2011 Voices of Poverty: Research into poverty in Dunedin

Between July 2010 and April 2011, Presbyterian Support Otago (PSO) interviewed eleven families who were representative of their client base. The intent was to gather information on the changes the families either experienced or put in place to mitigate the effects of the increase in GST (1 October 2010, from 12.5% to 15%), rising prices and an uncertain economic environment as New Zealand moved out of its recession.

During the course of the interviews the government instituted the Future Focus policy direction and, allied to this, the Welfare Working Group reported on possible directions for consultation. Behind both of these initiatives was an expectation that all people of working age who are currently dependent on the government can, and will, be encouraged into paid employment.

Ensuring that families and individuals have sufficient income to meet their basic needs (food, clothing, warm housing and medical care) is a priority; whether those families and individuals are on a benefit or a wage.
Can We Do Better 2008

As in previous reports PSO noted that juggling income, debt, inadequate housing, health and transport difficulties and parenting responsibilities is how people below the poverty line live their lives.

The report concludes with recommendations for action by government, local bodies and the public sector. Has the landscape changed? For New Zealand – yes; we have been through a recession and survived. For the “voices of poverty” – no; for many, their landscape is as bleak as it ever was and for some the future doesn’t look great either.

Has the Landscape Changed? 2011 (PDF, 7.17 MB)
Can We Do Better 2008 (PDF, 1.52 MB)
Old Cold and Costly 2004 (PDF, 2.98 MB)
How Much is Enough : 2003 update (PDF, 137.16 KB)
How Much Is Enough : 2002 research (PDF, 4.15 MB)

Source: https://otago.ps.org.nz/resources

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Economics, People, Politics

49 responses to “2011 Voices of Poverty: Research into poverty in Dunedin

  1. Elizabeth

    26.10.11 ODT Online Group releases ‘Voices of Poverty’

    Between July 1, 2010 and June 20, 2011, total interventions for emergency assistance, budgeting, community welfare and counselling was 8253, compared with 5860 in 2009-10 and 5150 in 2008-09; representing a 60% increase in demand over three years.

    26.10.11 ODT Online Watered-down milk and toast for tea

  2. Amanda kennedy

    Well, if Cr Noone has his way, we will all be paying for our water, because no sacrifice is too much for Farry’s mausoleum. Rates and rent rises to infinity to pay for a dire farry’s folly. When will people wake up?

    • Elizabeth

      “When will people wake up?” Not until they hurt, same old. Even finance minister Bill English is hedging his bets.

    • Elizabeth

      What is Presbyterian Support Otago?
      Presbyterian Support Otago was established in 1906 and is one of seven autonomous regions in New Zealand. Incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957, PSO is the fourth largest employer in Otago with 1188 employees and over 600 volunteers. Through its Family Works, Enliven Positive Ageing Services and residential homes for older people, PSO is a major provider of health and social services in Otago and operates from 18 different sites throughout Otago.

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Thu, 3 Nov 2011
        Shelves bare at foodbanks
        Food banks around the country have empty shelves and no back-up as a wave of need hits New Zealand. Foodbanks from Auckland to Dunedin are reporting empty shelves and with Christmas looming they are asking for food donations – specifically canned soup, fruit and spreads. APNZ
        Read more

      • Elizabeth

        The news item is too important to abridge… The collective efforts of people like the white collar ORFU Board have contributed to the inequality, defrauding the people of South Auckland by ensuring $millions of charitable funds generated in pokie bars up there came south (ILLEGALLY) to feed the fatted calf professional rugby players. What a scurrilous debacle, which the heads at Department of Internal Affairs – old and new – fully condone (by ignore) and paper over, due to their sicko National mates sitting in Government, aided and abetted by the shady character Peter Dunne, Minister of Revenue.

        Household incomes dropped and inequality rose to its highest level ever in New Zealand last year, a Ministry of Social Development report shows.

