TWITTER WATCH: Remembering Helen Kelly’s wisdom #WeAreBeneficiaries


There is an amazing new twitter thread that you must follow.

You really must.

Even if you are not on Twitter, I urge you to join just for this one follow.


Day after day they take the real lived experiences of beneficiaries desperately attempting to live under our brutal neoliberal welfare state and they put them to artists drawings of the beneficiaries.

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The quotes are soul destroying…

…the brutal honesty and power of these images and quotes reminds me of some of the wisdom Helen Kelly shared with me, “tell their stories” she would drill into me.

Helen was convinced that if the rest of NZ could see the stories of workers and the terrible work conditions they were forced to endure, then NZers innate goodness would generate empathy and demand change.

I think the outrage unleashed on Metiria for her courageous admission 25 years ago that she was forced to break the rules to live reminds us just how important Helen’s wisdom still remains.

The vast majority of NZers have no idea how cruel the staff and policy of neoliberal welfare agencies really are. The negative stereotypes of bludgers blinds them to this reality just the way they do when it comes to any suggestion of prisoner rights.

We have a media more focused on generating heat rather than light and leaders who play to our lowest angels.

The simple voice of experience at the hand of a system designed to punish and reject has the power to speak to us minus the judgement. All power to their arm.



    • “Mister when you’re rapping on heaven’s gate
      By then it is too late
      Coz Mister when you get there
      They won’t ask what you saved
      All they want to know Mister is what you gave

      So excuse me Mister
      I’m a Mister too
      And you’re giving Mister a bad name
      Mister like you
      So I’m taking the Mister from out in front of your name
      Coz it’s a Mister like you, putting the rest of us to shame”
      – Ben Harper

      Just typing these lyrics while thinking about the horrors people I know have experienced because of NatACT social policy is literally bringing tears to my eyes. Bring the change!

  1. Thanks Martyn

    Bloody sobering and frightening…. i am ashamed at the evil of our country when we once cared for everyones welfare !!!!!!!!!!

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