WINZ case manager – self appointed medical expert

By   /   June 20, 2016  /   43 Comments

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The case manager looks her straight in the face and says “you don’t look blind to me” then pulls out a piece of paper from her drawer and asks my aunty to read it, as proof that she’s visually impaired. About to explode with rage I sit there allowing my dear Samoan aunty to handle this despicable situation, with the case manager sitting behind her desk, arms folded with that ‘well, go on prove me wrong look’.

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Some months ago I observed some of the most jaw-dropping behaviour at a local Auckland WINZ office. Accompanying my aunty who is legally blind, we went to WINZ to query why her disability allowance had been adjusted. Joining a long queue of about 15 people that morning being staffed by one person, we eventually advised them that we were present and then sat in the waiting area for another lengthy wait. Out pops the case manager who calls out aunty’s name and absolutely butchers this proud Samoan name, we follow her to her desk.

Aunty passes on her details while the case manager enters this into her computer. Before we get the chance to talk about the reason for our visit, she says that a portion of the benefit has been adjusted as we need to provide an updated medical certificate of her condition. Aunty dutifully hands over a signed medical certificate from her GP outlining her condition as has been requested. Pretty straight forward visit we thought. Not so.

The case manager looks her straight in the face and says “you don’t look blind to me” then pulls out a piece of paper from her drawer and asks my aunty to read it, as proof that she’s visually impaired. About to explode with rage I sit there allowing my dear Samoan aunty to handle this despicable situation, with the case manager sitting behind her desk, arms folded with that ‘well, go on prove me wrong look’. My aunty tells her about her respected GP and how this isn’t some sham where she’s faked a medical certificate. She asks her case manager to produce her medical degree as proof that this is an acceptable test on how to prove her disability. A very heated and somewhat ridiculous conversation ensues with the case manager making no sense whatsoever.

WINZ offices are often patronising and belittling, as experienced by my aunty that awful morning. This is only made worse by mainstream NZ media that portray beneficiaries as bludgers who are lazy coupled by ministers of the Crown who throw out peoples personal details when they need a public distraction. All the while there are very real cases of need in our community. To my dismay, my aunty went back a week later after being told to go to a WINZ approved doctor to get yet another medical certificate. That doctor apologised to her for the time she wasted to get further documentation that matched what her own GP had signed only a week earlier.

I wanted to handle this situation so much differently. But it was out of respect for how aunty wanted to approach this case managers plain arrogance and stupidity that we held back. This is the organisation that makes you go to CV preparation seminars and job interview practice courses in the name of preparing you for work – all the while stripping you of any dignity and pride you walked into their office with. And if you don’t attend or are 5 minutes late they cut your benefit. But case managers who test your vision… that has to be a new low for WINZ.

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43 Comments

  1. CLEANGREEN says:

    Efeso

    We see now how the mind set of the mega agency MBIE instructs this agency how to treat clients so Steven Joyce is the main culpable party here in this whole sorry mess of an un caring Government that we need to be rid of in the next election.

    • OnceWasTim says:

      Don’t get me started on MoBIE @ Cleangreen; or MPI, or most other public service entities.
      We don’t actually have government departments or ministries any longer, and haven’t had for quite some time.
      What we have is a number of little to large fiedoms headed by corporate style CEO’s – preoccupied with KPI’s. purchase agreements, box ticking, and so on. It’s a neo-liberal orgasm designed to minimise gubbamint supposedly, and on the promise of things like ‘greater fishinsy n fektivniss; greater countability; depoliticisation; etc. BUT where the exact opposite takes place. It’s a system where the idea of trickle down truly operates. In its early stages the effects are evident in the realm of senior management within the Ceo’s fiefdom (a CEO usually appointed by political party inspired decisions, rather than non-partisan parliamentary decision.) From there, middle management inherit various baubles designed to keep them ‘sweet’, and then over time, where even the frontline peons (either out of fear of their bosses, or the realisation they have got a little power to exercise, or merely because – like so many others, they have mortgages to pay and they need security) …. where the frontline peons become infected.
      The Peter Principle is rife; the concept of actual public service is nowhere in the consciousness; incompetence can be rewarded as long as loyalty to the fiefdom is certain; and nobody is ever held to account (unless there is the potential for something embarrassing to occur) .

