How did we conduct this research?

The 17-question survey was hosted by ActionStation. People were invited to take part in the survey via invitation from the Child Poverty Action Group and ActionStation mailing lists, as well as through Facebook.

The questions were based on the Welfare Expert Advisory Group’s online survey and the We Are Beneficiaries report from 2017.

Of the 17 survey questions:

  • Two were multi-choice

    • Have you ever been, or are you currently, on a benefit?

      • Yes, I am currently on a benefit

      • Yes, I have been on a benefit

      • No, I have not been on a benefit

      • I work with people who are on benefits

      • Someone close to me is on a benefit

    • Last year, We Are Beneficiaries (WAB) gathered hundreds of people’s stories and experiences of the welfare system. Here are the themes that arose from those stories, please choose all that apply to your experience. You can also write something in ‘Other’:

      • Lack of compassion and care from WINZ staff

      • Difficulty finding sustainable work while receiving a benefit

      • Lack of access to, or support of, further training and education

      • Inappropriate work offers (e.g. jobs not relevant to your skills)

      • Pushed into low-paid and/or insecure work

      • Probing questions from WINZ staff into your medical condition or experience of abuse

      • Lack of transparency and access to information, particularly about entitlements

      • Fear of security guards at WINZ

      • Sanctions and/or fear of sanctions

      • Lack of privacy (e.g. concerns about paperwork being shared or being overheard in an open-plan office)

      • A feeling of judgment or stigma from the public

      • Errors from WINZ that resulted in you losing your benefit or facing a sanction

      • Given the wrong advice by WINZ staff

      • Difficulties getting a meeting at a suitable time with a caseworker or long waiting lists

      • Other (open-field)

  • Seven were open-field

    • Which benefit have you been on / are you on?

    • What would an additional $72.50 per week on top of your current budget mean for you and your whānau?

    • What do you think is working well with the current welfare system?

    • What do you think could be done better?

    • What values do you think should underpin the welfare system?

    • Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your experiences with the welfare system?

    • What sort of work do you do? (Only appeared for the people who chose ‘I work with people who are on benefits’)

  • One was a Likert scale

    • How would you rate your experience with the welfare system?

      • 0 = Poor 6 = Excellent

  • One was a Yes or No question

    • Do you currently receive enough money on your benefit to live a life with dignity and participate fully in your community?

  • Six were demographic or contact information

    • First name

    • Year of birth

    • Email

    • Postcode

    • Ethnicity

    • Gender

All questions were optional for participants except for email. Participants took 22 minutes on average to complete the survey.

Multi-choice, rating and yes/no questions were analysed using Typeform and Google Sheets. Two different people manually coded the open-field text answers to uncover the themes.