Jigsaw shares info on ways Minister could change Winz
New Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni wants to change the culture of Winz.
The Labour MP
“We found her very connected to the real experiences of people on the ground and genuinely interested and very well informed,” Jigsaw executive officer Tim Metcalfe said.
It was Sepuloni’s first visit to the city and she began it by meeting iwi and social agencies at Cooks Gardens to build trust and talk about how information from their clients was used. It was one of 28 hui on the subject.
The previous Government-based funding for agencies on whether they collected and shared information about clients, a “data-for-funding regime”.
It wanted to calculate the cost of state interventions.
The Privacy Commissioner has said being asked for such information would put people off accepting agency support.
“We are not running a ‘data-forfunding’ regime. Instead we are sitting down with the social sector to discuss how we use information safely,” Sepuloni said.
She is conducting a major review into the welfare system. She wants to change the culture of Work and Income NZ (Winz), and Jigsaw wants to contribute information.
Staff told her clients’ experiences with Winz were “mixed”. Sepuloni asked them to give her office examples of people being treated “respectfully”.
Metcalfe said Whanganui agencies shared information well at intersector case management meetings but not so well at “top-down” forums driven by central government.
“We’ve got some good examples of initiatives under way at the moment, working from the ground up.”
Jigsaw Whanganui executive officer Tim Metcalfe (left) talks social policy with Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni and Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway. PHOTO / STUART MUNRO