Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says there should be an amnesty for people committing benefit fraud to help them ensure they're receiving their full benefits.

Turei last week revealed she was a benefit cheat when she was a young solo mother in the 1990s.

Since then she says she's heard from constituents in the same position as she was then - lying to Work and Income about their living situation or having cash jobs to receive more benefits than they are entitled to to get by.

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Turei said if Winz was committed to helping people they must make sure people can talk to them about their situation and costs.

"But nobody will until they are certain they will not suffer, particularly the financial sanctions, which in some cases leave a person without 100 per cent of their benefit," she told Radio New Zealand this morning.

Amnesties have happened in the past, including in 1993 when Turei was receiving the benefit.

She said she wasn't aware of the amnesty at the time, or whether it applied to the period when she was lying to WINZ.

"I wasn't aware of that at the time. We'd need to make sure if we had another amnesty now, that every single beneficiary is aware of it," she said.

Turei has contacted the agency and hopes to go over her paperwork to identify when, for how long she was lying and how much money she received beyond her entitlement.

She has committed to paying it back if asked.

Turei said those who criticise her for lying to Winz rather than finding a job are entitled to their opinion.

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