        ### ODT Online Thu, 23 Aug 2012
        Gap between rich and poor widens ‘substantially’
        By Hayden Donnell – Herald Online
        The Household Incomes Report measuring the wellbeing of New Zealanders by their total after-tax takings has revealed a fall in average incomes for the first time since the early 1990s. It shows the gap between rich and poor widened substantially in 2011, putting inequality at its highest level ever. Middle and lower class workers saw their incomes fall sharply, while the rich saw their earnings increase. Incomes for the richest New Zealanders – named as decile 10 earners – rose the most sharply. The median income for all workers fell three per cent in real terms after going up little from 2010 levels. It is the first time the average household income has dropped since it hit a low point in the early 90s, the report said. The widening gap between rich and poor was down to volatility caused by the Global Financial Crisis, it said. Meanwhile, child poverty rates have remained flat from 2009 to 2011, with 230,000 children in beneficiary households and 25 per cent in houses with no full time worker. Half of all poor children were Maori or Polynesian and half lived in single parent families. Seven out of 10 children identified as poor lived in rental accommodation. An average of 15 per cent of the population lived in poverty – identified as living on less than half of the median household income – at any given time. The next Household Incomes Report measuring results for 2012 is due to be released in mid-2013.
        ODT Link


        ### ch9.co.nz June 13, 2012 – 6:47pm
        Food parcel demand increases
        The demand for food parcels at Presbyterian Support Otago has increased by over 33% over the last nine months. Chief Executive of Presbyterian Support Otago, Gillian Bremner, says the organisation has recently spent $30,000 of its own money to buy food to support the service.

  3. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Fri, 4 Nov 2011
    Editorial: (Can get some) Satisfaction
    The New Zealand General Social Survey, published this week, offers rather different and contrasting perspectives on the question of satisfaction. Conducted by Statistics New Zealand, it follows an inaugural survey done in 2008. It aims to gauge New Zealanders’ general levels of satisfaction with their lives. The 2011 report is based on a survey carried out between April 2010 and March 2011 and involved more than 8000 New Zealanders. It provides information of the wellbeing of New Zealanders aged 15 and over and includes objective information about their individual circumstance.
    Read more

    New Zealand General Social Survey

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Sun, 6 Nov 2011
      Students overwhelm foodbank services
      By Matthew Haggart
      Student demand for financial assistance and foodbank services has soared in Dunedin, with welfare schemes run by student associations at the university and polytechnic being pushed past their financial limits. Otago University Students’ Association welfare officer Shonelle Eastwood said there had been a 64% increase in student demand for foodbank services compared with 2010. Demand for foodbank help was at a record level last month, and also for the year so far.
      Read more

  4. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sat, 12 Nov 2011
    Students launch collection
    By Matthew Haggart
    Two surveying students with a can-do attitude are aiming to boost flagging foodbank stocks, with a collection taking place this weekend in North Dunedin. Third-year student flatmates Michael Mitchell and Trent Davis are prepared to collect unwanted non-perishable food items and cans from flats in the student quarter this weekend. The flatmates have also set up a “drop-off” point at 83 Clyde St for students to deliver any unwanted goods.

    The donated items would be given to the Otago Combined Foodbanks to distribute to welfare-minded groups around Dunedin.

    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 16 Nov 2011
      Students clean out cupboards for charity
      By Matthew Haggart
      Dunedin foodbanks are to get an early Christmas present courtesy of a charity-minded collection by surveying students Trent Davis and Michael Mitchell. The Clyde St flatmates organised their collection to take advantage of the annual “scarfie migration” homewards, when students pack up to return home for the summer holidays. Mr Mitchell said he estimated about 50 students had cleaned out their cupboards to contribute to the collection, after the altruistic pair used social networking sites to publicise their efforts.
      Read more

  5. Phil

    The problem is, Elizabeth, is that what used to horrify us is now accepted as being normal. Many countries choose not to live like that, so it’s possible. But first the issue has to be acknowledged as an issue by those in the position to effect change.

    • Elizabeth

      I’m horrified Phil. Minister Paula Bennett and the likes of National List MP Michael WoodLOUSE refuse to define a poverty line… (despite the report). Hollow shallow pieces of whatever, they are.

  6. Anonymous

    The arrogance presented by the National ministers is astounding. They have clearly and rapidly become disconnected from society and don’t see themselves in the media as everyone else does. They believe in the ideology given by their leaders and this is all is a direct reflection of John Key and to a lesser extent, wannabe Bill English. New Zealand has been violated by this government and there is no genuine empathy for their citizens.

    The Stuff story is more revealing:

    ‘Social Development Minister Paula Bennett hit back at those claims in Parliament today, saying that the real culprit was the international economic downturn.’

    Sure, Paula. You keep saying that and maybe someone will believe you.

    Like the Queenstown wealthy meddling in politics in Dunedin, for National there’s a bigger fish to fry: Assets.


