On the 14th September, I went on a hunger strike, initially for being refused food and LPG gas for cooking. I am now protesting against the harsh policies of your department that has left me and others like me in a no win situation, where children everyday go hungry.
Disability groups have said my situation is typical across the country. The Federation of Family Budgeting Services has also come out saying it’s “in talks” with WINZ about unnecessary referrals to its advisers - who in some areas have two month waiting lists. The Federation has received an extra twenty thousand clients in two years but without the necessary funding to cope.
My concerns are:
1. To meet with Paula Bennett face to face, so I can be assured you are fully aware of the concerns that I have raised.
2. Change the Process around giving food grants so that families in need are assisted when needed.
3. Give adequate support for people with disabilities.
4. Your department are not giving full information about my rights or what the Bill actually says and discretion isn't being used at all.
5. Remove stalling policies around food grants. Give food to families where and when it’s needed. Don’t make families jump through hoops to get it!
6. If I see recognition of this from the Minister, or some effort towards a remedy, I will stop my hunger strike.