Your Voice Election 2017 – Hem’s experience of Ministry of Social Development


As part of our election coverage of shaming the neoliberal welfare state who treat the poorest and most vulnerable amongst us with contempt, here is Hem’s experience of Ministry of Social Development

Against my better judgement I decided as a beneficiary to join ‘My MSD’ so I could at last get a clear picture of why I was getting so little of the benefit in my account.

To my horror I discovered that I am in debt to the governement to the tune of $1600 dollars.

I struggle to make ends meet as it is.

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Admittedly I needed new glasses so I could see and some essential dental work so I could eat. I am 54 and have worked hard for most of my life and of course have paid many tens of thousands in taxes.

I resent being labled a bludger, a drain on society, a second hand citizen.

I am none of the above.

I see myself as creative, engaging, hard working fair and compassionate however when ever I have to confront WINZ I am aware that I need to not talk above my perceived station, not be assertive, not mention the words ‘ My rights “, not have an ‘ attitude ‘, make sure I use the words please and thank you as much as humanly possible, not show any self confidence as this along with one being assertive can threaten the case workers egotistical and distorted veiw of their role as a God and therefore can adversly effect the chances of having ones day to day basic needs realised.

Tis a very stressful event not to mention that one is also confronted by security guards ( 3 in fact) who make me feel as though I’m a potential mass murderer with weapons jammed in every orifice.

Man I swear it’s the uniform.

Anyway it saddens me to think that this situation is now the norm and that we ( and I mean that collectively) as New Zealanders are subjecting people – vunerable people to such a soul distroying process in dealing with WINZ. Shame!

Have you been treated poorly by our neoliberal welfare state and wish to bring attention to your experience anonymously so that they can’t punish you? Check out our 2017 election campaign to do just that.