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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 10.1.1.1

          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 10.1.1.1.1

            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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    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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