New Zealand Labour Party

Wagner must step up and demand some answers

Christchurch Central MP Nicky Wagner should be demanding some answers from her colleague Anne Tolley following the appalling treatment of one of her constituents, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.

“The woman, Louise, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Work and Income had described her reason for not being able to work as ‘sexual activity’ after she had applied for financial assistance. 

“She requested the description be removed from her file, it wasn’t.

“Apparently Louise approached Nicky Wagner for help, but received no replay and no assistance. Ms Wagner should be ashamed. She should be advocating on Louise’s behalf and demand a response from the Minister of Social Development as to why Louise was treated so badly.

“She's done everything right; she has been working, she got sick, and she's asked for support.

“On top of all that, she was put on the Job Seeker Support and made to jump through administrative hurdles to receive financial assistance despite her medical condition.

“Work and Income, and the local MP, should be providing support for people like Louise, not making life even more difficult.” 

Note: A Member’s Bill in Carmel Sepuloni’s name proposes extending the eligibility of the Supported Living Payment to provide support and assistance to people with temporary medical conditions while they are unable to provide for themselves.