It looks like the cruelty of WINZ is going to end up costing us….
Work and Income may face a costly class action lawsuit after it appears to have spent decades wrongly advising some benefit applicants that they cannot get support until their redundancy runs out.
…what we forget is that WINZ stopped being an agency that looked after the welfare of those desperate enough to require their help during the neoliberal revolution back in the 1980s. WINZ are a neoliberal weapon used to punish those needing state help with mass intrusions into people lives and a draconian punishment regime to reduce the pittance beneficiaries are given.
WINZ is purposely obtuse and emotionally manipulative because their focus is protecting the State’s financial welfare, not the individual’s actual welfare.
WINZ is a toxic culture so it should come as no surprise that they have lied and cheated thousands upon thousands of Kiwis made redundant who were eligible for welfare. The well being of the weak is the last concern for WINZ, their ability to always find a way to say No is their skill.
And we saw that same level of contempt towards those they are tasked to help with MSD’s malice. They use mass surveillance powers in ways that are despicable! While State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes was denouncing the use of corporate spies against New Zealander’s, he was using spies when he led MSD to stop the victims of sexual abuse while in State care gaining any costly damages against the Government.
And we saw that same level of contempt towards those they are tasked to help with the Housing NZ meth hysteria where HNZ threw hundreds of beneficiaries into the streets for a meth testing policy that actually breached HNZs own policy! They needlessly spent $150million decontaminating state houses that weren’t dangerous, they thew state tenants onto the streets in the middle of a housing crisis! National held up to the media P Babies in state homes while they quietly sold State Housing off.
And we saw that same level of contempt towards those they are tasked to help with Corrections who refused to help illiterate prisoners fill in the paperwork that would enable then to serve their sentence at home! It wasn’t until the new Government demanded that Corrections provide prisoners with a staff member to help fill in the paperwork that the prison population started reducing. Even though the policy existed for Prisoners to serve time at home and not in the ever damaging environment of the prison industrial complex, Corrections enjoyed the suffering of those they held rather than help them rehabilitate.
In each example we see neoliberal welfare departments whose role is to punish and damage those they are tasked to help so that the experience dissuades others from asking for help in the first place.
We have a contempt for the vulnerable with official agencies that seem to delight in the abuse of rights.
There are two Jacinda’s. Cautious Jacinda and Courageous Jacinda. When it comes to real transformative domestic policy we get Cautious Jacinda who incrementally tinkers at the edges of those social issues the angry white conservative vote won’t support. When we get a crisis like the Christchurch Terror attack or Volcanic eruption or this pandemic, we get Courageous Jacinda who truly does lift us with her strength and grace.
We need Courageous Jacinda to flush out the toxic cultures inside those agencies tasked with helping the desperate and reform them so that the welfare of those seeking help is genuinely the only aim of the interaction.
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