      Actually, if I were associated with any of the opposition parties, Public Service reform could be a huge vote winner if handled properly.
      The record (if anyone took the time to look into it – bearing in mind we no longer have a 4th Estate) stands for itself – be it MoBIE’s failings and crass spending on ‘image and ego’; be it MPI’s incompetence – PSA virus, fishing quotas, border protection and so on; be it the latest to do with CYFS (incidently – GOOD example: overworked/under-resourced/qualified-but-inexperienced-at-times-unable-to-see-the-bleeding-obvious); Housing NZ; etc., etc., etc.

      I’m not sure we even have a PS Code of Conduct anymore do we??? If we still do, most would be unaware of it/OR its content – certainly not entities like the NZ Police where (as we’ve seen in the past with various email transmissions), something slightly different was understood – i.e. they apparently thought they had/have there own.

      In short, it all turn to shit in the late 80s’ and has gone downhill ever since.
      You could actually have a field day with examples like Efeso’s. Sometimes I think the neo-libs and the Natzis are not worried about it all because there are now so MANY examples it’d be hard to know where to start and it could all be so easily buried by spinning it as ‘witch hunts’ or some other similar bullshit.

      • In Vino says:

        Well written, OncewasTim. To my mind the despicable modern Ministry of Education has suffered exactly that form of decay, and no longer resembles the superior Dept of Ed that existed until the 1980s. Backside-covering (including those of Minister of Ed and Current Govt) has become the prime objective, despite the effusive expression of highly noble aims.

      • CLEANGREEN says:

        2000% ONCEWASTIM

        I have had a run in with those high powered Ministers who use this shell company for Corporate greed they call MBIE or Ministry of Business Innovation employment we call it instead as Ministry of bullies Intimidation & enforcement Tim which is actually closer to the operational componentry of the all agencies umbrella compliance agency MBIE.

        I am a senior committee member of a long serving Community advocacy NGO who actually was invited by MBIE to work with them.

        The “Principal Project Manager of this large agency did very wide briefs on almost every activity we all confront every day so that was a shock to us how large the reach and influence that the MASTER PROPAGIST Steven Joyce had over us all, through his control of this agency and believe it that he controls everything.

        “The minister of everything” seems to be tickling my brain right now.

        Yes you are very correct as Joyce runs this MoBIE control agency in exactly the same manner as his former role model Joseph Goebbels did his Ministry of Public Enlightenment & Propaganda MoPE&P whom I am sure you have also studied.

        We are now living in a corporate control setting through these mechanisms.

        So as to our end result was that after we submitted our papers they were not used bin any part of the study carried out by MBIE and they in fact cherry picked their referenced materials from other sources (even outside Government agencies) to produce a phoney report to suit their needs, so please do not believe any studies or papers that come from this Government propaganda agency. (After we identified the lack of our reports used the Project manager admitted the study project event failed us and apologised) and we have this in writing, so the agency is a shell for corporate interests run by Joyce.

        I support everything you say as it is true.

        • OnceWasTim says:

