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Updated at 10:33 pm on 28 November 2012
Catholic advocacy and aid agency Caritas has spoken out strongly against welfare changes aimed at putting more pressure on beneficiaries to look for work.
In its submission to Parliament's social services committee on Wednesday, it said reclassifying beneficiaries under the new legislation would do nothing to create jobs.
Research and advocacy co-ordinator Lisa Beech said what the legislation was attempting to do had parallels with the poor houses of Britain in the 19th century.
Ms Beenc said Caritas had no confidence that its views would be heard.
"In 25 years of making submissions, I have never felt more disillusioned and discouraged about participating in the select committee process.
"The role of the select committee is not simply to rubber-stamp the decisions of the Cabinet ... or to provide some kind of legal proof-reading of minor details."
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand
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