8 Feb 2015

MSD releases arrest warrant figures

2:51 pm on 8 February 2015

Figures released by the Ministry of Social Development show more than 5000 beneficiaries have been sent arrest warrant notifications since welfare reform changes in 2013.

The changes were introduced to stop people who are evading arrest from getting their benefits, and to help police in clearing outstanding warrants.

The ministry says more than half of the 15,000 people with an outstanding warrant are beneficiaries.

Since July 2013, about 5500 beneficiaries have been sent notices telling them they have such warrants.

More than a third of them live in Auckland.

The ministry said it was unable to say how many people had had their benefits cut as a result of the changes.