Open email to Carmel Sepuloni from John Minto

By   /   May 28, 2018  /   17 Comments

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When will the senior leadership of WINZ, who inculcated a toxic culture of blame and shame at all levels of the organisation on behalf of the previous National government, be required to resign?

Kia ora Ms Sepuloni,

In this weekend’s Christchurch Press there is an article which includes the following comment from the mother of a low-income family:

                “You can ask WINZ but it depends who you see. Sometimes it feels like you’re taking the money out of their wallet, and you walk off feeling like a piece of crap”.

I’m a New Zealander who feels frustrated and angry when I continue to read stories like this eight months after your government was elected to power and you assumed the role of Minister of Social Development. My questions are:

When will low-income citizens stop being treated like crap by WINZ?

When will you demand an end to this assault on our most vulnerable families?

When will the senior leadership of WINZ, who inculcated a toxic culture of blame and shame at all levels of the organisation on behalf of the previous National government, be required to resign?


John Minto

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  1. Michal says:

    Yes I read the article, it is disgraceful that we still have people working in this department who seem to think it is their money!

  2. MattyGee says:

    Don’t forget that money is a loan! And needs to be paid back so that those in real need are trapped in debt… a vicious cycle of poverty and dependence…

  3. J S Bark J S Bark says:

    Prolly too busy enjoying her new found importance to actually do anything.

    After all, us beneficiaries are all just lazy good-for-nothings…

  4. Tiger Mountain says:

    agree with the email, pressure needs to go on the Minister

    there is only one MP with a fuller understanding of the awfulness of WINZ/MSD and how it operates against policy and legislation–Marama Davidson; Carmel has a reasonable understanding but is hampered by a party in still in thrall to neo liberal values and its structural underpinnings like the Reserve Bank Act and SOEs etc,

    Govt. members are largely middle class types that would not have a clue what it is like to vulnerable and have to deal with the sadistic swine at WINZ

    if this govt gets a second term hopefully things like a UBI/GMI and disestablishing WINZ for good will be on the agenda, but it will take an activist push and getting unions on side too–are you listening PSA? it is your bloody members that implement the WINZ/MSD on behalf of the dirty tory managers

    • Christine says:

      Read Carmel Sepuloni’s press release re the welfare working group this morning and felt quite depressed.

      The press release was too long, with the usual wishy-washy platitudes and cliches from whiter-shade-of-pale sort of people, and it would have been good if just for once, even once, the govt showed signs of having fire in its belly.

      For a start, they could just dump all the policy wonks and human resources staff at MSD, but no-one will go, and whether the coalition govt fully realises the dreadful impact of WINZ on some people’s lives, and whether it’s ok to even care about this in today’s world, is a moot point.

  5. Denny Paoa says:

    Step 1. Sack Brendan Boyle, the shite CEO
    Step 2. Repeal the 270 pieces of the Social Security Act that were removed from the Act that caused poverty
    Step 3. Sack the PSA Union because theyre shite!

    • Maama says:

      Three ticks Denny, but don ‘t hold your breath waiting for any of these suggestions seeing the light of day. Those mongrels at WINZ know they have to” stick it to beneficiaries” to retain their jobs.

      • Tiger Mountain says:

        yes MAAMA, that is the sickest part about WINZ–staff get rewarded for NOT providing the assistance people seek and are entitled to!

    • Chris says:

      The fact that Labour’s prepared to work with the National government’s Social Security (Legislation Rewrite) Bill appalls and sickens. Just when we though this Labour government just might be different it’s more of the same. I almost began to rethink my decision to never vote Labour again following the removal of the special benefit in 2004. What Labour’s doing now, or not doing, means I won’t be revisiting that decision any time soon. That welfare working group pretty much tells us they’re not prepared to change one jot. Sure, a few good people on there, but nobody who really knows the detail and who’s got the balls to keep the officials in line. Where’s welfare lawyer Paul Blair, and other representatives from the Auckland Action Against Poverty? This government’s got no desire to do anything more than continue to screw the poor. Fuck them.

    • Chris says:

      4. Understand that unions are not friends of the poor. They’ve been captured by right-wing rhetoric about who the workers are. For them it’s no longer the pool of labour, employed or unemployed. Unions are only interested in championing the cause of the employed, and with ex-PSA and wholly insipid Richard Wagstaff at the helm, they no longer do that very well, either. The unemployed have no hope.

  6. Marc says:

    I fear Carmel Sepuloni does not care that much, she cares most for her own career, now a Minister, of da Crown, wow, the rest of her future is safe, any job will come her way, after she has been rated or over rated that highly.

    I read a fair few comments by people who had dealings with her, a fair few are not impressed and not happy with her and what she does.

    • Chris says:

      Yes, she doesn’t care at all. You can tell by the way she communicates and how she hasn’t bothered to understand the issues. There’s also the fact that it suits this government not to have the sharpest knife looking after social welfare. It’s only the filthy benos don’t forget. And we’re the Labour party. We only care about the workers, you know, the ones with the jobs. I’ve started hating Labour all over again. Didn’t think it was possible to despise them more than last time but it is.

  7. Marc says:

    A submitter with an immigrant name (got a tip off), apparently blocked now as former submitter to the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill, not available via the internet, wow:

    Why is this, is this a democratic country, why are other submissions not blocked?

    The bill goes through now, with few amendments, and all concerns of submitters as that are being ignored, previously by National, now by Labour, ffs, do people get it, they are being shafted?

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