National | Welfare reform

Native Affairs - Welfare Reform Panel Discussion

Earlier this year Native Affairs looked into the Government's welfare reforms which saw all benefits reworked into just three catergories, we were told the goal was to get people match fit for mahi.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett joined us to explain how the reforms would encourage a smooth transition from benefits to work.

The Minister told Mihingarangi Forbes, “work focus just means that we expect people to be available and looking, if they can’t find a job then they will not be penalised or sanctioned in any way”.

But people living in remote Māori communities like Patricia and Ethel from Horeke say they are being penalised for living local.

In a further interview with Native Affairs the Social Development Minister denied penalising people living in remote locations, however went on to say “well we all make decisions about where the work is and the type of life we want”.