          I wonder if you saw any of tonight’s MSM news …. Prime and 3 dealing with an Indian student.
          And a Joyce – acting all surprised (about as genuine as a 2 bob watch). I was astonished at the gauche prick. I’ve got so many examples of such you could use them as quake-proof, solid foundations in Christchurch.
          Not just the ‘Immigration Consultant industry’ – clipping the ticket for filling in a few forms at HUGE cost (btw – some in the legal profession are not only enablers, but ACTIVELY involved); or under-resourcing of the Inspectorate; or whether or not it’s even appropriate for this Public Service entity to be within this bugger’s muddle of a Munstry; Or, Or Or …….
          But hey!! (as they say – they’ve got this farking awsome rounded screen greeting you all when you visit the Stout??/Balance? St office, and it really really really was needed – if only to affirm the length of the CEO’s dick. It’s probable some consultant also told them they needed ‘break-out’ rooms, and a coffee shop and cafe downstairs, going forward – check! Dey got three or four of dem too!)
          I keep in touch with many of the victims of this total fuck-up though – often they’ve been deported or, usually have departed voluntarily – the stack is building (whether its an engineer who specialises in foundation work, who came here thinking a NZ bizzniss course would be worthwhile and who was TOTALLY ripped; or whether its the many others who’ve encountered our education “industry” – such as it’s become). Sometimes I feel ashamed to be called a NZer.
          The thing about these departmental ‘masters of the Universe’, and their corporate equivalents, is that they’re usually so fucking arrogant, they truly believe they’ll never be touched, and they can take it all with them. Occasionally when they are ‘touched’ – usually with a wet bus ticket – it’s everyone else’s fault.
          I’m guessing (just as an example), the only reason we’re trying on an FTA with India atm is that there’s a Modi in power. (And even then it ain’t going to be plain sailing).
          Whilst corruption is rife there, at least its overt (and sort of honest) – here, it’s covert and dishonest. They better get it done quick as, because there’s one thing you better believe about India, and that’s that they hail and protect the idea of citizenship and nationality – the assholes and the decent et al.
          (Ripping off a citizen ain’t going to go down well in future)

          But it’s why I made the comment above. In our system
          – There is no protection (long term) for assholes
          – Whilst we subscribe to the primacy of the nation-state, and the rule of law, it’s only time, and evidence, and political will that will hold them to the account FOR WHICH THEY SIGNED UP FOR (usually with very high remuneration)
          – And whilst we subscribe to that primacy, any newly elected government that represents its citizens doesn’t have to be held to a previous regime (I’m thinking TPPA: We just signify intention and fucking LEAVE! and we do so acknowledging that the negotiations were not undertaken in a manner that fits with representative democracy). Fuck it ,,, two finger salute et al.

          But back to the Public Service. Basically it isn’t. It hasn’t been since the mid-late 80’s.

          There is a real opportunity for opposition parties to promote reform – and in a big way.
          (you know – basic things like a code of conduct that firmly states policy over things like conflicts of interest; or obtaining benefits resulting from position; or behaviours that could bring the service into disrepute; or using position for personal gain; or or or or

          (I said above: Don’t get me started!) 🙂
          You did

          • CLEANGREEN says:

            3000% Tim you are nearly reaching Country Boy and Wild Katipo’s literacy genius welcome aboard.

          • Andrea says:

            “to promote reform – and in a big way.”

            That most definitely started with the wondrous ‘Labour’ government of the 1980s.

            In the name of ‘representation’ and ‘fairness’. That’s what they said, anyway. But the drone numbers just kept rising.

            Then they got into ‘restructuring’. The wise old heads with the corporate knowledge and the ability to ignore the aspirations of the temporary public servants (aka politicians) were paid off, or paid less. The ambitious thrusters brown-nosed and belched corporate-speak like a fouled diesel engine.

            That’s when it died.

            Thanks, ‘Labour’. Thirty-plus years and you’ve learned NOTHING.

    • crystal says:

      Visiting WINZ has always been a traumatizing, degrading, unhelpful and stressful experience. The nice case managers are all to few and far between, and if you have had the rare luck to have a nice one, chances are you won’t get the same one again. There is no consistency that is nice, only a consistent negativity. Those WINZ case managers that are condescending, empathy deficient, degrading and downright rude, need to take several courses in public relations. They need to take some lessons in manners, and how to treat obviously genuine cases with empathy, dignity and repect, instead of putting poor people, NEEDING help, like the case above, through the trauma of an interrogation. It is sad to say, but, I can understand someone wanting to hurt those case managers that treat honest hard-up cases as less than human. Poop gets better treatment. It makes me angry that cases like your aunty’s, where medical things are concerned, like my mums terminal congenital heart disease, are still scrutinized, queried, and torn to pieces. Like you can change anything like heart disease, contracted through rhumatic fever as a toddler. Even if you have a medical form properly filled out by your GP, you are still put under a microscope. WINZ needs an overhaul of all the power trip case managers. Bring on those that are decent human beings. Down with the power trip, incentive hungry ugly’s of WINZ!!

