Mccardle Pleased At Big Improvement Over Student Allowance Payments

  • Peter McCardle
Associate Minister of Social Services, Work and Income (Work and Income)

"I am pleased the basic problems over student allowances have been fixed, and that WINZ has the payment delays under control", Associate Social Services, Work and Income Minister Peter McCardle said today.

He was commenting on the Work and Income NZ report into the delays which has been presented to Parliament's Social Services select committee, and released today.

"The system is now performing as it should, with phone waiting times down to 15 seconds on average, payment delays minimised, and no backlog of applications. I am satisfied that the changes needed have been made, and that the problems won't reoccur.

"As the report says, the majority of applications have been processed in an accurate and timely manner. WINZ has assured me that the transition year problems are over, and I am confident that WINZ will not only handle allowances well in future, but also student loans.

"However I am alarmed to learn that so many media reports of individual students' cases have proved to be false or misleading after being investigated by WINZ. Some of the students quoted had not even applied for allowances, let alone faced delays, yet the overall effect was to cast WINZ in a bad light," Mr McCardle concluded.