Monthly Archives: October 2014

Open Letter to New Zealand Ministry of Social Development

16 October 2014

 

Mr Rob Brown

General Manager

Office of Corporate & Governance

Ministry of Social Development

PO Box 1556

WELLINGTON 6140

 

 

 

Dear Mr Brown

 

Thank you for your recent letter I am disappointed the Chief Executive refuses to deal with this matter himself, as it doesn’t appear he has spoken to a disgruntled disabled person on long term welfare, however I will do my best to respond to your letter.

 

My expertise is in stress disorders, psychology, using welfare, health and justice agencies.  12 years of study to try and understand what was happening to me after I was raped and how useless mental health services were to heal and support me.  I have barely worked in this time and currently spend around 70 hours per week trying to get treatment care and rehabilitation as well as protesting to highlight the gross miscarriage of justice going on in ACC and mental health services.

 

The majority of your staff are of course not directly responsible for the Ashburton killings.  However it is the ever increasing degrading policies and demands WINZ makes of disabled unemployed people that is.  I cannot believe you don’t understand what degrading hell it is to walk into a WINZ office year after year.  To have to tell a stranger what a loser you are, how little money you have and all your personal details.  At the same time you are watching the person at the next desk begging for help as well – you know details about why they are there.  I want to be able to TELL you these types of stories so you understand what people are going through.

 

I attended a series of lectures on Public Policy early last year, at one of these it was explained how there was a concern that senior public servants were not being told important information from middle management.  This is the only explanation I can think of for why you are not aware of the degrading nature of your processes and environment you have created.

 

Also I know there are people in your office who decide how much money people on welfare receive.  My case manager told me she could not live on what I was getting, but expected me to.  I was in a very unstable and dangerous living situation at the time – I already have a life-threatening stress disorder and this made it much worse.  Behind her on the wall was a large mural saying te tangata, te tangata, te tangataI (Wainuiomata office), this is so offensive to someone begging for help.  I want to tell you about some of my experiences at WINZ, my case managers have all been good people, it is what they are expected to do that is damaging, humiliating and degrading.

 

Every person who has ever been on welfare for any length of time blames MSD for what happened in Ashburton.  Roydon Christie on Breakfast the morning after the shootings first comment was I wonder what happened to that man.  You must know this, I can’t believe you take absolutely no responsibility for this considering the increasing levels of violent incidence – why do you think this was happening.  It was happening because people were being degraded further and denied more.

The narrow parameters of the review, have avoided the issue of degrading services and people driven to breaking point with unstable housing & income.  Have these violent incidents increased since 2011 when the National party changed the law and criteria for disabled people.  When WINZ started employing its own staff to define people’s level of health and support they should get?  I have spoken with Rob Robinson and Murray Jack about this.  I was so extremely concerned with the way the Ministry and Minister had absolved themselves of any responsibility on news media following the tragedy.

 

Unfortunately Mr Brown the tragedy at Ashburton was entirely predictable for those of us living in the darklands of New Zealand, things out here are very difficult and really harming people psychologically.  It was made even more insulting when the National party covered New Zealand in signs saying WORKING FOR NEW ZEALAND.  For those of us who cannot work due to lack of health and welfare services it is an insult as the NZ government are not working for us.

 

Due to my protests about the appauling state of mental health care for abused, disabled and mentally ill people I hear dozens of terrible stories.  I get a huge amount of support for my protests from people on the street. I believe my knowledge and ‘lay-expert’ opinion is important to MSD if they TRULY want welfare offices to be safer places for clients and staff.

 

Recently I was insulted by a young woman covered in tattoos and piercings, drinking red wine from a cup in a van of similar people across from the High Court –they were there supporting a friend who had done something really bad.  She insulted me for not working and said at least all of them had jobs and I was just a loser who wanted attention.  I am a good person, I do not associate with bad people, don’t have any tattoos and only my ears pierced.  Until I was charged with wilful trespass of Law Society ACC and Ministry of Health this year (because I couldn’t get a lawyer or services I was entitled to) I had never had a criminal charge.  There have been other instances of degrading insults about not working and I need to TELL you about them, explain what happens – even with my own extended family who are ashamed of me.

 

Did you have an ‘independent’ senior psychologist/psychiatrist on the review board to advise your department of the adverse psychological impacts of increasing security on the already traumatised and stressed disabled unemployed?  Also did you get ANY feedback at all from clients of WINZ in Ashburton.  Why do you think another worker killed herself two days later then?  It so happens I know a senior employee who had left the office only weeks before the killings – she had been desperate to get out she hated it so much, she was ashamed of working for WINZ – why do you think that is.

