Via Idiot / Savant
Carrying her four month old baby with her, a young mother in Gisborne looking for somewhere to stay was turned away by WINZ. She tried the Women’s Refuge, but they necessarily focus on women fleeing from domestic violence, and the Salvation Army, where she was greeted only by an answering machine. A real estate agency helped her out.
“I’m looking at this girl with her four-month-old baby and thinking, ‘what is happening in this country?’ Is it really possible that there is more support for a penguin than for a mother and her child here in New Zealand? What happens to people like this?”
WINZ offered her an appointment to discuss her housing needs in eight days time.
The young mother was not the only person who could find nowhere to live in Gisborne.
Salvation Army community ministries co-ordinator Bev Hauiti said the mother received food parcel assistance from them the next day.
She also confirmed a lack of emergency housing in Gisborne.
“A lady came in with three children and they had been sleeping on the beach.”
It’s not good enough. At all. And given the National-led governments stated policy of downsizing the public sector and cutting resources, I suspect that it’s only going to get worse. They say that they won’t target front line staff, but those front line staff need back room support, in order to deliver that services that New Zealand citizens and residents need. It’s no wonder that front line staff in government agencies make mistakes like this.
I’m still not sure whether my vote will be Green or Labour, come November 26. But I am absolutely certain that it will not be National or any of their satellite parties.