The Social Development Minister must urgently step in to resolve serious problems with the new WINZ IT system which is stopping superannuitants and beneficiaries accessing support such as emergency food grants and housing, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.
“Anne Tolley must take responsibility for these failures as it is affecting a wide range of people including those applying for new benefits.
“Budget advisors are saying they’re dealing with clients in increasingly desperate situations because of these problems.
“WINZ staff are also reporting their inability to access information or to process grantsand new benefits. What’s even more worrying is that some say they’ve known about these problems with the system and that’s why the roll-out was delayed three times.
“Labour understands thousands of WINZ clients a week are affected by this and the Minister must give an assurance that their proper care is being immediately addressed.
“The Minister should have fronted up and told people about the IT system failure, not waited for Labour to make it public.
“With WINZ’s bad track record with IT systems, Anne Tolley should have had an extra close eye on this project,” Carmel Sepuloni says.