 

This letter is intended to assist MSD and to stop more people flipping out and hurting innocent people.  I am devastated by what happened, when I spoke to Rob Robinson and Murray Jack I cried when I said how disappointed I was in myself, that maybe if I had protested more, written more letters, done more to expose just how bad mental health services were and how degrading poverty was in New Zealand then maybe Ashburton wouldn’t have happened.

 

 I understand why you put in more security but I can assure you it is degrading and intimidating.  Again I have information with regard to this that you need to hear.  I believe the recommendations were short-sighted and over-zealous, you are never going to stop random acts like this.  But you can stop degrading people on long-term welfare.  Bill English said before the elections how people on long-term welfare were like P addicts, they became addicted to it.  I was insulted and horrified that a cabinet minister would say something as ignorant as this.  I have been fighting for years to get health care I am entitled to so I can heal and get back to work.  This is ignorance combined with bigotry at the highest level and should not be allowed to impact on services WINZ provides as required by law.

 

You may have taken all steps to protect staff, but you don’t appear to have acknowledge the degrading hell people on long-term welfare are being subjected to.  Psychological torture is what it is, ask anybody who has been on long-term welfare – do you survey clients?  Especially when you are an intelligent person but too dysfunctional to work and keep getting refused services you know you are entitled to.

 

You talk about the physical safety of staff, but what about the psychological safety of staff and clients.  Although my WINZ case managers have been great I have been told of other people that are not – some who are particularly degrading of men.  Can you imagine what it is like for a man to be sitting begging at WINZ, at the table next to him there is a woman ticking shaking and crying.  His teenage son is watching him tell the case manager they are about to be evicted because his benefit has been cut because he didn’t get some mail.  Of course you would be aware that the way offices are now set up people can hear the next person’s business.  The man I referred to above had a security officer hovering nearby, his benefit was restored immediately but they refused to backdate it.  Men don’t cry, men bottle it up and they get angry – that is human nature.  I was scared of the man’s anger too but could understand why he was like that – you must know this is happening.

 

I know what the function of the security guards is, but I also know it is stressful, traumatising, degrading and threatening to have them there.  How would you like it if there was security all around you because another senior public servant had gone mad and killed people.

 

Please meet with me, you need to hear what I have to say, even if you don’t like it.  Like several people on the street have told me – it needs to be said and MSD need to acknowledge just how degrading their services have become.

 

This letter also gives you the authority to look at any of my files, police, mental health, ACC and WINZ.  You can see what has happened to me over the years rotting on welfare I have nothing to hide.  Now I want you to think about giving me authority to look up anything about your financial situation, health status, living situation, family and friends or legal issues.  This is what you expect unemployed people to provide and you can’t understand how degrading this is – I find that difficult to believe.

 

I would ask you to seriously consider meeting with me, only two hours of your time and maybe you will have a better understanding of what is happening to me and others.  I can assure you I will be respectful during our meeting but I will also be emotional as you can’t go through what I do and not be.  Also please ask yourself, why a person such as myself hasn’t worked for so long?  I think this letter shows I am reasonably intelligent, the reasons for this I would prefer to bring up during our meeting.

 

I can be contacted on                                        if you wish to arrange a meeting, please hear what I have to say, it is vitally important.

 

Yours sincerely

  

JR

Planning Underway for Youtube Current Affairs Show

Getting really excited about what we are going to put on our new current affairs and activist youtube channel.  Going to Fyfe Lane in Miramar Wellington and talk about state housing, why who when what where how.

Going to talk about being an activist and how to make your voice heard – which is on this website.

Woke up this morning with Pete Seeger singing protest songs, great way to start the week.  Keep Your Eyes on the Prize – Hold On Hold On.

Keep up to date with socialist news on the internet

Keep an eye on the ENEMY as well and expose shit they are up to.

Have a segment promoting marches, letter writing campaigns, chalking, etc around New Zealand.

Guerrilla poets segment

Pass on good websites, twitter pages, tips on how to be a social media activist when its wet outside.

Get the Artists Against Injustice channel linked in to JR Murphy Poet.

Get Horace to do a review of books like Sugarbag years or We Will Not Cease.

Aim for 2 hours content every day, maybe Saturdays and Sundays off.  We’re doing most of this stuff anyway, just going to bring everybody along for the ride.

To New Zealand News Media – Joseph Pulitzer

An institution that should always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty.

