No WINZ in the MSD Waiting Game

Posted 7th Dec 2015

There have been no wins for the South Dunedin community in the continued delay in answers on the status of the South Dunedin WINZ office, says Dunedin South MP Clare Curran.

“It is now six months on from the June floods that wreaked havoc on the community and forced the closure of the South Dunedin WINZ office.

“However the office has stood empty, with no sign of movement. And despite continued pressure from the community, MSD is remaining tight-lipped about when, and indeed if, the South Dunedin premises will re-open.

“A month ago I wrote to the CEO of the Ministry of Social Development (see attached) asking for an urgent indication of when to expect the South Dunedin WINZ office to re-open. I still haven’t received a response. I have also lodged an OIA request, a response to which has been extended until the end of January.

“The refusal to respond reinforces the widespread feelings of neglect and abandonment experienced by the South Dunedin community. The Minister needs to tell this community what its plans are.

“The Dunedin South electorate has more than18,000 people on Income Support, of which 10,000 receive superannuation. 54% of people in electorate receive income of less than $35,000 per annum and in many cases require top ups to their family income.

“The continued closure of the South Dunedin WINZ office has put added pressure on the already hard-hit and vulnerable community. Many have to fork out for extra travel costs to get to the central Dunedin WINZ office. Social Service Agencies have reported an increase in clients facing extreme financial hardship finding it difficult to access a WINZ office.

“The South Dunedin community has had to be resilient since the June floods. But it’s time for some long-overdue answers. It's time to ramp things up. MSD needs to stop obfuscating, and give us answers on if, and when, the South Dunedin WINZ office will re-open” Clare Curran said.
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132 Hillside Road, South Dunedin