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Job-seeking beneficiaries to face drug tests, English confirms

Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed some unemployed will face drug tests to get the benefit.

On TVNZ's Q+A yesterday, the minister said he wasn't just making an off-hand quip about testing last week.

"In my electorate, a lot of the jobs available to younger people are in forestry and in the meat-processing industry, and I’m told by those employers they often can’t employ our own locally unemployed young people because they can’t pass a drug test," Mr English said.

"So back in the election campaign, we made a commitment to having a policy where people who are meant to be available for work should be in the position where they can pass a drug test, for instance, so they can get a job in the forestry industry."

Tests would apply to beneficiaries who were new job seekers.

Housing boom fuelling high dollar?
The biggest “head wind” frustrating efforts to rebalance the economy has been high exchange rate, the finance minister said.

Asked if money flooding into the country to fund a housing boom was driving up the NZ dollar, Mr English replied:

"Well, I don’t know. I don’t quite agree with that. We’ve got a bit of price pressure in the central Auckland housing market, but everywhere else, it’s pretty flat, and you’ve just got to look at the credit growth for housing is only a little bit above zero.

"So we’re not on the edge of a housing boom.

"It’s actually not a bad sign if people are taking advantage of the lowest interest rates we’ve ever had to get the housing market back to somewhere near its normal level of activity.”

Comments and questions

This is very good Government.

so if confirmed drug addicts are going to be given no assistance can we expect a boom in burglary and thefts? ......... i cant wait for the next excuse to raise insurance prems

That is the next question and I dont think they have answered. What is the penalty for failing. 3 strikes and you go to jail?

unfortunately you just cant take the benefit off them as they have to hve food and shelter.

The man needs financial test, probably an IQ and psycholgical assessment as well..hard to believe we have such incompetents running this country. He'd miss out on all his perfomance bonus' as well if they had them .

At last some sense .I know what it like to be unemployed.The house next dorr to me has been used as a drug supply house for the last 2yrs its now been shut down by the law.The tennant are both unemployed have children were suppliynig drugs to school children plus smoking the rubbish in frount off there kids.The two off them should be drug tested bsfore they are allowed the benifit plus the NZ taxpayer has been subsidising this lot with a housing acom alowance
.Iff you are on a comunity wage you must live up to a correct standard like you should at all times

This is in breach of our Human rights..(unemployed or not)
REMEMBER,......EVERYTHING Hitler did before the war was legal.
These laws being introduced in this country are no different...
Wake up people...STOP THE NEW WORLD ORDER.

Arguments are always lost when you bring up Hitler.

My good man, I am not arguing,I am stating a fact.
Stay safe Harvey.

Personally I have no problem with drug testing those receiving benefits. As a tax payer I am happy to help them by providing means to attain shelter, food and other necessities of life in the hope that they will look for work and eventually improve the standard of living for themselves and their family.

I'm not happy subsidising a lifestyle that includes drug taking/dealing and expecting more handouts while taking money they haven't worked for and passing bad habits on to younger generations.

forget about bringing Hitler into this, lets bring race into it, I think we all know who this is primarily being aimed at. If drug testing is introduced at benefit level, let it be introduced at the workplace too. Including downtown office blocks as well as at the freezing works.

Jobs do have drug testing. I had to p**s in a jar before I got my job and wouldn't have got it had it been positive. They are allowed to do random tests at any time as well as test should they think I have been taken. This applies to alcohol (a legal drug) as well.

The industries in the article (forestry and meat works) are the same. If a beneficiary is taking drugs, then they are essentially disqualifying themselves from the job.

Lets not forget that drugs are illegal.

Also remember that beneficiaries are essentially employees of the State with there only job being to try and find a real job.

This is why one drug is illegal....hint,(you cannot patient a plant)

It is mate - it is. Where i work anyway & i support that. Pre-employment testing ( you would be surprised how many people turn down the job when they are told they will be tested - lifestyle too important!!!!) and Randoms on the job have picked up a number of previously unknown users - scary that we have been working with them and Post Incident - after accident or property damage incident - so far so good.

Drug testing for all job applicants I will argue could lead to some very surprising results. The poor are probably only the visible face of drug taking. Let democracy prevail. Drug testing for all job seekers.

Why stop there. Refer:

It's not unreasonable to expect to be drug-tested if you're receiving a State handout. You do forgo certain "rights", once you become a liability.

This is a step in the right direction. They need to take a good look at housing NZ. The waste factor is incredible.

I'd like to see random drug testing of lawyers, sharebrokers and medics too please, before they face their clients

Good policy and about time. Most employers can spot a regular dope smoker the moment they are sent over from WINZ - and send them packing straight back. The fishing industry is crying out for willing labour but most of the applicants fail on drug testing.
NZ is awash with cannabis and it is a drag on the entire nation.

good luck with this one

why not expand the testing to alcohol and cigarettes? sound harsh but as a tax payer funding beneficiaries I don't support the use of my funds being spent on such things.
To me a the benefit is a safety net of last resort, funding such things are food, shelter and water. It is NOT supposed to support a comfortable lifestyle, and it certainly isn't there to provide stimulants...


Our country is being sold by the prime minister of new Zealand who is an ex wall street futures and derivatives trader who was chief advisor to Alan Grenspan of the fed reserve and worked for merill lynch, gold an sachs. Trained by the City of London corporation. Former Harvard classmate of Obama. Best friends with David Cameron. Brought down the Australian PM Kevin Rudd using his pro zionist mates in the Australian Labor Party and the Australian council of trade unions. The anti christ NEVER turned up in Washington. He turned up in wellington. In the beehive that bears a strange likeness to babel.
Look at the big picture ,....why in a country like nz are people unemployed or going to jail,OR OUR CHILDREN KILLING THEMSELVES?........?why are we borrowing money from a private corporation who is allowed to print it?(you and I would go to jail)
John keys does not run NZ,....THE GLOBAL ELITE DO.

we are next...

A tiny step for the responsible humankind who have been suckers for too long...the wondrous welfare state is a safety net for the disabled, severely disadvantaged etc...not an option for lifestyles of leisurely lazy hazy day of continuous summertime.

If you think that cannabis is illegal because it's harmful you need to get yourself educated. Laws based on untruths and misinformation will be ignored by the educated.

Most of the ppl who use cannabis should be growing their own.

Testing for illegal drugs is going to open the can of worms that is the untruth regarding e and cannabis.

I will be starting to sell drug testing thwarting kits on trademe soon.. keep ya eyes open for them..

Good God what next - politicians being breathalyzed before they go into the house.