  7. Peter

    For me, the lack of empathy by ‘Grinning John With the Cold Eyes’ was recently exemplified by his decision to attend his son’s baseball game in the USA instead of attending the funerals of the two soldiers killed in Afghanistan. National is quite content to send these brave young soldiers over to a pointless civil war, and let them get killed, but won’t front up and at least do the decent thing and honour them with the attendance of the NZ PM at their funerals. That Labour leader, David Shearer, didn’t seem to think it was worthy of strong criticism doesn’t put him in a good light either.
    There will be plenty of other opportunities for Key to play the good dad and, besides, why couldn’t his little missus go in his place to see the boy? In time, this poor decision by Key will form part of the trickle down effect of his eventual downfall. He is clearly out of touch with people and out of touch with doing the decent, moral thing as PM of New Zealand.

    • Elizabeth

      Household Incomes in New Zealand: Trends in Indicators of Inequality and Hardship 1982 to 2011 (Aug 2012)

      Download the report and related documents here:


      • Elizabeth

        ### smh.com.au August 22, 2012
        Migrants from NZ head here in droves
        By Peter Martin – Sydney Morning Herald
        Australia is facing a flood of economic refugees. But the big numbers aren’t from the north, they are from the across the Tasman, where Statistics New Zealand yesterday announced the biggest exodus to Australia on record. An extraordinary 53,900 New Zealanders moved to Australia in the year to July – around the entire population of New Plymouth, New Zealand’s 11th biggest city. The number dwarfs the 9607 asylum seekers who arrived in Australian waters by boat. The record emigration of 53,900 is a big increase from the same period a year before when 46,450 New Zealanders moved to Australia – itself a record at the time.
        Read more


        ### radionz.co.nz Friday 24 August 2012
        Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep

        08:43 More NZers moving to Australia, but some struggle to get by
        The number of New Zealanders moving to Australia is soaring, but increasing numbers of those who have made the move are struggling to get by in their new country. (3′31″)
        Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

        • Elizabeth

          Every Child Counts chairman Murray Edridge defined poverty as children missing out on needed goods and services including adequate housing, nutrition, warm clothing and healthcare.

          ### ODT Online Sun, 26 Aug 2012
          Child poverty costs country $6b a year: report
          Child poverty is costing New Zealand $6 billion each year, according a new report commissioned by organisation Every Child Counts. Manager Deborah Morris-Travers told TVNZ’s political programme Q+A 25 per cent of children in New Zealand are living in poverty. She said it was concerning to see how poverty affected different ethnicities with 40 per cent of Pacific Island children and 27 per cent of Maori children living in poverty. The report, “1000 days to get it right for every child – the effectiveness of public investment in New Zealand children”, released this week, examines initiatives from the Netherlands which could be applied here. APNZ
          Read more


          [download report here]

  8. Elizabeth

    ### ch9.co.nz October 30, 2012 – 6:52pm
    Presbyterian Support experiences unprecedented demand
    Presbyterian Support have had an unprecedented demand for immediate assistance for families in the last 12 months. And the organisation’s annual report shows an increased number of Otago families have been provided with social work support.

  9. See new comments on another thread:

    Walrus asked:
    Could any body out there enlighten me as to who are the members of the Southern District Health Board, that is presently trying to shaft the P.S.O ?


    Hype O’Thermia
    I googled Southern District Health Board nz members –

    It’s That Man Again – “Stuart McLauchlan (Crown Monitor)”

    Walrus – here’s the link:


    Joe Butterfield (chair)
    Paul Menzies (deputy chair, Southland Constituency)
    Neville Cook (elected member, Southland Constituency)
    Sandra Cook (appointed member, term commenced 25/8/2011)
    Kaye Crowther (elected member, Southland Constituency)
    Mary Flannery (elected member, Otago Constituency)
    Malcolm Macpherson (elected member, Otago Constituency)
    Tahu Potiki (appointed member)
    Branko Sijnja (elected member, Otago Constituency)
    Richard Thomson (elected member, Otago Constituency)
    Tim Ward (appointed member)

  10. Walrus

    Wasn’t Richard Thomson a Labour appointment ( non elected ) to the health board originally ? Maybe Labour should have an inquiry as to why they appointed him in the first place?

