If it bleeds, It leads

I see the media are practising their mantra of “if it bleeds, it leads” in beating up a non-story by a little known blogger who says she knows someone who won’t be named and won’t provide any evidence…in other words hearsay.

If I blogged about a person I know that won’t be named,  without any documentary evidence…do you reckon the major newspapers would leap in to that so quick?

In any case this is clearly a case of following policy, it fits their narrative too about how evil and nasty National is, pity it wasn’t true.

The woman who says she was told she could not buy tampons on a Work and Income food card because they were considered “luxury items” says she was told she would have to instead apply for a separate grant which she would have to later repay if she needed items such as tampons.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said she applied for a food grant about six weeks ago after her benefit payments were disrupted during the transition from the Sickness Benefit to the Jobseeker’s Benefit under new welfare benefit categories. 

Her case manager at the Queen Street Work and Income office had told her the payment card the grant was loaded onto could only be used for basic food just as meat and vegetables. She had asked whether tampons or sanitary pads would be covered.

“His response was that they were considered as luxury items and I couldn’t use the food payment card for them.” She said she was told if she needed such personal hygiene items, she would need to apply for a separate grant which would have to be repaid.

“I was quite surprised by that. I don’t think anyone considers pads and tampons to be a luxury item.

Touching story, pity it in’t true.

Work and Income and Social Development Minister Paula Bennett have said that there is no policy which prevents a beneficiary buying sanitary items on the supermarket cards.

Only alcohol, tobacco and electronic appliances are specifically banned and it is up to
checkout operators to monitor those.

Great publicity for the governments payment cards though…seems they work really well.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Social Development said any claims that female hygiene products could not be purchased using the Work and Income payment card were “totally untrue”.

“Individual items are not tagged on payment cards. If someone’s card doesn’t work, it would be for a system reason and not because of what the person bought.

“The only items banned from purchase on the payment cards are electronics, appliances, alcohol and cigarettes.”

But the spokeswoman said if people had a specific case or example where they had been incorrectly advised by a case manager, please contact Work and Income so they could look into it.

Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett was not immediately available for comment but she posted on Twitter “Rumours that women can’t buy tampons with Work and Income payment cards are simply not true.end of story.”


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  • Justsayn

    I know a guy who told me he went to WINZ and asked them to help him find a job, and they told him to smoke dope and play on a stolen playstation all day, and even recommended where he could by dope using his WINZ food card.

  • Maybe there is a new trend to use cigarettes as tampons? Similar shape and all…just saying heh heh

    • Col

      Hey Donna got a smoke? yea just wait Hone, I have a look in my overnight bag.

    • Travis Poulson

      To be honest for most beneficiaries you’d probably need a roll of Pink Batts.

    • dogit

      So that’s what Monica Lewinski was doing with Bill’s cigars!

  • Col

    Old saying, ” she is shark bait”

  • DLNZ

    It appears that anyone could ring the MSM with a story of having to sleep with 10 WINZ case workers, donating a kidney and promising a first born child (although highly fucking unlikely when you already have 10) in exchange for a food grant.

    Following the call, it would be printed immediately, with an incorrect photo and a few typos for good measure. Campbell Live would already be planning a nationwide “tampons in homes” campaign. Another example of MSM and how ridiculous they have become.

  • I see a business opportunity here. Check back tomorrow for Cash4Cards.co.nz

  • sandynobb

    If you can bear it, listen to the nutter Tulia Thompson on Red Radio (16.05 in) http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/2566212

  • Rodger T

    I thought beneficiaries were permanently pregnant .

  • Stuarts.burgers

    Paula Bennett ‏@paulabennettmp8h
    rumours that women can’t buy tampons with Work and Income payment cards are simply not true.end of story

  • Bart

    Why let the absence of facts get in the way of a mediocre story!

    • GazzW

      Which Jacinda Ardern was more than happy to do when talking to an increasingly sceptical Larry Williams on ZB this evening.