Beneficiaries line up for help

Student and unionist Kate Davis shared a photo on twitter of the large crowd which had formed by 7.30am. Photo: @kateinthebay/Twitter
Student and unionist Kate Davis shared a photo on twitter of the large crowd which had formed by 7.30am. Photo: @kateinthebay/Twitter

A crew of more than 100 volunteers are helping people access the benefits they're entitled to at Mangere Work and Income this week, with large queues forming outside the premises from 6.30am.

The event had been so popular, organisers Auckland Action Against Poverty had put on barbecues, going through thousands of sausages already.

AAAP organised three beneficiary "impact" sessions this week - on Tuesday, yesterday and today.

Spokeswoman Sue Bradford said even the group's most seasoned advocates were surprised at the number of people waiting when they arrived to start work on Tuesday.

Today, student and unionist Kate Davis shared a photo on Twitter of the large crowd which had formed by 7.30am.


"This week our crew of over a hundred volunteers are doing everything possible to help people access the assistance to which they're entitled," Ms Bradford said.

"Ideally people should be receiving their full entitlements from Work and Income as a matter of course.

"Instead we are seeing hundreds of people in desperate need, often with no food in the house, and not even the most basic of household equipment like beds, a washing machine or a fridge."

She said many people were not getting the full amount of assistance they were entitled to, in situations where $30 to $50 a week more would make a huge difference.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg."

By lunchtime on Tuesday the group had to turn people away, as so many were already waiting.

"By the end of the week we hope to have assisted at least 600 to 700 people," Ms Bradford said.

She said the Ministry of Social Development had put on more than 30 extra staff over the three days, but ongoing computer breakdowns had slowed things down

- NZ Herald

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