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Welfare Advisory Group member 'disappointed' at Government's response to its report

A member if the Government's Welfare Expert Advisory Group says he's disappointed at the response to its report.

The Government last week accepted the 42 proposals from the group.

One of those was an election promise to scrap sanctions on solo mothers who don't name their child's father.

WEAG member Ganesh Nana told TVNZ1's Breakfast today he acknowledges it's difficult for the Government working under constraints, but is the first member to come out and say he is disappointed at the Government's response.  

"I think disappointed a little bit, I think more saddened that we still have a lot more work to do to get this overhaul," he said.

"[I'm] saddened for the people that we meet in the few months that we did this work, saddened those people literally opened their hearts and souls to us, to me, a complete stranger, willing to share their life stories."

Mr Nana said to be confronted by people living in hardship face-to-face was "really quite sobering". He described people who had suffered illness, relationship breakdowns and job losses doing it tough.

"It just blew away the stereotypes of people sitting on the doll doing nothing," he said. "It was quite humbling in terms of what's actually happening out there."

He understood how some people might feel ignored by the Government, but Mr Nana said the there was hope in the Government's upcoming "wellbeing budget" this month.

"We're still hopeful for some further announcements fairly shortly. [I] acknowledge that the Minister says there is further work going on, but I suppose my response back to the Minister is we've done a fair amount of the work ... we've done the business plan.

"We've got to tackle this. The quicker we tackle this the cheaper it will be."

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Ganesh Nana told TVNZ1’s Breakfast programme he was “disappointed’ but acknowledges it’s difficult for the Government. Source: Breakfast


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