Jig­saw shares info on ways Min­is­ter could change Winz

Whanganui Chronicle - - News - By Lau­rel Stow­ell

New So­cial De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Carmel Sepu­loni wants to change the cul­ture of Winz.

The Labour MP

Whanganui yes­ter­day.

“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

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