  2. Allan says:

    This WINZ attitude is not new. We took our severely disabled daughter (in her wheelchair) to WINZ (or whatever they were called then) in Hamilton over 20 years ago, to apply for a disability benefit for her. The rude person behind the counter said, in a loud voice. ‘What’s wrong with her?” This, mind you, was in full public, not in a separate room. Privacy – what’s that? On returning home I phoned WINZ and raised hell, and at least I had the satisfaction of getting a personal apology from the person in question.

    • m.gray says:

      They treat the mentally ill very badly also

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      20yrs ago! during the last National regime then.

      I came back from Canada in 1998/9 as a disabled worker Kiwi and got a reasonable response but that was it the cusp of the Government being toppled so I suppose I was fortunate then.

      It has gotten worse under this bean counting austerity regime and I have even witnessed it personally and the Government have turned against those that rely on them for services especially disabled amongst us all as I am.

    • D'Esterre says:

      Allan: “This, mind you, was in full public, not in a separate room. Privacy – what’s that?”

      Yes, we’ve also seen this happen, and in the last couple of years: officers in an open-plan room interviewing clients. Said clients being obliged to talk about their private issues such that all those sitting nearby can hear what’s being said. This includes giving information such as bank account numbers. It’s humiliating and thoroughly offensive to those unfortunate people. I squirmed with embarrassment for them.

      But I suppose if one were to make a fuss, one’d risk being arrested and trespassed. Sigh…

  3. save nz says:

    Lay a complaint with the health and disability.

    Shocking level of stupidity from WINZ.

  4. Priss says:

    I’ve heard way too many stories how MSD/WinZ has treated unemployed, solo-mums, disabled, etc. It’s definitely gotten worse under this government, reflecting the nasty attitudes of the likes of Bennett, Tolley, Key, etc.

    I suspect it’ll take a change of government to make real attitudinal change in these government departments.

  5. Words says:

    Thank you Efeso!! It’s this kind of abuse from winz that needs daylight and lot’s of it.

  6. Mike the Lefty says:

    You have an incompetent and dysfunctional minister, you have an incompetent and dysfunctional organisation and demoralized staff who clearly wish they weren’t there at all.
    The buck stops at the top.
    The country deserves the nasty little cabinet cabal to resign.
    They deserve to be kicked into a nasty dirty little cess pit and told to dig themselves out with their bare hands – because that is the level of help that they advocate for everyone else.

    • OnceWasTim says:

      “ou have an incompetent and dysfunctional minister, you have an incompetent and dysfunctional organisation and demoralized staff who clearly wish they weren’t there at all.
      The buck stops at the top.”

      Unfortunately @ Mike, it’s worse than that. It’s structural (see above response to Cleangreen).
      The buck NEVER stops at the top. A cynic might think that was why the design of our once-was-reformed PS on the corporate model. I subscribe to the view that it was more ideological.
      The staff WILL be demoralised, and thost that aren’t are probably getting off on their perception of the power that’s enabling them.
      Nothing happens unless there is a ‘perceived risk of potential embarrassment – going forward’).
      It’s worsening public service-wide!
      Christ!!! I mean …. look at what we now take as acceptable (or normative if you like) from our politicians and the senoir managment of PS entities for which they are responsible:
      One of the best fob-offs and spin are responses from a responsible (supposedly Honourable munster) such as “I can’t comment on operational matters”. OK munster, well if you can’t, WTF are you there for?
      Our compliant media has thus far never thought to challenge that concept.

      • CLEANGREEN says:

        2000% ONCEWASTIM

        RIGHT AGAIN.

        SEE MY RESPONSE ABOVE TO YOUR EXCELLENT RESPOSE TO MY FIRST BLOG.

        WELCOME TO TDB, I RECALL WE USED TO CHAT ON THE STANDARD UNIL I WAS DISBANNED SEPTEMBER 2014 FOR A MONTH NEVER WENT BACK, AND AM NOW VERY VERY HAPPY WITH BOMBERS SETUP.