  11. Hype O'Thermia

    Presbyterian Support is so widely involved in activities in the region I’d have thought it would have had potentially useful contact with members of the family and friends of the people receiving home care. Looking after people well as individuals is much more successful if you have some idea about their “context”. Yes, they are all individuals and there must be respect and for confidentiality within the bounds of responsibility for their wellbeing, and they are also members of their community not isolated items on a work-plan. They should not be costed, tendered for and serviced according to an itemised list as if they were washing-machines.

    • ### ODT Online Thu, 7 Feb 2013
      Call for ‘open’ answer
      By Eileen Goodwin
      Grey Power wants an ”open honest answer” from the Southern District Health Board about why it ”wiped out” a trusted local provider of home support for older people, Grey Power Otago president Jo Millar says. The health board had not explained why Presbyterian Support Otago (PSO) was ”inferior” to the other tenderers, including Royal District Nursing Service New Zealand (RDNSNZ).
      Mrs Millar will attend tomorrow’s board meeting in Dunedin at Wakari Hospital at 10am, at which PSO will urge the health board to rethink its decision. PSO has said it plans to lodge an interim legal injunction if unsuccessful.
      Mrs Millar said she was also seeking a speaking slot to tell board members of her concerns, including a perception of a lack of transparency. Strong feelings were expressed at a recent Otago-Southland Grey Power meeting, she said, where representatives felt a good provider was ”wiped out” without explanation or warning.
      Read more


      ### ODT Online Thu, 7 Feb 2013
      Editorial: Presbyterian Support’s exclusion
      The Southern District Health Board unleashed widespread upset across the region with its decision just before Christmas to dump Presbyterian Support Otago (PSO) and Disabilities Resource Centre Southland (DRCS) from home support contracts. Two national and one Australian provider have been preferred, where previously 17 groups carried out the work. The dismay and outcry was triggered on several levels. Coming after KiwiRail’s decision to abandon Hillside workshops in Dunedin in favour of Chinese suppliers, a board has said local is not good enough – again. People have been left with the impression organisations with deep roots in the community, apparently, no longer cut it in the modern world.[…]But, assuming it does not now relent, the board is ditching ”tried-and-true” services and seems to be taking on big-is-best and outsiders-are-best ideologies. In these circumstances, it and its senior staff will be under intense pressure if the ”new service” fails to be an improvement. Without any detailed explanations, it is little wonder the community is hurt and suspicious. Both the Government, which directly and indirectly controls much of what the board does, and board members themselves, up for election later this year, could well suffer in the aftermath of this public disquiet. The board had better get it right.
      Read more

      • DCC, you built the stadium, robbing the community of hundreds of millions of dollars – your social strategy is absolute sheer hypocrisy.

        ### ch0.co.nz February 7, 2013 – 7:01pm
        New strategy to look after social wellbeing of residents
        The Dunedin City Council is set to approve a new strategy to look after the social wellbeing of residents. The council will on Monday vote on whether to adopt the Social Wellbeing Strategy, after more than a year of work and public consultation. That consultation included questions on whether the council had a role in social wellbeing. 93% of people answered it should. The goals of the strategy include a community that is connected, safe and healthy, with a reasonable standard of living and affordable homes. The council’s role would include everything from retaining medical services to ensuring homes are insulated.
        Ch9 Link (no video)

        Report – Council – 11/02/2013 (PDF, 4.9 MB)
        Proposed Social Wellbeing Strategy

      • ### ch9.co.nz February 8, 2013 – 7:55pm
        Submitters finally have their say on Presbyterian Support Otago contract loss
        Presbyterian Support Otago went head to head with the Southern District Health Board today. Submitters finally had their say about including PSO as a fourth provider for restorative home care for the elderly. And the organisation is not prepared to give up the fight – but will go to court, if it has to.

        • Thomson keeps pushing his ego into the jam jar in this way.

          PSO chief executive Gillian Bremner said the transfer process was likely to be ”complete disarray”. Board member Richard Thomson asked why PSO did not raise concerns during initial consultation with providers, to which Mr Barton said PSO had anticipated a fair contractual process.

          ### ODT Online Sat, 9 Feb 2013
          PSO fails to sway board on care plan
          By Eileen Goodwin
          A Presbyterian Support Otago (PSO) deputation failed yesterday to sway the Southern District Health Board, which will press ahead with plans to dump the organisation from home-based services as early as next month. PSO chairman Frazer Barton said his board would make a final decision on Monday on whether to lodge an interim legal injunction over the $5.5 million annual contract.
          Read more

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    “Board member Richard Thomson asked why PSO did not raise concerns during initial consultation with providers, to which Mr Barton said PSO had anticipated a fair contractual process.” Ouch!
    Or should that be woosh went right over his teflon head?

