New Zealand Labour Party

Go ask WINZ

"All I can say to people if somebody is homeless they should go see Winz."

- John Key on what desperate families living in cars should do.

Here's 5 reasons why going to WINZ won’t necessarily help if you’re homeless:

Lack of Accommodation 

So you need emergency housing? Tough. You may be found a place, but then again you might not. The Government has admitted there’s not enough and Paula Bennett was forced to backtrack after it was revealed most of the funding for 3000 “new” beds in Budget 2016 was for existing ones. Even if they find you a temporary home there is a shortage of long term options - the Government has reduced the number of state houses by nearly 3,000 since 2011. Solution? Don't be homeless.


Physical address

WINZ will make it difficult if you don’t have one of these. Physical addresses are used as proof of address and a point of contact. They are generally required so social workers/ WINZ staff can check up on support seekers. All correspondence is done via post, community service cards must be posted, plus you also need proof of a physical address to apply to WINZ for all of the above. Solution? Don’t be homeless.

Please queue here

If you make it onto a waiting list congratulations – but don’t expect action any time soon. Crowded waiting lists mean it can take years for someone to make it to the top and receive much-needed support. Solution? Don't be homeless. Or try the local marae.


Documentation is very important, it tells WINZ you’re a real person. It’s also very bureaucratic. This doesn’t bode well for people looking for help who don’t have hard copies of particular documents let alone access to internet, a letter box, printers or a scanner. 

You don't like camping

Work and Income has been found in the past to have referred people to camp grounds and caravan parks. It is a pretty small gain to go from living in a car to a caravan. On the other hand WINZ may send you to a motel as an emergency housing option if they have nowhere else to house you. However, the hundreds, and even thousands, of dollars of debt you will be quickly burdened with only brings further stress and hardship. 

The solution? Don't be homeless.