        • OnceWasTim says:

          Howdy @ Cleangreen – we’ve actually corresponded via email once I think. I understand your concerns re The Standard – I’m having a break from there as well. Whilst I support its existence and its efforts to represent “that broad church” known as the “Left”, the moderators too often tolerate the obvious trolls and posters whose only purpose is to derail, whilst at the same time cracking down too heavily on those genuinely trying to express a view in a manner to which they’re accustomed. There have been a few “the Standard” casualties it seems – which is a big shame because it’s so counter productive to a movement they profess to promote. Anyway, I’m at risk of derailing this thread, but I enjoy and concur with your views – especially regarding rail, and infrastructure generally, and I know you have expertise in that area.

          • CLEANGREEN says:

            Yep to all that. ONCEWASTIM

            The moderators need to realise that we are all on the right side of history and fighting that war with the evil corporate’s grip on us now so they need to give us more latitude to say our piece free of control as we are to over controlled now compared to 15yrs ago mate, cheers.

    • Jack Ramaka says:

      The fish rots from the head.

  7. Nick J says:

    I don’t know where to start Efeso, it may be that they have a racist bias, couldn’t comment on that. What I can say is that your aunty is not alone in what appears to be wilful stupidity (or is it mendacity) by WINZ. My daughter has an allowance for celiacs, she has a friend with a permanent pulmonary disability. Neither like your aunt”s blindness is going to get better, these are permanent conditions.

    Which leads me to question how a department that has high powered bureaucrats paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year can make such obvious operational errors. Lets face it interviewing your aunty or my daughter is a cost to the department ergo also you and me as tax payers. Or is it deliberate? Have they got a directive saying “get them off a benefit?” Or are the staff incentivized to reduce beneficiary numbers?

    I’m speculating here but the silence of the Minister on these types of issues leads me to be very suspicious.

    • Kaye says:

      Nick- pretty certain there’s an (unofficial of course) directive to “get them off the benefit, and it’s been there for many years. Of course we can’t prove it and you really think anyone’s going to admit to it?

      If anybody want to know what the Natz are trying to introduce here for the disabled then look up what’s happening in the UK where the welfare reforms have literally killed 1000s already – and some even proved by coroners to be a direct result of welfare sanctions. The UK Guardian website’s the best source of info. It’s slowly starting to creep in here.

      Personally I’m terrified, unable to hold down a job because of severe epilepsy, but of course I don’t “look” sick at all, although so far noone I’ve dealt with at WINZ has challenged my diagnosis. A good friend with the same thing has been challenged by a WINZ worker though, who not only re-diagnosed him, but said he’d grow out of it. I’m only being left alone for now because I was signed off as permanently disabled and not for review years ago before all this crap started and they just haven’t caught up yet. I get the idea that it’s people entering the benefit system now are the ones who are being harassed more.

      I recently surrended my special benefit voluntarily because of how stressful and rediculous the hoop jumping every few months to keep it has become over the last few years. Having anything to do with WINZ now will trigger a seizure (interesting how that was never an issue until the “reforms” 6 years ago) so I decided it’s not worth the grief. I must say I was impressed at how quickly they were able to action that request…

      • Nick J says:

        Kaye you have my total support. It’s a top priority to get rid of a government and its functionaries who fail to treat people with respect and compassion. The nastiest behaviour here is the attempt to defraud people like yourself from your entitlements.

  8. ALH84001 says:

    “The case manager looks her straight in the face and says “you don’t look blind to me” then pulls out a piece of paper from her drawer and asks my aunty to read it, as proof that she’s visually impaired. About to explode with rage I sit there allowing my dear Samoan aunty to handle this despicable situation, with the case manager sitting behind her desk, arms folded with that ‘well, go on prove me wrong look’. My aunty tells her about her respected GP and how this isn’t some sham where she’s faked a medical certificate. She asks her case manager to produce her medical degree as proof that this is an acceptable test on how to prove her disability. A very heated and somewhat ridiculous conversation ensues with the case manager making no sense whatsoever.”

    Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. Words fail me.

  9. Eric Bloodaxe says:

    The same sort of attrocious rubbish occurred in the UK a few years ago now – part of a ‘directive’ to ensure those on sickness and disability were not ‘faking’ it. But to question a medical doctor’s written confirmation of a disability is a new low. Further – to actually say what she said to your aunty – I would have insisted in seeing the manager – if that person was not available then the person who was managing the operation in the manager’s absence. I strongly recommend sending a letter to the Minister over this as it is absolutely appalling – reminds of of the horror stories I hear of WINZ staff asking for verification of beneficiaries cancer diagnosis (even when it has been provided) – disgusting but buisness as usual for this National administration.

  10. Z says:

    You were very restrained.

    All of this could have been handled remotely with the med cert sent electronically and process off site. Just another example of how large chunks of welfare money is frittered on admin costs (and of course appalling treatment, especially of those with medical issues).

    • Andrea says:

      Apparently we’re short of GPs in many places.

      WINZ requires people to visit with their doctor every few months or so to fill in stupid forms.

      It’s a stress for the client – often using scarce resources to travel quite long distances – to be repeatedly certified.

      It’s also a penalty for the GPs and patients in need of prompt attention.

      Were those consequences intended?

  11. Theodore says:

    I think ever New Zealander should be made to experience what you and your Aunt went through, Efeso. That might change a few attitudes in this country.

    To add more insult to injury, people withg permanent disabilities are madse to reapply for their benefit every couple of years, along with a medical certificate. Just in case the Hand of God has touched them and their disability has been miraculously cured.

    This is bureaucracy under National, the party dedicated to reducing bureacracy!

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      Christ YOU ARE BRILLIANT THEODORE,

      YES LEAST WE FORGET THIS NEXT L;OST PLEDGE THAT pm key lied to us about, “we will reduce bureaucracy in your life remember 2008?

      Martyn that is the 251st lie he has COMMITTED on the Keyster lie index.

    • Priss says:

      +1 Theodore!

  12. Mike in Auckland says:

    “The case manager looks her straight in the face and says “you don’t look blind to me” then pulls out a piece of paper from her drawer and asks my aunty to read it, as proof that she’s visually impaired.”

    Wow, and I thought the Principal Health Advisor Dr Bratt was bad enough. They are reaching new lows, that is some case managers, as this is completely inappropriate conduct, I would think almost a sackable offence.

    I remember seeing a case manager years ago, with a migrant background, possibly Middle Eastern or South Asian. He expressed his dislike of the too lax benefit system, and told me, that we should rather have a system like in the US, where after six months all benefits get stopped automatically.

    Yes, that was his view, and as a case manager he thought, he could go around and lecture clients about how things should be.

    As for MSD and WINZ, and what “evidence” their Dr Bratt uses, it is mostly based on inconclusive and even dodgy statistical information, some of it does not even support the claims he has been throwing around, like being on a benefit is as harmful as smoking 200 cigarettes a day, or is addictive as a drug. Here is a post revealing what is really going on:

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

    An easy to read PDF with the same:
    https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/msd-dr-bratt-present-misleading-evidence-on-worklessness-and-health-post-09-08-15.pdf

    Here is info showing how they discretely changed the Medical Appeals Board review process, further disadvantaging clients making appeal against WINZ decisions:
    https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/mab-process-how-msd-discretely-changed-it-further-disadvantaging-clients-nzsjb-18-03-15.pdf

    Here is some more recent info, published via the NZ Medical Journal, showing the dodgy kind of “evidence” Bratt has been claiming proves his bold assertions.

    https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/read-the-journal/all-issues/2010-2019/2015/vol-128-no-1425-20-november-2015/6729
    “Is the statement that if a person is off work for 70 days the chance of ever getting back to work is 35% justified?”

