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The Standard

Brash and Banks try to profit off vulnerable

Written By: - Date published: 2:13 pm, September 10th, 2009 - 31 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, business, john banks, kiwisaver - Tags: , , ,

Former National Party leader Dr Don Brash and Auckland Mayor John Banks love making the big bucks. And what better way to do it than hitting the most vulnerable in society. Today the National Party stalwarts are after mental patients.

The Herald notes:

KiwiSaver targets mental patient

An Auckland woman is dismayed her 25-year-old son was approached to sign up to KiwiSaver while living in a long-term mental health facility…

[She] said she did not have any problem with selling KiwiSaver to staff but questioned the ethics of selling it to people with severe mental health problems.

The company involved was Huljich Wealth Management – of which Brash and Banks make up two of three directors (and Banks has a substantial interest).

With the Super City elections only a year away it’s not the best look for Banks to be seen exploiting mental patients for profit.

31 comments on “Brash and Banks try to profit off vulnerable”

  1. willaspish 1

    Yeah, that sucks. And so does the Herald’s choice of the term ‘mental patient’ for those people experiencing some mental illness and staying in mental health institutions. Perhaps this term could have been replaced on this blog with one that is not so judgemental and derogatory.

  2. gargoyle 2

    Don’t they mean Mental Health patient ?

    Are the Herald only employing chimps ?

    Edit snap as above.

  3. toad 3

    Well spotted Eddie! Presume the Herald didn’t look at who was behind the company when they ran the story – otherwise it would probably have never appeared.

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    Exploiting ?

    Dont you mean illegal. Its illegal to sell financial products door to door

  5. Christopher Nimmo 5

    As much as it might be tempting, I think it’s probably a bit much to try to stick this to Banks + Brash.

    Maybe if you mentioned it politely they might try to stop it happening again?

  6. Tim Ellis 6

    Does it say somewhere that Mr Banks or Dr Brash personally approached this person, or that they had any idea that this person was being approached before or after the fact?

    Is there anything wrong with signing up low income people to Kiwisaver? Or was kiwisaver only designed for the wealthy and financially literate?

    Still I suppose Eddie it is preferable to sign up a vulnerable person to an accredited superannuation scheme than offering them immigration in return for helping renovate your house. I can’t think of anybody in the National Party who did that, although the last time a Labour person did that, the more senior Labour figure said that the politician involved was guilty of doing nothing more than helping people.

    • snoozer 6.1

      good damn, that’s poor Tim. Anything is OK because someone in Labour once did something bad?

      • Maynard J 6.1.1

        He has kind of gone past making a straw-man argument into some twilight zone where he has to express anger but cannot do so in a rational fashion, so has to imagine that someone said Banks and Brash perpetrated these evil acts themselves, and even if they did it is actually a good thing, and eddie is basically saying you are not allowed to have kiwisaver unless you are rich.

        Resemblance to original post content = 0.

        Tim. Was it you they approached? That why you are so touchy?

  7. Eric C. 7

    Oh, Tim, always on the defensive. But in response, does the name Bakshi ring any bells?

    I feel sorry for you, because you must be busier than usual these days, what will all the corrupt acts of your buddies going down. How is your good friend Mr English today?

    Anyway, directors have a responsibility to see the company is running properly and with in the law. Banks and Brash are two of three who have responsibility for this company.

    • Tim Ellis 7.1

      I don’t know anything about the Bakshi case Eric and I suspect you don’t know much either, and while being investigated by immigration is no doubt quite serious on its own, Mr Bakshi is not alone as an MP. I understand Mr Sio’s office is being investigated by immigration as well.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1.1

        Investigated by police, P O L I C E , Immigration has passed their information onto the police in the Bakshi case.
        Quite a bit different

  8. Nick 8

    But in response, does the name Bakshi ring any bells?

    Well not to me it doesn’t ‘cos I support Act.

    But the name Taito Phillip Field is familiar.

  9. Tim Ellis 9

    Maynard J I really couldn’t give a hoot whether some company approached a potential customer to enlist them in kiwisaver plans. I work in a bank, and we have as all major trading banks made offers to retail bank customers for them to join investment schemes including Kiwisaver.

    I don’t see how this is profiteering from the vulnerable any more than advertising telecommunications or grocery products to consumers. Does Eddie get worked up when Kiwirail advertises its rail services to vulnerable customers?

    • Maynard J 9.1

      “Maynard J I really couldn’t give a hoot whether some company approached a potential customer to enlist them in kiwisaver plans.”

      What if they beat them up? That is against the law too. You do realise it is illegal to sell financial products like that in NZ?

