Teuila’s story

This post was transcribed directly from a focus group recording made during my research. The woman’s name has been changed and any information that could potentially identify her has been removed. In places I have inserted words for clarity (enclosed within square brackets), and in others I have taken out…

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“It’s just bullshit”: Welfare Discourse and the Special Needs Grant

It is troubling that when Work and Income caseworkers have met welfare recipients who are working hard but struggling financially to raise children on a benefit, they still manage to arrive at opinions about their character. I’ve listened to the same stories of hardship told to staff at Work and…

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Sam’s Story

This post was transcribed directly from a focus group recording made during my research. The woman’s name has been changed and any information that could potentially identify her has been removed. In places I have inserted words for clarity (enclosed within square brackets), and in others I have taken out words…

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Desiree’s story

  This post was transcribed directly from a focus group recording made during my research. The woman’s name has been changed and any information that could potentially identify her has been removed. In places I have inserted words for clarity (enclosed within square brackets), and in others I have taken…

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Fear and loathing

Since the shootings at the Ashburton Work and Income office, there has been a lot of talk about the need for additional security for Work and Income staff. Anxiety about staff safety in the aftermath of the shootings led to MSD increasing security guards from an average of one per office to up to three.…

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It’s just not a normal waiting room

In this blog I’ve written a lot about the everyday interactions in the Work and Income offices. These interactions generally aren’t pleasant. But it’s not just the one-on-one interactions with staff that impact beneficiaries. Framing these interactions is the physical environment at Work and Income. Participants in my research repeatedly…

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Vicky’s story

This post was transcribed directly from a focus group recording made during my research. The woman’s name has been changed and any information that could potentially identify her has been removed. In places I have inserted words for clarity (enclosed within square brackets), and in others I have taken out…

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Why are we running around for these people?

I am very critical of Work and Income in this blog. While I’m unapologetic about my criticism of the organisation, sometimes I feel that caseworkers disproportionately bear the brunt of disparaging comments that should be more appropriately directed towards their employer. While case managers are the face of Work and…

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