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Ed Sheeran

All Beneficiaries should be treated with respect and dignity

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Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni says she wants to change the conversation about welfare benefits.

That’s one reason for appointing an 11-member expert group to advise the Government on overhauling the welfare system.

It will be chaired by former Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro and includes sociologist Tracey McIntosh and NZ Human Rights Review Tribunal member Huhana Hickey

Ms Sepuloni says under the previous government beneficiaries seemed to get a booting nearly every week, and she wants a different narrative that acknowledges the welfare system is about all New Zealanders.

"At any point and time we could end up needing to rely on MSD for support. And every NZer whether you be a superanuatant or a disabled person, a young person whose out of work, a sole mum, every person deserves to be treated with respect and dignity and be provided with the support that our Social Security Act and Social Security system is meant to offer," she says.

While the expert panel is doing its work Ms Sepuloni will push on with looking at service delivery and pushing culture change in the department to make it a more welcoming place.


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