Selwyn Manning Interviews Lawyer Catriona MacLennan On Hardship Experienced By Women On The DPB
New Zealand lawyer Catriona MacLennan joins Selwyn Manning to discuss the vulnerabilities for women accessing and sustaining domestic purposes benefit entitlement, and degrees of undue hardship experienced by the children of mothers when Work and Income New Zealand applies punitive and reparation legal action.
The interview focuses on how benefit laws are applied in New Zealand, the effect tough punitive govt measures have on case managers, on women seeking legal entitlement, on malicious complaints, and on children.
Accessing and Sustaining DPB Entitlement
Q: What are some of the main criteria used to determine whether a mother is eligible for the DPB?
Q: How are case managers affected by a Government taking a tough stance?
Q: How are mothers potentially excluded from their entitlement due to a harsh culture being constructed around DPB entitlements?
Q: Or another way of putting it, how difficult is it for mothers who are legally entitled to assistance to actually get on the DPB?
Vulnerabilities for Mothers on the DPB
Q: What vulnerabilities do mothers face in sustaining their legal entitlement? (this would open it up to those points you suggest in your brief – malicious complaints etc).
Q: How commonplace is it for third parties or estranged partners to make malicious complaints, and how can mothers defend themselves against this?
Q: When punitive measures or prosecutions occur, what impact does that have on the wellbeing of the children?
Q: What is an example of unacceptable hardship brought on a family and children through the Crown asserting a tough stance through the courts – through the use of reparation, or imprisonment of the mother?
Govt’s Reform & UN Rights of the Child:
Considering the punitive exclusion criteria as announced by the Minister of Social Development, Paula Bennet in September – where those with legal entitlement to a DPB can have their entitlement stopped or halved should they fail to:
enroll a child aged 3-5 in early childhood education;
a PHO or GP etc…
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child state there is a: “right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.”
Q: Is the Minister and the New Zealand Government potentially in breach of the rights guaranteed under international covenants like the UN Convention on Rights of the Child?
Q: If so is there a legal avenue available to test or challenge the Government in this regard?
For more, see also: