Welfare cut protesters arrested
Tue, 18 Sep 2012 4:51p.m.
Anti-poverty campaigners protesting the Government's welfare reforms have chained themselves to the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) Auckland regional office.
About 20 people took part in today's protest at the office in suburban Ellerslie, entering the building and chaining themselves to equipment.
Inspector Lou Alofa of the police northern communications centre said up to six people had been arrested.
"We have several people who have chained themselves to one of the pillars there and police are working towards a resolution," he said.
It was reported left-wing protester and former Green MP Sue Bradford was among those at the protest.
The protest was staged by Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP), who are protesting against welfare reforms which would see stronger work-seeking obligations for beneficiaries and penalise beneficiaries who fail drug tests or who have outstanding arrest warrants.
"We believe that the Government’s ongoing attacks on beneficiaries are nothing less than a brutal assault on the wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of children and adults who are dependent on the state for survival," AAAP spokesperson Sarah Thompson said.
"We are occupying MSD today not as an attack on MSD staff who are probably as concerned as we are about the impact of the proposed changes, but to expose and oppose the sheer brutality of National's actions."
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26/09/2012 3:19:20 p.m.
MIKE B (and others): The trouble with your comment is that these cuts and rules apply across the board, not just to those who are identified as being a 'dead weight', druggies, lazy etc. I am not any of them and it affects me, even though there is a damned good reason for me to be on a benefit until my son is old enough that it takes him out of the "medically fragile" bracket. I have worked since I got my first after school job at a supermarket. I have served my country, I have worked damned hard in every job I have had, and found myself suddenly walking into WINZ whilst my son lay in an incubator in the Newborn Intensive Care and asking for help. NEVER did I ever think I would be in this position. I HATE it, yet I am so thankful that it is there...and yet - again - I am treated like scum because I do get a benefit. I WORK and I WORK HARD for my son's money. I work non-stop, 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. I don't sleep, I don't go out, I don't do a damned thing. I have the internet as that is my link to the world, I also have a car - which is not deemed to be an "essential" item - because I can not count the amount of times I have had to take my son to the hospital for surgeries and appts - he has 7 files and has been to theatre around 33 times...he is 6. So no, not every person on a benefit is a bludger, a liar, a druggy, a no-hoper lazy criminal. Oh and beneficiaries DO PAY TAX, it is just taken out before the money is paid in to their accounts. Please think about that while you bash ALL of us. Make a clear distinction please. I get paid to raise a good boy into a great man. It is my job to make sure he thrives. He eats before me. He eats good food, I eat whatever I can find for cheap. The money is for us to live, it isn't living. He lives, I survive. That is my role and I accept that. And when all this is done, I will run for Parliament as the SWDM and IF Paula B is still in the job, knock her off her perch and place her squarely where she belongs...in the dirt.
26/09/2012 6:00:03 a.m.
Me and my partner were denied food grants because we got payed in three days, winz stopped paying me as I was studying, but studylink was still processing my things so we had to rely on my partners winz money for the both of us. So for three days we had nothing to eat, we had eaten all of our noodles, no bread, nothing. Did people not see these things coming when they voted for national in the last elections? I voted greens.
24/09/2012 4:45:43 p.m.
Martin Niemöller wrote:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.
22/09/2012 12:51:26 p.m.
What will be in the *lunch box's* of those attending the (TPP) "trans pacific partnership" talks in Auckland this 3rd of December? @ $500,000? Greyfish & Rubarb? as they talk about who owns what and who in the Pacific?
22/09/2012 2:00:18 a.m.
Vision of the past or the future.
They have built the ghettos, sow'ed the seeds of discontent, fabricated the myth and systematically dumbed down the population, now all the government needs to do is give us a number and lead us into the sweat shop or perhaps the gas chamber.
22/09/2012 12:11:58 a.m.
Matt J wrote:
New Zealand not so long ago used to be renowned for being a society where we looked out for one another. Somewhere along the line we've adopted the nasty Thathcherite-Reganonmics free market mantra of "begger thy neighbour" and "I'm alright Jack". Fair play to these guys for taking a stand over what is an abhorrent and pointless targetting of beneficiaries by this National govt. It nothing more than an appeasement to the far right of their party. Considering the low socio economic backgrounds John Key & Paula Bennett have come from and many others in National's ranks this kind of policy smacks of "Pulling the ladder after them". The fact is the jobs aren't there. Or there aren't jobs that will pay enough for many people to live off especially in major cities like Auckland.
19/09/2012 4:04:07 p.m.
@Jonathon National have tried that failed concept previously... obviously they didnt pay beneficiaries minimum wage for doing that work however.
The main problems with that scheme are that it interferes with the persons availability to find real work, interferes with an employers need to contact that person if they are repeatedly taken out of home and put into the community.
And I dont see National ever paying beneficiaries minimum wage to do these things as overall it would cost them far more.
And also displace council workers when councils started to rely on indentured labour to do the jobs that they would normally hire full time workers to do.
19/09/2012 1:55:05 p.m.
The problem in NZ is that the benefit has become a hammock for some and not the safety net it is supposed to be (to help the sick/ temporarily unemployed/ young single mums/ provide for children e.t.c). Also there is a huge dead weight cost to the whole country which causes high taxes and makes our standard of living relative to the rest of the world drop. There is a real simple solution... beneficiaries who can't find the work be required for the value of their benefit at minimum wage to work for their local council doing jobs that don't displace other workers. In areas of high unemployment this would mean graffiti could be removed, walkways created, city beautification, helping the poor elderly with maintenance and create a nicer more proud community. The benefit would be renamed to a wage as it would no longer be a gift/ benefit but enough guaranteed work to provide a basic living... it would remove the stigma of benefits as people have earnt their money as well and those who don't want to work don't have to but the work is there if they want it...
19/09/2012 9:33:02 a.m.
Mike B wrote:
I do not understand what the fuss is about? None of the reforms the government is introducing are "benefit bashing"! Surely we want to be sure that beneficiaries are not using the money for drugs? We all want to see the list of beneficiaries reduce, so what is the problem of returning a phone call? It seems that all the people protesting are saying that is exactly what beneficiaries are doing and will get caught out. Nowhere has the government said it is going to cut the benefit for the sake of cutting! If I was on a benefit, I would be upset that people are protesting because what they are saying is that people on the benefit are takers and liars! If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.
18/09/2012 7:50:32 p.m.
@alison wrote: Yeah well said. Everyone seems to have such a strong *sense of entitlement* these days to Bash some of societies most vulnerable-Abused Women raising kids,the Sick,The poor, Invalids, those in invisible jobs? The really SAD thing is the amount of joy some get from it? and the support they are getting from our Government.
@BAZRAZ and @brian: These People Lovingly put their Butts on the line to go out to stand up for the rights thousands of People, Kia Kaha to them. What are you 2 doing???Take a look at yourselves....good luck with that
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