      We are talking about a place where you cannot be sure that the person you are talking to even has full administration over their affairs. Do not pretend that the vulnerability of people in mental health institutions is the same as those who are poor, that is pretty sickening.

      And yes, if kiwirail reps went into a mental health institute, walked people to the train station and forced them onto the train I would be disgusted. Any further idiotic comparisons?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 9.2

      Illegal , its illegal to approach people at their home to sell financial products ( except life insurance). But then you knew that Tim ….. surely

  10. TightyRighty 10

    Thought the Idea behind Kiwisaver was that it was beneficial to every New Zealander? Nice to see discrimination against Intellectually handicapped people alive and well over here. Murder victims, the intellectually handicapped, whose next?

    • Maynard J 10.1

      “[She] said she did not have any problem with selling KiwiSaver to staff but questioned the ethics of selling it to people with severe mental health problems”

      Think about that statement.

      Cry me a river, tighty. Discrimination my arse. I have a friend with CF. I do not think she should sign up, because she will die well before retirement. Decades before. Think I am ‘discriminating’ against people with CF, or are you not too stupid that you can identify shades of grey?

      • TightyRighty 10.1.1

        Not to stupid. i do know that certain Intellectual disablities do not kill off those who suffer before retirement age. as this is a broad scheme, surely you wouldn’t exclude those with Intellectual Handicaps from it on the basis of their disability?

        • Lanthanide

          In which case the correct way to do this is for the company to organise a presentation to a group of patients at a time, rather than (apparently) individually approaching them.

          Even then, I would be very dubious as to the legality and morality of doing so – people in mental health institutions aren’t necessarily capable of making long-term financial decisions like this by themselves. The correct thing to do would be for whoever was responsible for this person’s financial affairs to talk to the person about kiwisaver and present it in a way that they can understand, not some company representative who sees every customer as a dollar sign.

          • TightyRighty

            I agree with all of that. thank you for not displaying the righteous indignation shown by others here. though on that note, what about the allegations made against the Labour party coercing people with limited english to vote for them, is that note in the same vein?

  11. Mark M 11

    Dont mental Health patients have the same right to the benefits of Kiwisaver that the rest of us have.

    Mind you the approach should have been made to the parents / caregiver first

  12. Maynard J 12

    TR – No, but I would not actively target people, and that is in part because it is against the law, but also that without knowing the history of someone in a hospital, mental health or general, I would have no way of knowing whether the product was appropriate for them, let alone whether they had the faculties at the time to make an informed decision. I suspect that is what the nurse (she whom you think is discriminating against her patients) is getting at. Calling that discrimination is pretty silly IMO.

    They are not ‘excluded’. Care to question why they are being targeted though? Parhaps you will find your discrimination there.

    • TightyRighty 12.1

      I don’t think the nurse discriminates, she has a duty of care, it’s the commentators on this site that i believe are guilty of discrimination by getting all worked up with righteous indignation that even the intellectually disabled could possibly be asked to join a government initiated scheme that may even be of some benefit to them. Gasp.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 12.1.1

        These people often have the mental age of a child, and whether its good for them or not a salesperson on commission is going to take advantage of them without some guardian or caregiver around

  13. davidw 13

    GWW So only mental health professionals who are competent to distinguish a person’s mental capacity/competence should be able to solicit kiwisaver subscriptions?

    Oh and BTW where do you stand on the rights of mentally impaired persons to marry, procreate and attempt to raise children?

  14. Galeandra 14

    I work in a bank, say Tim, but when when when????? says I.
    Presumably not in the periods of time just before 3.14 pm or 4.19 or 4.21…. when lots of ordinary folk are hard at work.

    I read the Standard at night, Tim, after work. That way I can get a perspective on this side of the debate. I don’t need lots of scrofulous rightwing commentary to help me. I’ve enough conservative bones of my own to chew anyway, and I can get oodles of help on Kiwiblog if I want that.

    Unless, of course, the bank pays you to hop on here and run the blind for them? Take everyone’s attention from the modest little inquiry being run by the parliamentary left into your shareholders’ operations I suppose.

  15. Nanoo 15

    if anyone paid any attention to the financial media instead of coming up with patently absurd conspiracy theories about don brash and john banks, they would know that the seller was a third party agent AND huljich wealth management, upon learning of this, sacked that agent. its a bit like trying to blame an insurance company like nzi for the drunk driving of a rogue broker who works for an insurance agency in taihape that just happens to sell nzi policies. like helen clark blaming her crown driver for speeding after instructing her press secretary to tell him to do so.

  16. SJ Hawkins 16

    Kiwisaver bad now?

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