    • How much less can you pay home support/care workers… we’re about to find out, via the SDHB – disgusting! The workers have never been paid enough for the work they do, ever. What would Clare Curran know? Typically, very little.

      ### ODT Online Mon, 11 Feb 2013
      Union fears over careworker plan
      By Eileen Goodwin
      A union representing care support workers is nervous about a Southern District Health Board plan to enable transfer of workers to new employers by a different legal mechanism from the vulnerable workers’ protection clause. A letter from funding and finance director Robert Mackway-Jones to outgoing home support providers said an ”alternative arrangement” removed legal uncertainty and process requirements associated with Part 6A in the Employment Relations Act. Part 6A would not cover all care support workers. For instance, it would not cover workers who provided only personal care. The board said care support workers would be offered the same terms and conditions by their new employer. However, it would be up to workers to negotiate the terms.
      Caregivers and Related Employees union organiser Mike Hanifin said the move suggested an ”agenda” at work to reduce workers’ pay and conditions. At face value, it did not seem to comply with the Act for workers who were eligible for Part 6A, he said. There was confusion, and a lack of information and clarification was not helping, he said.
      Read more


      ### ODT Online Mon, 11 Feb 2013
      New regime more efficient – report
      By Eileen Goodwin
      The fewer providers chosen for home-based services, the greater each organisation’s ability to hire highly skilled staff, a Southern District Health Board report says. The document, obtained by the Otago Daily Times, was prepared for the board, which just before Christmas announced it was moving from 17 to three providers, at the expense of Presbyterian Support Otago, which lost a $5.5 million contract.
      Read more

  13. Anonymous

    Lower cost? Translation: Cheap, crappy, outsourced. Can’t change their minds? Translation: Back-handers agreed to. Example: Novapay. This is not about the people who provide the service or use the service. This is about psychopaths marketing a lower ledger balance (always a failure “on reflection”), spending bigger amounts on unrelated departments (think “communications”) and receiving some sort of reward through the back channels. It used to be you only saw these evil bastards from time to time. Now almost all public services are swarming with them.

  14. Hype O'Thermia

    What with that and his opinion piece Do the maths on stadium costs he’s making scratches in the teflon. That’s one of the reasons people toss out a frypan. I wonder what will happen here, will rejection come from the electorate or from Old Boys?

  15. amanda

    Carole Heatley, chief executive of the SDHB, is paid $450,000, what about cutting back on her massive salary to try and cut back on the debt the DHB has got? Especially since it was partly created no doubt by the DHB not noticing Swann’s Swindle of millions over several years leading to a large budget shortfall.

  16. amanda

    Well on Cr MacTavish’s facebook site she tells us she thinks what Thomson says is good sense and is all in agreement. We must keep track of what these politicians support on the run up to the election. For Cr MacTavish, no chance she will support selling the stadium anyway.

    • amanda, they’re a bunch of prunes – we can only hope for a clean out at the elections. Not too many (new candidates) lining up as yet saying they want to stand. Danger signs.

  17. Hype O'Thermia

    My guess is that Thomson will stay on for the same reason as the longevity of Collins and Acklin – people recognise his name. Doesn’t matter whether for competence or its opposite, nor whether where they know his name from indicates usefulness as a councillor – or its opposite. Dunedin electorates should be renamed Cheers. I’m so sincere about this I hereby gift them the word. Expecting Dave to be all over me like a rash any time soon, prior to hiring printers and signwriters.

  18. Rob Hamlin


    Perhaps the thing to do would be to split his vote by enlisting Calvin and changng our names to Richard Thomson Sr., Richard Thomson Jr. and Richard Thomson III respectively and the three of us then running against him.

  19. Calvin Oaten

    OOOOH?? Don’t like the idea of adopting Richard as my name. Too many memories surrounding that name, and not all good either. Personally I think he will bow out this time. He is not having much fun and he is still making an ass of himself on the SDHB. Then there is the retail business which must demand his time, can’t expect his wife to cover for him all the time. Still, on reflection, she might be better off without him. He is certainly no ‘acquisition’ to council.

  20. Hype O'Thermia

    “”Having less [sic] providers reduces the complexity of the process and gives each one the benefit of having greater economies of scale to employ professional project management expertise…..”
    Health professionals would supervise support workers and liaise with GPs, nurses, pharmacists, hospice teams and specialist services.”