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      Also of interest, how Dr Bratt, WINZ’s Principal Health Advisor, did already try to widen the scope of “professionals” doing assessments, which the NZMA did not seem to be all that enthused about:

      http://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/media/3235750/sub-workabilityassessments-providers.pdf

      “Our first major concern relates to the inclusion of ‘vocational practitioners’ among the range of practitioners identified by MSD as being suitable to provide the assessments. Our understanding is that ‘vocational practitioners’ may have no healthcare background at all and are not registered medical practitioners. Given that the target population for these assessments includes patients with mental health conditions (40%), musculoskeletal system disorders (15%) and people with a range of other conditions such as cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, cancer and nervous system disorders, the NZMA believes there are significant risks in engaging the services of non-healthcare workers to review medical information and discuss recommendations on condition management or treatment.

      We submit that the role and importance of front line general practitioners appears to have been underplayed in this proposed list of assessment providers; this group of medical practitioners (not just those general practitioners with qualifications in occupational medicine) are well placed to understand a patient’s health-related and other barriers to employment,
      and we believe they have useful experience to offer MSD in relation to the objectives of this assessment.

      Our second major concern relates to the duality of a role in which a seemingly independent assessor is paid by MSD to undertake an assessment of an MSD client but then also provides advice and recommendations on the management for the individual concerned.
      To avoid a conflict of underlying motivations, we believe that better
      practice would entail some sort of firewall between these two roles.”

  13. wanafli says:

    “Why all the outrage and shock over this? Of course this is the way people are treated at WINZ. Beneficiaries are the cause of all this country’s problems. They are nothing but bludgers.”
    As they say on a Tui billboard, YEAH, RIGHT!
    I have yet to meet a beneficiary who actually wanted to be on a benefit. They were on a benefit in order to survive. Or try to. The School of Nutrition at Otago University does an excellent annual survey on the actual cost of the food needed to feed someone for a week, taken around the main centres. Compare the amount required for a basic diet, to what one gets on the dole (or any other benefit) , and the picture does look good. The costs presented in the survey do not include items like toiletries and the like. Then start adding rent, power, etc.
    A good friend related to me a few years ago, of a WINZ case worker, who quit for health reasons. This worker had suffered a near nervous breakdown, NOT because of abuse from beneficiaries, but because of the near-constant contradictions in handling beneficiaries. Apparently, the main guide said one thing, but memos arrived everyday, saying the opposite. This worker was someone who did care about beneficiaries, and tried to help them as much as they could, but ended up being constantly thwarted by the very system that is ‘supposed’ to be there help people.
    IT DOES NOT.
    It is very much ‘Big Brother is watching you.’ If the benefit system was transposed to a place of employment, it would be little-if any-better than slavery.
    One only has to look at the penalties handed out to those “caught” cheating the system. Many endure worse punishments than the so-called white-collar crime offenders.
    And there are those who wonder why a/ we have beggars in NZ, and b/ they are increasing. Begging is much more preferable over being a beneficiary.
    Most will recall the shooting of two WINZ workers in Ashburton. It was tragic, but as one who has been on a benefit, the first thing that came to my mind was, ‘what took so long?’
    It could of happened years ago. It is a true miracle that it didn’t. Many a beneficiary will understand the frustration of the shooter. Now, I am not condoning what happened. But while the shooter may have pulled the trigger, it was the government that gave him a loaded gun.

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      1000% WANNAFLI
      No one wants to be degraded by the paltry benefit they call an entitlement don’t they as its so insulting to bow and scrape in life as us pensioners do now.

      We are all sinking while the 2% rich get richer until the revolution comes again.

  14. Draco T Bastard says:

    The case manager looks her straight in the face and says “you don’t look blind to me” then pulls out a piece of paper from her drawer and asks my aunty to read it, as proof that she’s visually impaired.

    I’m pretty sure that impersonating a doctor is illegal and that’s exactly what that WINZ person was doing when she second guessed an actual doctors signed medical certificate.

    I suggest a police complaint.

  15. Troy says:

    GOVERNMENT; the creation of imagined and misrepresented reality.
    To impose on others, a will or undertaking without consent is VIOLENCE.
    No Govt. Can achieve what nature and the universe is designing.

  16. Delia says:

    Complain to the Health and Disability Commissioner…see if it goes anywhere.