Joseph Pulitzer
Salutatory of the New York World
10 May 1883

 

Complaint of bias by Dominion Post, email sent today

After phoning around today, trying to find out how to hold our news media accountable for their right-wing political bias and corruption the advice from the Press Council on how to start that off was to write to the editor of a publication.  This is a red tape war and I’m a red tape whore.  The system is so complicated I know why people seldom do it.  Making me really upset too – really hard to be polite to these maggots after all these years.

Patrick Crewdson is acting editor of Dom Post.  Have a read, you can do this too.  Wait for an issue you are passionate about, that the media report badly on, then make your complaint.

Patrick.crewdson@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

I wish to complain about bias reporting of the Ashburton Murders and all the aspects that caused these killings.

I spent four hours outside Ministry of Social Development on Monday 8 September writing in chalk poetry, quotes & comments about how degrading and abusive MSD had made services for disabled people – and as a result innocent people were killed (and another committed suicide).  Police were there, dozens of people came down from MSD, dozens of people walking past supported what I was saying and doing.

As you know in an attempt to expose the truth about how badly abused, mentally injured and disabled people like myself are treated I have been protesting for many years.  Dominion Post has never covered my protests or explained to people what is happening for me and thousands of other abuse victims who are being denied the health care, welfare and justice they are entitled to under law.

Under my pseudonym JR Murphy Poet you know I protest and tell people what is happening to me on twitter @jrmurphypoet facebook /jrmurphypoetmusician, website www.jrmurphypoet.com and my youtube channel JR Murphy Poet.  I inform people about what is happening to me, their rights and the gross miscarriage of justice that is happening in ACC, mental health and welfare.  I have communicated with the Dominion Post on many occasions about what is happening and what I am doing to protest but have never had this acknowleged.  You have access to all these places and yet you do nothing.

In a twitter conversation you said to me “The DP is not a place for your anger”.  Yes I am angry, being forced to live in poverty and not being given the health care and justice services you need (and are entitled to) to return to work and a decent life makes you very angry.  That is irrelevant – it is what I do to try and get the services I know I am entitled to under the law that is the news.

Currently I am appealing three convictions for wilful trespass of the Law Society, because I havn’t been able to get a lawyer to make ACC reinstate my 12 hrs/wk care from 2009 after winning two reviews.  From ACC for not reinstating my care and not accommodating communication impairments related to my disability. From Ministry of Health not long after mentally ill man killed his two children and then himself – of which I have video.  The Law Society case had been in court more than a year because mental health services refused to provide services to accommodate my communication impairments, which in the end had to have a judge force them to.  When I was convicted but not sentenced the judge made a comment that was untrue and my lawyer – who was useless – didn’t correct him.  I was in such a bad way (due to the unsafe housing I was forced to live in at the time) I couldn’t speak – the judge had to close the court I was such a mess.

I have educated myself, I don’t lie and I know what is happening to mentally injured and mentally ill people is abusive and does not follow any known health or rehabilitation models.  This of course means that what is happening is experimental and under the NZ Bill of Rights you are not allowed to experiment on people.

Currently I am living back in the Wairarapa with a disabled friend who had a stroke in March (after six months of hell in Wainuiomata) – ask Trevor Mallard why he phoned police when I went to his office to beg for help?

Please explain why you have never reported on my protests and my viewpoint, when I am one of those most despised in this country – a disabled person who doesn’t work.  My opinion and viewpoint is very important, considering what I know and what I do to try and get the justice I am entitled to under ACC, health, disability, human rights and Bill of Rights laws.  Most mentally ill/injured people are too scared to speak out about mental health issues, I do and it is really frightening.  Not so bad now police don’t abuse me (after a few complaints to IPCA) but they still bring tazers and a police dog when ACC Disputes Tribunal phones them saying I am suicidal – when I phoned them begging for help – AND DID NOT SAY I WAS GOING TO KILL MYSELF!  Also police no longer threaten me with having my clothes removed.

However I am petrified of mental health services after years of rejections and threats of being committed.  It is the weirdest thing to be told you can’t get mental health services you are supposed to be getting but they will forcibly commit you and drug you instead. When in Wainuiomata a flatmate tried to kill herself, was in hospital three days then sent home with NO SERVICES, just more drugs, her family still bought her pre-school grandkids around to be babysat.  It was hell, I was so frightened for the kids, especially when the following week she had four grandkids and her sister and her partner turned up unexpectedly.  The man was drinking and obviously a sexual deviant after revolting comments he was making to the 11 and 12 year old grandkids.  I was so scared I didn’t sleep all night so I could protect them.  So many stories, so much suffering, not just me but thousands of people – and none of their stories being told.

I look forward to your reply.