Leadership of HNZ and WINZ must go – State Housing Action Network

By   /   June 7, 2018  /   3 Comments

State Housing Action Network is calling on the government to replace the boards and senior management of Housing New Zealand and Work and Income New Zealand to drive a genuine and transformative culture change within these organisations towards beneficiaries and low-income New Zealanders.


It’s evident from tenant accounts concerning the meth contamination scandal that Housing New Zealand is infused with toxic attitudes towards low-income New Zealanders which has caused untold suffering and needless stress for the most vulnerable in our society.


The same culture has been obvious in WINZ for a longer time. (Note that WINZ now allocates state houses to low-income New Zealanders rather than HNZ)


The sentiments expressed in yesterday’s HNZ statement for a change within the organisation are welcomed but they appear more designed as a public relations exercise than anything else.


The previous National government installed the leadership at WINZ to drive people off welfare at whatever the person costs to families while the leadership at HNZ was put in place to privatise thousands of state houses around New Zealand.


The wrong people with the wrong values are at the head of both organisations. Transformative Culture change can only come with the government replacing the boards and senior leadership of both organisations.


It is also critical that Housing Minister Phil Twyford return to Labour’s pre-election promise to turn Housing New Zealand into a government department. They must also repeal the Social Housing Reform Act 2013.


Labour campaigned during the election to turn Housing New Zealand into a government department but broke their promise after the election. This promise must be fulfilled.


A return to public sector values of service and compassion must replace a culture of driving people off welfare at whatever the personal cost to families.


Housing New Zealand must get back to its core purpose of helping people into homes, stopping the demolition of state houses and the gentrification of state house suburbs. It must put in place an ambitious plan to build the tens of thousands of state homes so desperately needed when we have 41,000 New Zealanders with severe housing needs at the mercy of HNZ and WINZ.


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  1. Christine says:

    It’s not just WINZ and Housing NZ it is/was the whole National Party ethos, and it’s been very effective in turning NZ’ers against people who are not like them, and ensuring a certain amount of dysfunction within the depts themselves.

    Andrew McKenzies, $26,000 monthly salary is obscene, but then to me, so is he.

    I would like him to stay in his job, learn to do it properly, and be subject to 6 monthly performance appraisals carried out by a citizens’ committee.

    Let Andrew go through the degrading performance of documenting his KPI’s to prove that he is meeting his targets, to elaborate on them, to show where he has gone the extra mile, prove how good a team member he is, how he picks the kids up from daycare and races home to cook dinner, process the laundry, supervise homework, and make something presentable for the next day’s disgusting shared lunch or shared morning tea, keeping his back to the wall and his cafeteria conversations low just in case – and be grateful that it’s the under-staffed call centre workers who cop all the flak and complaints when some stressed-out client rings through, and not he who has to deal with them.

    He should be able to manage ok.

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