WINZ cruelty vs MSD malice vs Housing NZ meth hysteria vs Corrections spite: what’s worse, what’s the same?

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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.

It looks like the cruelty of WINZ is going to end up costing us….

Costly legal action may await over mishandling of redundancy issue

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.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

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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10 COMMENTS

  1. I would more say that there is only one Arden (I guess I am a bit old-fashioned in that; I don’t usually call people I have never met by their first names). However; when the Good Ship Jacinda has the wind of public opinion at her back, then she is unstoppable. But if that same vessel is; sailing against a gale of entrenched prejudices, she has to tac back and forth to make any progress at all.

    Yes; it has been a while since I have been out on the water. I do kind of miss that, but not enough to break PAL protocols. To stretch the metaphor, I guess that’d make; Bridges the drunken captain of a ship that’s run aground on an unseen reef (that was clearly marked on charts he didn’t read). Hooten and Hoskings as weevils nibbling through the ship’s biscuits? Clarke as bumbling surgeon who tripped over their own shoelaces and went headfirst overboard the first time the waves got up; interrupting the urgent voyage when he had to be hauled dripping wet back onto the deck?

    • @Forget Now – So what you’re saying is that if the population really want change she’s a politician who will deliver it.
      This of course is the way it has always been. Politician’s can never effect change unless there is some other power behind them.
      Roosevelt gets the credit for ushering in the New Deal but he never would have done it if the streets weren’t already full of people demanding change. Luckily for those on the street he wasn’t one of the politicians who admired the fascism emerging in Europe at the time.

  2. QUOTE Martyn
    “WINZ are a neo liberal 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.”

    Perfectly said Martyn,

    As a disabled 75 yr old pensioner my wife and I all felt this same affect when we asked for some medical financial assistance for the first time since going on the pension 10 yrs ago, we get nothing but probing into our lives to make us feel guilty for asking for help.

    This happend to us, only six months ago, and got nothing for deep stress and loss of dignity we suffered from.

  3. I feel that a Class Action Suit Needs to be brought Against the entire State Services Sector, not just WINZ / MSD, although they are the most obvious in the “Perp-Walk-Lineup” at the Cop Shop. The damages done to our most vulnerable people, especially in the last Key/ National Reign of Terror that was supposed to end in 2017 is close to incalculable. Why this hasn’t already happened boggles the mind!
    How many Thousands of people have walked into a WINZ Office in NZ and discovered they were intentionally denied their Human Rights as a matter of unspoken policy? Our rights to Privacy have been violated continuously and our rights to be treated with Dignity and Respect have been dismissed without cause, or consideration with gross impunity!
    This is bad enough, without the intentional neglect, and misrepresentation of what each individual’s entitlements should be, based on their circumstances, and how these people have been treated with contempt for merely asking for help when they needed it after losing their mainstay employment, health and their ability to cope with life’s changes that have left so many people bereft and without hope for a better future at these Robo-Tron’s seemingly sole discretion? Even just basic housing needs are intentionally ignored.
    WINZ / MSD is the collection place for a group of like minded – Sado-Masochists, that get off on other people’s suffering and enjoy being able to hold ultimate power over those less fortunate.
    It is well documented and common knowledge that business managers with hiring responsibilities, are prone to hiring like minded people to make themselves look good to their superiors. WINZ / MSD / MBIE are a cesspit for Power Seekers, Power Brokers & Departmental Mini Empire builders! No organisation anywhere on earth is successful with this form of management architecture & philosophy, unless they unless they are Dictatorially led! Dare i say it, these people have become worse than Banker’s, Burglars and Common Thieves. They posses no Honor or Principle. Many of these same people make people that beat their partners and children, kick dogs and mistreat their livestock look tame in comparison.. Pitiful examples of humanity, put in positions of authority over People’s Lives and Wellbeing do not make for successful organisations.
    Unfortunately, this is what these collections of Bureaucrat’s in our Government State Services Sector have become! A Law unto themselves with no Oversight..
    How many Suicide’s could have been avoided? How many children have gone without food, or adequate clothing after their folks asked for help? How many young people have been destroyed by asking WINZ / MSD for help and been told “No”, you don’t qualify? How many of us have fallen deeper into depression and mental malaise as a result of being punitively punished for their need for counseling help that was denied or limited to a few sessions?? How many counselor’s have been unpaid for their services because of minimal allowances from MSD that left the Beneficiary AND the Counselor on the hook for additional unaffordable payment for their services because their allowance was so seriously underpaid, so that MSD could show cost reductions for their sparcely allocated Benefits? How many people have fallen thru the Cracks so that Case Managers could win awards and bonuses in the “Millionaires Club” started by Paula Bennett to incentivise these Case Managers and MSD Branch Manager’s to say no and save this diabolical system some Ministerial budgetary funding money?
    This system isn’t just unfair, it’s basically Criminal and needs to be pulled apart, investigated and made to account for both individual and collective actions that have damaged so many lives!
    If it takes a Class Action Law Suit to accomplish justice and bring about a legislated change in State Services Sector policies, so be it and the sooner the better!

