Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Paula Bennett announces Purity Test for Unemployed

Welfare Minister Paula Bennett today announced that beneficiaries will have to undergo a Purity Test from July next year. Clients who fail the test will face loss of welfare payments, compulsory re-education or a range of other sanctions.

The Mazengarb Test, as it will be called, is a type of morality index that was first developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980. The Mazengarb Test is a New Zealand adaptation compiled with the assistance of focus groups, church leaders, police, Whanganui city councillors and other leading voices of the community.

"Instead of taking a piecemeal approach to state interference in peoples' lives - limiting welfare to the DPB based on child bearing, drug testing and so forth - National Mazengarb Testing will revolutionise how the government tells people how to live," said Paula Bennett at a press conference announced at short notice this afternoon. "Loose morals will no longer be tolerated like they were when I was a young Mum," she said.

Bennett took only a few questions after she read out the statement. She refused to give any more details on the Mazengarb scheme, and denied the accusation that this announcement had anything to do with the latest inequality rankings or Children's Commissioner's report into child poverty.