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August 13, 2007 | by  | in News |
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How to piss off WINZ

An article published in last week’s Salient titled ‘How to Rip Off WINZ’ has caused an angry reaction from Work and Income, who called it “disappointing”,“misleading” and “irresponsible.”

The how-to guide was written by Salient’s chief sub-editor Dave Crampton, who had previously worked as a case manager at Work and Income for a year. It provided students with detailed information on how to get free clothes, furniture and mobile phones through the loopholes in the Work and Income system.

Work and Income Wellington regional manager Mike Bryant admitted to the New Zealand Herald that much of the information in the article was correct.

The article earned a wide-ranging response on Salient’s website, with some readers condemning the story. One reader alleged that it “[perpetuated] the stereotype of a lazy and unmotivated dole-bludging student.”

Others applauded the article for highlighting the government’s inaction in providing financial aid for students. One reader wrote “The beehive will be buzzing again, to try and introduce a law to close this loophole!”

Both VUWSA President Geoff Hayward and NZUSA Co-President Joey Randall believe that the article emphasises the inadequate support students have from the government.

“In absence of strong commitment from the government to institute a universal student allowance, students have to find these loopholes to survive,” Hayward says.

According to Randall, the best route was “students [having] access to assistance that they require and [having] food and power without working extensive hours.”

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