Editor, TheDailyBlog, 5 Victoria St East/Queen St, CBD, Auckland, New Zealand.