Meet ‘Carol’ from WINZ
Every year, the annual humiliation and revelation of the horror that is WINZ is put on display when AAAP run welfare advocacy programs outside Manurewa’s Work and Income office.
Beneficiaries were queuing at 2am in the freezing rain in the hope to see an advocate. So horrific is the way that WINZ treat people, that they are willing to queue from 2am in the desperate hope of meeting with someone who can actually let them know what their rights are.
TDB has been at the forefront of demonising these neoliberal welfare organisations because it is only when you demonise, humiliate and savage the corrupt public service that anything changes.
We’ve seen the State use false meth hysteria to punish thousands of state tenants. We’ve seen the State steal babies from mothers. We’ve seen the State hand out biased justice.
The manner in which MSD and WINZ spy on and mistreat the most vulnerable washing up on their doorsteps however manage to eclipse all those departments.
We have a toxic culture in WINZ and MSD that is so bad people are willing to stand in the freezing rain from 2am to get help. Just let that sink in.
The truth is that Government has been hopeless at managing the neoliberal welfare agencies to be anything other than a stick, and have come far too late to the game in their first term to remedy these corruptions of social policy. The only hope to force real change is to fund groups like AAAP to be advocacy agents for beneficiaries (effectively unionise the beneficiaries) and also fund AAAP to prepare annual reports that are critical of WINZ.
That way you help those desperately attempting to navigate the purposefully complex paperwork WINZ demands while also publicly humiliating WINZ in the eyes of Jacinda ‘Politics of Kindness’ Ardern.
Only public humiliation and demonisation of these toxic public services will force kindness.