Monday, October 09, 2017

WINZ sucks

Anyone who has ever dealt with WINZ knows that they're a pack of incompetent muppets. But now, thanks to a coroner's ruling, it's official:

Investigators at the Ministry of Social Development had such a lack of understanding about the rules of prosecuting benefit cheats, that they were "not well equipped to make sound and appropriate decisions", a coroner has found.

Coroner Anna Tutton​ released her findings on Monday after the inquest into the 2011 death of Wendy Shoebridge in Lower Hutt, north of Wellington.


In the finding, the coroner stated that the ministry's management was not advised Shoebridge was at risk of suicide.

The ministry had developed training which was unhelpful to staff and "inconsistent with some of the content of the prosecution guidelines", the findings stated.

Inappropriate training and an aggressive attitude towards prosecutions (including prosecution targets for investigators) means people being inappropriately prosecuted. And in this case, it had fatal consequences. The coroner doesn't call it murder, but that's what it was: WINZ hounded this woman to her death. And they and the Minister who set their toxic culture need to be held accountable for it.