Apology after woman told benefit suspended due to Tinder dates

  • Updated
  • 23/04/2018
Apology after woman told benefit suspended due to Tinder dates
Photo credit: File

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has apologised after a woman's benefit was cut because she was considered to be in a dependent relationship with a man she'd been on two Tinder dates with.

The south Auckland solo mother of three lost her job after she turned down night shifts, and was being supported by the benefit.

But she was told that it had been cut because the man had paid for the dates, and the pair would therefore be considered by WINZ to be in a relationship, according to Radio New Zealand (RNZ).

MSD has apologised for suspending the woman's benefit, and admitted they made "a number of errors" in her case.

"We apologise unreservedly for that," regional director for Auckland South Peter Anderson told Newshub.

"It isn’t an acceptable level of service and we know the suspension of her benefit was very distressing.

"We suspended the client’s benefit because of an allegation we received that she was in a long term relationship not because she went on two dates – we would never stop paying someone for that reason.

"We did need to investigate the allegation we received, but we should not have suspended her benefit so quickly, or without discussion with her. We apologise for this."

He says the investigation has been dropped due to lack of evidence.

MSD told RNZ that it was a mistake that the woman was told her benefit was cancelled due to the Tinder dates, when in fact it had been suspended.

The woman, who RNZ has not named, said she had never been informed of any allegations against her or any investigation into her.

She did not miss any benefit payments while under temporary suspension, MSD says.