John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty

Media release Tuesday 21 October 2014


“John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford.

“Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete for paid work are commonplace in America.

“They might sound new and sexy in today’s Speech from the Throne but will do nothing to create jobs for the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who need decent work at decent wages, now.

“If the government is concerned about reducing skills shortages, it would make far more sense to put resources into training and education here, instead of constantly reducing access to tertiary education – and staging job fairs in Brisbane and Sydney.

“In the most recent Household Labour Force Survey there were over 236,000 jobless people in New Zealand.

“This October job losses have been announced at Donaghys, Heinz-Wattie, Tasman Insulation, Wellpack and State Insurance – and that’s just so far.

“Job fairs might serve as a kind of glorified schools career day, but nothing will change for those who do not enough hours of paid work, or no paid work at all.

The welfare measures in National’s plan won’t help either.

Extending full income management for some people up to age 19 through non-State providers is part of the ever encroaching privatisation of welfare.

No jobs will be created by this extension of the government’s patronising, disempowering approach towards young adults who should be taking charge of their lives, not having the last vestiges of control removed from them.

John Key has come a long way since his Jobs Summit two terms of Parliament ago.  He is not even pretending to talk about job creation.

Instead we’re to have the superficial and meaningless fix of John’s Job Fairs, and the endless rollout of the Bennett/Rebstock vision for welfare.


Kia ora AAAP friends, whanau & those that might need our help with Work & Income issues – just to let you know we’re back in action for new beneficiary advocacy cases, after shutting our doors for a couple of weeks to catch up on all the work arising form the Mangere impact .

Phone us on (09) 634 0591, email

film night poster

AAAP Film night fundraiser: ‘The Dark Horse’


Auckland Action Against Poverty are excited to announce we’re hosting our first fundraiser of 2014!

What: Film Night Fundraiser screening of ‘The Dark Horse’
Where: The Lido Cinema, 427 Manukau Road, Epsom, Auckland (venue is wheelchair accessible)
When: 7.45pm, Sunday 31st of August.

Ticket Price: $15 Unwaged/ Student – $25 Solidarity

“I do not say this lightly: The Dark Horse is not to be missed. It’s beautifully told, bravely executed, and truly inspiring.”- Kate Roger, TV3

This August, we worked with addressing some of the immediate needs of over 500 people in Mangere in just three-days at our annual benefit IMPACT. Our ongoing advocacy, direct action, education and campaigns could not happen without the generous support of individuals, unions and groups who believe in our kaupapa.

A group like ours is very difficult (if not impossible) to sustain out of government or philanthropic funding, so if you support our ongoing work please come along and bring your friends, whānau and workmates along and enjoy this highly recommended NZ film with us!

Seats are limited. Door sales will be available, however booking ahead strongly recommended. Please purchase your tickets through online deposit:

Auckland Action Against Poverty
38 9011 0832874 00

IMPORTANT: please reference as follows so we can allocate you your ticket/s.
Particulars: [Your First Name]
Code: [Your last Name]
Reference: Film

If you are booking multiple tickets, or have any questions please send an email to

See you there!

For a full review see here.

Beneficiary ‘impact’ in Mangere next week



Welfare activist group Auckland Action Against Poverty is holding its third beneficiary ‘impact’ next week in Mangere.

9.00am – 4.00pm Tues 5 – Wed 6 – Thurs 7 August

Mangere Work & Income, 93 Mascot Ave

“These are desperate times for people who aren’t getting the support they need and to which they are entitled,” says AAAP spokesperson and co-chair Sue Bradford.

“An ‘impact’ is an intervention in which beneficiary advocates come together from different organisations to help as many people as possible over a concentrated three day period at one Work & Income office.

“We ran two earlier impacts in Onehunga (2012) and New Lynn (2013) in each of which we assisted nearly 300 people over the three days.

“National’s welfare reforms are really bedding in now, and we are expecting to see even more people this time round.”

“Our team of volunteer advocates is bigger than ever this year, with over 40 people involved, while MSD is putting on more than 20 extra staff over the three days.

“People who need help from Work & Income should be treated with respect and get their full entitlements from the minute they walk into any office. Unfortunately, the reality is often very different.

“Paula Bennett’s welfare changes are deliberately designed to keep people off benefits as much as possible, whether they have other means of support or not.

“The downstream consequences can be devastating, and the cold winter is making things even harder for people trying to subsist without adequate income or housing.

Work and Income fail to provide support


Media Release – Friday 13 June

Work and Income fail to provide support

Auckland Action Against Poverty has today raised further examples of the harsh reality of Paula Bennett’s welfare reforms.

“The National Government continues to ignore the social and economic reality of beneficiaries. Their individual needs and circumstances are not addressed by Work and Income.  The government has no focus on job creation, whilst remaining focused on harassing beneficiaries, ” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson, Alastair Russell.

“A 48 year old man has had heart attacks, a serious brain injury, heart surgery and a defibrillator inserted into his heart since 2012. His heart surgeon wrote a letter to his GP in 2013, “in support of him being placed on a longer term benefit.” Work and Income continued to treat this man as a Jobseeker, fully able to work until he sought support from one of our advocates. His individual circumstances were ignored by Work and Income.”

“A man with 3 children needs a fridge and school uniforms for his children. When he applied for bond money to move into a flat Work and Income left him to pay $400 of the bond putting the family into further financial hardship. Work and Income had the ability to help him and his children with all of these things and declined to do so.”

“A woman with a 2 year old child paying rent of $450 per week wanted to move into a cheaper flat. She had transport costs from going to job interviews. She also needed money to buy tyres to get a Warrant of Fitness for her car. Work and Income declined to help her.”

“A woman caring for a 4 year old child has rent arrears and faces eviction. She needs a washing machine as she rents one at $16 per week. She has had her wallet stolen and now has no photo ID and can’t open a bank account. Work and Income have declined to help.”

“In each of these cases Work and Income have acted with total disregard for the person’s situation. All of these people are determined to do their best for their kids. Rather than Work and Income using their discretion as set out in legislation to help, they make life as hard as possible. These situations are only resolved with competent benefit advocacy support,” says Mr Russell.

“Paula Bennett states beneficiary numbers have reduced by 15,000 in the last 12 months. She provides no statistics to show where these people have gone to or that they and their families’ situations have improved.”

“We are alarmed that whilst beneficiary numbers reduce the unemployment rate remains static. Ms Bennett can provide only 3 anecdotes to show that welfare reform is a positive thing. She provides no information about the 14,997 others.”

“The reality of welfare reform is one of on-going harassment, denial of lawful benefit entitlements and poverty. Ms Bennett and her government have no plan for job creation. They do not support a Living Wage. Ms Bennett’s welfare reforms remain a disaster,” says Mr Russell