    Given the incentives to take profits and squeeze workers and service delivers, I’d prefer to see these health professionals employed directly by the SDHB where their input and oversight could be truly patient-centred rather than employer-centred. With only 3 providers competition and choice are good as eliminated. John Kenneth Galbraith who was an economist whose primary focus was making the economy work in the interests of the people, not the other way round, pointed out that for meaningful competition there must be a minimum of 7 players. I have yet to see real-life demonstration that he was wrong.

  21. Hype O'Thermia

    Does Robert Mackway-Jones/whoever was responsible for the report have special expertise, or are these what they sound like i.e. empty assertions:
    “The ideal number of providers was three, the document concluded.”
    “Finance and funding director Robert Mackway-Jones, when contacted yesterday, acknowledged the risk associated with fewer providers, but this was ”absolutely” outweighed by the benefits of choosing three providers over four.”
    “However, the new service model would be of ”huge benefit” to clients.”

  22. Hype O'Thermia

    In other words one of those “looks good in a suit” useful chaps for presenting crap without asking any questions, yes?

    • The minimum of one year’s work experience “on the ground” in home support care-giving should be prerequisite for his ilk.
      Or living on the employment benefit for a year since there’s little difference. (the equivalent dollar value all MPs and City Councillors should be forced to endure as their pay)

  23. In the video chief executive Gillian Bremner says it’s a huge job preparing for “the transition of 370 staff and 1100 or so clients”. She believes the SDHB will be judged in the court of public opinion, and already has been. I agree.

    ### ch9.co.nz February 14, 2013 – 6:54pm
    Much remains uncertain until infrastructure review
    After a long and drawn out battle, Presbyterian Support Otago has decided not to commence High Court proceedings against the Southern District Health Board. Chief Executive Gillian Bremner compares the idea of a judicial review to ‘surgery without an anaesthetic’.

  24. ### DScene 20.2.13
    Care plea falls on deaf ears (page 5)
    Social agency Presbyterian Support Otago (PSO) may have to forgo other services as it downsizes its home support infrastructure.
    The jobs of PSO home support coordinators and other ancilliary staff hang in the balance over the loss of the [$5.5M] home support contract.
    PSO board chairman Frazer Barton indicated the organisation would seek redress over the way it lost its long-standing contract once the transition for staff and clients was complete. The PSO would consider lobbying the Ombudsman’s Office on the grounds the health board followed improper process in awarding the contract. Barton predicted health board members who voted for the change would feel a backlash during local authority elections.
    {continues} #bookmark

    Register to read DScene online at http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

    • Hard to tell how many PSO home care staff losing their generally low paid positions did find new employment with other providers in the SDHB shake-up of the industry. How many is “Most staff were transferring…”. How many jobs have been lost ?

      ### ODT Online Tue, 23 Apr 2013
      Presbyterian Support to shed hundreds of staff
      By Eileen Goodwin
      Presbyterian Support Otago has confirmed it will lose more than 460 staff as a result of being dropped from home-based support work, while it plans further reviews of its corporate structure. Chairman Frazer Barton said the slimmed-down Dunedin-based organisation was considering new initiatives for older people to fill ”service gaps”.

      Staff numbers would reduce from 1162 people to 700, which included a small number of job losses from an ”infrastructure review” completed last week.

      Chief executive Gillian Bremner said the organisation would review another three areas of corporate services in the next six months.
      Read more

  25. Hype O'Thermia

    What can one say except THIS SUCKS.
    Those health board members need to be named and shamed, repeatedly all the way till the elections.

  26. ### ODT Online Sun, 24 Feb 2013
    Service swamped by Winz referrals
    By Shawn McAvinue
    Dunedin beneficiaries applying for more than five hardship grants in a year have “swamped” budget advisers in Dunedin with nearly 2000 referrals in less than two years. Dunedin Budgeting Advisory Service executive officer Shirley Woodrow said the longest wait for budget advice from the service was a month and then the beneficiary had to return to Winz to get payment of the grant.

    “What’s the point of that? When somebody’s desperate for food and they then have to make an appointment to go back to Work and Income, it just makes a mockery of the whole thing.”

    The “absolutely horrendous” long waiting lists forced beneficiaries to borrow money, Mrs Woodrow said. “Money that they can’t afford to repay, so they just dig a bigger hole for themselves.”
    Read more

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