    • “I feel that a Class Action Suit Needs to be brought Against the entire State Services Sector…….”
      I’d go along with that @ Angel although I’m not sure how the SSC and some other agencies can be brought to account.
      I posted this on The Standard on the 10th – read from (2) onwards in a post made by @Sacha
      ( https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-10-05-2020/#comment-1710415 )
      and following responses.
      I stopped before I turned it into a complete rant – but its all legit.
      And of course what I didn’t go into were two very important things – i.e.
      1/ the contempt our public service has been showing for the OIA, and
      2/ the contempt various agencies have shown for the public by using T & C to spy on people.

      Labour, as we know are still committed to ‘pragmatic incrementalism’ which may have been well and good 10 or so years ago (although I do think even H1 cose to have a bit of a lay down and cup of tea in their 3rd term) – so 13 or 14 years ago.
      What the ‘pragmatic incrementalism’ or incremental pragmatism doesn’t take account of is that the world became faster, transactional, commoditised and basically sped up (e.g. electronic trading, population migrations, political and economic threats), while politicians, senior civil servants and the likes of economists just wanted to commit to the same old ideology and dogma in many cases (it worked last time they thought). Arguably it worked last time, but even if it did – times have fundamentally changed.
      Power tripping senior public servants and heads of departments who behave as a law unto themselves aren’t going to cut it for much longer and nor is incrementalism – especially if one wants to be kind and transformational.
      You can see that in the departments mentioned and more, there has been a reluctance in many many many instances to implement Coalition’s policies and behave ethically and in the public interest.

      Again, public service reform is one of the first thing that should have happened, but there are certainly senior ps and CEOs that need a rocket under them or step aside – and probably the fault lays with the SSC in not picking them up on it. They have not been apolitical or ethical. And again, I make a distinction often between management and worker bees at the coal face who often end up just leaving.

  4. I feel that a Class Action Suit Needs to be brought Against the entire State Services Sector, not just WINZ / MSD, although they are the most obvious in the “Perp-Walk-Lineup” at the Cop Shop. The damages done to our most vulnerable people, especially in the last Key/ National Reign of Terror that was supposed to end in 2017 is close to incalculable. Why this hasn’t already happened boggles the mind!
    How many Thousands of people have walked into a WINZ Office in NZ and discovered they were intentionally denied their Human Rights as a matter of unspoken policy? Our rights to Privacy have been violated continuously and our rights to be treated with Dignity and Respect have been dismissed without cause, or consideration with gross impunity!
    This is bad enough, without the intentional neglect, and misrepresentation of what each individual’s entitlements should be, based on their circumstances, and how these people have been treated with contempt for merely asking for help when they needed it after losing their mainstay employment, health and their ability to cope with life’s changes that have left so many people bereft and without hope for a better future at these Robo-Tron’s seemingly sole discretion? Even just basic housing needs are intentionally ignored.
    WINZ / MSD is the collection place for a group of like minded – Sado-Masochists, that get off on other people’s suffering and enjoy being able to hold ultimate power over those less fortunate.
    It is well documented and common knowledge that business managers with hiring responsibilities, are prone to hiring like minded people to make themselves look good to their superiors. WINZ / MSD / MBIE are a cesspit for Power Seekers, Power Brokers & Departmental Mini Empire builders! No organisation anywhere on earth is successful with this form of management architecture & philosophy, unless they unless they are Dictatorially led! Dare i say it, these people have become worse than Banker’s, Burglars and Common Thieves. They posses no Honor or Principle. Many of these same people make people that beat their partners and children, kick dogs and mistreat their livestock look tame in comparison.. Pitiful examples of humanity, put in positions of authority over People’s Lives and Wellbeing do not make for successful organisations.
    Unfortunately, this is what these collections of Bureaucrat’s in our Government State Services Sector have become! A Law unto themselves with no Oversight..
    How many Suicide’s could have been avoided? How many children have gone without food, or adequate clothing after their folks asked for help? How many young people have been destroyed by asking WINZ / MSD for help and been told “No”, you don’t qualify? How many of us have fallen deeper into depression and mental malaise as a result of being punitively punished for their need for counseling help that was denied or limited to a few sessions?? How many counselor’s have been unpaid for their services because of minimal allowances from MSD that left the Beneficiary AND the Counselor on the hook for additional unaffordable payment for their services because their allowance was so seriously underpaid, so that MSD could show cost reductions for their sparcely allocated Benefits? How many people have fallen thru the Cracks so that Case Managers could win awards and bonuses in the “Millionaires Club” started by Paula Bennett to incentivise these Case Managers and MSD Branch Manager’s to say no and save this diabolical system some Ministerial budgetary funding money?
    This system isn’t just unfair, it’s basically Criminal and needs to be pulled apart, investigated and made to account for both individual and collective actions that have damaged so many lives!
    If it takes a Class Action Law Suit to accomplish justice and bring about a legislated change in State Services Sector policies, so be it and the sooner the better! Jacinda needs to be very careful as she walks the Double Edged Razor Blade between Social Fairness and Neoliberalist Austerity Management policy bequeathed by our Boy Pony Tail Pullah Johnny. I hope she realises that unless changes are made to balance the Social scale while the opportunity is ripe, we will be back to square one again and things will be far worse for her Ideological Cause, than even a Pandemic. We may well be facing more of these global disturbances more regularly in the short term future. She has but one chance to get this right the first time around!

