More evidence Labour will be hurt for not reforming WINZ toxic culture 

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Where's the revolution Jacinda?

As TDB has been pointing out since the pandemic erupted, Labour’s cowardly failure to reform the toxic culture inside WINZ will come back to bite Labour in the arse as Kiwi’s who have never interacted with the malice of WINZ come into contact for the first time and are horrified at the spitefulness of WINZ…

‘We’re hidden’ – unemployed man one of many denied benefit help

A Canterbury man who cannot find work or access a benefit says he is part of a growing group of New Zealanders whose unemployment is hidden from any official figures.

…this is fast going to become a political problem for Labour.

Now condescending Woke wing Twitter warriors will laugh and say, “welcome to what brown people and poor people have had to tolerate for decades cracker”

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And while that’s an immensely fun game to play, it misses the threat to the Government.

If National can pretend to give two shits about Police abuse of power they way they did with the Level 2 Lockdown law, then they can also pretend to care about the newly unemployed facing a cruel empire that National themselves helped build.

Labour are gutless when it comes to WINZ for two reasons.

The first is political, the second is political.

The first reason Labour are cowards when it comes to reforming WINZ is because decades of bashing beneficiaries means the average Kiwi has been trained to hate beneficiaries with the kind of zeal Nazi’s show when burning books. 35 years of the neoliberal experiment have robbed most workers from having union representation and this has seen our wages fall further and further behind Australia. Those working people look at the pittance they get paid each week and compare it to the welfare cheque with envy. That resentment is easy for politicians to whip into spite for political advantage and it is such an advantage that Labour are too scared of getting on the wrong side of, that’s why they have done very little to actually make beneficiaries lives better.

The second reason Labour are cowards when it comes to reforming WINZ is because they know the toxicity is so deeply rotted to the core that only wholesale sacking of most staff could cure it and Labour are too spineless to face off against the Wellington Unions to do that.

WINZ is a neoliberal welfare agency whose main concern is to say no to as many beneficiaries as possible. It is purposely obtuse, it lies to beneficiaries, it manipulates beneficiaries, it punishes beneficiaries and it uses extraordinarily intrusive surveillance into their lives to catch them out in ‘relationships’ which they then criminalise.

The application for the dole is 70 pages long.

That’s an application for a group of people who have large literacy problems.

WINZ is a stick to beat the poor with, it is purposely designed that way.

That’s fine and dandy to NZers when that stick is believed to be aimed at Maori, Pacifica, the young and the poor, but when it’s aimed at decent hard working white volk, all political hell is going to break lose.

More and mote of these ‘decent hard working white volk’ stories will start exploding on social media as the newly unemployed who’ve luckily never had to ever interact with WINZ are exposed to the exhilarating sadism of WNZ staff who will gleefully do what they are trained to do, find a reason to decline welfare.

Those WINZ maggots for decades have lied to beneficiaries about not being eligible for welfare until their redundancies run out, they are a broken organisation whose burnt out staff are too toxic to do anything closely resembling good any longer.

If Labour doesn’t reform WINZ soon, the legacy of it as a neoliberal welfare weapon against the poor will end up negatively impacting Labour, not National.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Sepuloni was thanked by Ardern for the great job she has done through the virus crisis. No mention of the fact that no changes in its policy towards its “clients”. Wait until the wage supliment ends and the true face of the situation appears. Why in a first world country with a benefit system are there food banks run by social agencies that are supposed to be a last resort.

  2. A simple solution I have mentioned on here many time, introduce a UBI at about $300p.w and MSD/WINZ almost disappear over night AND the Govt saves money, see the Big Kahuna; Gareth Morgan.
    So win win for a spineless Labour party, when it comes to dealing with the BIGGEST treat to it’s voting base, WINZ/MSD. And helps during the C-19 recovery. Trickle up works, trickle down is utter B.S.
    I can’t for the life of me understand why Labour don’t do this. Is the control file on Jacinda so compelling so early on in her life and political career?

  3. There are lots of things wrong with the UBI, unless accompanied by other reforms that make it progressive. Otherwise it kicks the can of poverty down the street. It will be below subsistence level unable to meet land and housing prices.

    These costs have to be removed by a land tax or wealth tax to pay for full employment on a living wage, and public works to create the jobs and housing. Only then would it end demonising the poor as an “underclass” and the toxic bureaucracy policing them.

    I don’t see that Labour has the guts to do this despite the unprecedented crisis facing humanity. All reforms are the result of pressure from below. I don’t see Labour acting unless they are forced to head off a revolution from below with concessions on jobs, wages and housing fronts.

    So lets see what’s in the budget and then organise for the revolution because whichever party leads the next government revolution is the only alternative to extinction.

  4. Im disabled and married to someone who works and never able to get a benefit. Been like this for over a decade.
    Not only do I face the discrimination by the workforce but also from the govt over this BS.
    Written to successive ministers, MSD Disability Issues and even the Human Rights Commission, all bloody useless and zero help.
    Funny now its ordinary people this is happening to its being talked about.

  5. I lost my job just after the 2008 GFC. I went to WINZ for help one week before Christmas. After a lengthy and exhausting process completing the forms the case manager said I was ineligible to receive any assistance from WINZ because I was to quote “claiming it for financial reasons”.

    Why else would I need assistance?

    I walked out very disappointed and started a training course in 2009. I got an apprenticeship the next year and completed my training in 2012. I know the spite WINZ staff have for people down on their luck. They can be heartless. The last recession was tough, this one is going to be extremely difficult for many people and I hope the welfare system is drastically reformed or rebuilt to reflect the ideals of compassion dear leader Jacinda
    advocates for. Will it be? Maybe. After years of backlash. The gears of New Zealand’s system turn very slowly and with our economy essentially stalled and retracting this situation needs approaching with drastically new ways of thinking. There’s not much hope for that so far with this budget.

  6. A lot of WINZ bashing here , yeah it’s difficult to get on and National made many obstacles/penalties for benes but as a bene of longstanding I have nothing but praise for majority of case managers/workbrokers. I have only ever dealt with two or three arseholes (out of dozens) over 25 years on dole (off & on). Most people in WINZ offices are good people trying to do best in a broken system/with some arsehole head honchos and within constraints of bad legislation.

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