31 Oct 2019

Welfare sanction penalises Māori - advocates

From Morning Report, 8:26 am on 31 October 2019

Beneficiary advocates say the Ministry of Social Development needs to hurry up and scrap a sanction that is overwhelmingly penalising Māori, and leaving children hungry.

The use of the sanction, which cuts off or reduces benefits if a beneficiary doesn't get a warrant to arrest cleared, has risen by almost 60 percent over the past four years.

Of those sanctioned in 2018, 70 percent were Māori.

The government's own welfare expert advisory group has recommended the sanction be removed.

Meriana Johnsen reports.