  5. NZ needs problem solvers, not problem creators. We need people who need people, they’re the loveliest people in the world, dah dah. And they live this theme, they practically work this theme, that NZ is something really good and we want all NZs to have their place, live their place, work their place, enjoy their place, share experiences of our place, but not sell it all down the polluted river and sea. Right! Right?

    Instead of that we get the Grims, the Ghastlies, the Haters, the Sneerers, the rip-off salary chiefs, the warders and punishers, the operatives for the system who obey and work to the strict protocols. The change agents for the new economic order that still carries the day despite having been a disaster for the people as a whole; (now the people as a black hole which sucks all the unwary in while others grasp the edge hanging on by their fingernails.) And who the fucking cares? Oh I’m doing all right – they’re not? Oh too bad, they need to try harder.

    So we get the dire damsels, the weeping willies, we get pats on the head to needy people and a few crumbs, and we get the Maxim Institute in today’s stuff giving out spoonfuls of good advice, medicine that is precautionary and sounds wholesome and wise. It is headed ‘Healthy Distrust Better than Blind Faith’. That is good advice and so I look at what Danielle van Dalen* has written. It is about holding government to account, dissecting what crisis policies they are pushing now because of the difficulty of changing back, after the crisis is over.

    Oh if only the Maxim Institute could have been ready with that warning when Roger Douglas and the Treasury overthrew our government systems and practices in 1984. We have been trying and straining so hard since then to pass this obstructive and destructive neoliberal system since then but it seems lodged. Perhaps only an operation can remove this millstone. And I wish the Maxim Institute will so strongly apply their advice later this year and further, if we are unfortunate enough to have a Right-wing outcome at the elections, because transparency and all the other good things that a good democratic government shows in its performance will be needed so badly. But badly and sadly, we know the Maxim Institute is preaching to the Left-wing and a change of government will see a change in their target of whom to point the bony finger of rectitude at.
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WBUSS3pOlg O Fortuna

    *Danielle joined our research team after completing her MSc in Political Science at Leiden University, Netherlands, where she focused on Conflict and Cooperation.
    Danielle has been employed in NZ with a foreign qualification , no doubt under the decree that we should try to source top people, policies and oreceptsfrom outside NZ to guide us in everything, rather than use native NZs who are ‘so often not up to the mark’. And of course NZ has turned away from the disciplines connected with the Humanities so as to concentrate on the hard sciences, that can produce saleable and profitable developments that can be sold to overseas interests who will develop and market them. Clever us.

    I like the ironic/sarcastic Pam Ayres poem about the guy who’d fallen over a cliff, got stuck on a bush slowly ging way, calling out ‘Is anybody there? And he heard God “Yes I am here, let go and I will save you’. And there was silence. And then the voice called again “Is anybody else there”. Her poems are perfect for our present . We don’t know, who to trust, who we dare to trust.

  6. I see companies taking advantage of the wage subsidy didn’t have a social worker telling them to ‘use up your redundancy sweety’ before they could receive government assistance, when faced with Covid financial hardship. Some of these businesses, massive multinationals who have essentially monopolised a sector, didn’t have to dip into their capital reserves, sell off or shut parts of the business or let staff go when the grit hit the fan. They must be more deserving of proper process, respect and kindness than your average kiwi.

  7. Now we’re in the transitioning period of L3 to L2.
    The Gestapo will be working overtime to purge as many people off their books as they can.
    ‘Damage Control!’

    Gestapo HQ will be sending out letters to the pre C19 Beneficiaries telling them that they’ll all have to attend meetings with case managers to explain what theyve been doing over the past 6 weeks!
    If you try to explain to them that there has been a ‘lockdown’ becauseof the Coronavirus, they’ll say thats no excuse! You could of applied for jobs online! “CHOP!”

    The numbers wil magically normalise and as if by magic, 1000’s of people will be moved off benefit and into imaginary jobs that don’t exist.

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