A proposed Government crackdown on beneficiaries is being labelled heavy-handed and likely to fail.
National has announced a new policy targeting people under the age of 25, who have no children, and have been receiving an unemployment benefit for more than six months.
The party says if beneficiaries refuse drug rehabilitation, training or work experience, their benefits will be halved for a month.
Tommy Wilson, of Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services Trust, says the policy lacks compassion.
"What's a person going to do with half a benefit when they're facing a house problem or an addiction to drugs?"
"Fix them up first and they'll be able to hold down a job."
"If we continue to focus on penalising people, the same outcomes will happen. I think New Zealand's moved on from these draconian ways."