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A clear choice on ACC

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, October 29th, 2008 - 48 comments
Categories: ACC, act, election 2008, greens, health, labour, national, progressives, united future, workers' rights - Tags:

If you vote National, United Future, or ACT, you will be voting for the ACC system to be privatised. Consequences of this include:

– $200 million in profits flowing offshore, according to John Key’s former employers Merril Lynch
– higher levies on most workers, as private insurers cherry-pick the most profitable for themselves, leaving the rest to be carried by the public insurer
– currently, the work account subsidises accidents that fall under other accounts. Privatisation will mean these claims have to be funded entirely from tax and other levies like car registration.
– less certain coverage. Private insurers make their money by not paying out claims
– less money for accident prevention. As a monopoly, ACC benefits from accident prevented, so it invests heavily in accident prevention. Private insurers would only have a fraction of the market each, so would only receive a fraction of the benefit from investment in accident reduction. A ‘tragedy of the commons’-type situation.
– more complexity in changing jobs. Different employers will have different insurers, changing obs will require changing insurer.
– getting a job may be more difficult if you are more likely to have an accident if that means higher levies for your prospective employer, eg if you are a young male or overweight.
– private insurance increases the administrative burden for healthcare providers.
– private insurers will try to minimise payouts and force other insurers to make the payouts instead. These boundary issues lead to more court cases. This type of personal injury litigation has choked the US court system.
-if your insurance company collapses when you have an ongoing claim, what will happen to your payments?

If you vote Labour, Green, Progressive (and, presumably, Maori), you will be voting to keep ACC in public ownership and this world-leading system intact. By moving out the point when the pubic system takes over liability for accidents that were covered by private insurers during the brief privatisation period in the 1990s, Labour will reduce the cost of ACC, allowing employer levies and car registration to drop 20% from next year.

48 comments on “A clear choice on ACC ”

  1. the sprout 1

    The worst thing I found with the privatization of ACC was the massive reduction in accountability. With private ‘providers’ there are only the accountants and PR people to decide which discretions should be granted; unlike state provided ACC where there is political and moral accountability that can also be brought to bear on a case.

    When it comes to ACC privatization means much much less accountability for providers.

  2. Tim Ellis 2

    SP said:

    – higher levies for most workers, as private insurers cherry-pick the most profitable for themselves, leaving the rest to be carried by the public insurer

    No there won’t be SP. Workers pay into the Earners’ account, which isn’t proposed to be opened to competition.

    – currently, the work account subsidises accidents that happen at home, during sports, etc. Privatisation will mean these claims have to be funded entirely from tax and other levies lie car registration.

    No it doesn’t. The Earners’ account is self-funding. It isn’t subsidised by the Work account. I suggest you have a look at the ACC website on how ACC is funded.

    – getting a job may be more difficult if you are more likely to have an accident, eg if you are a young male or overweight.

    Why? I don’t understand your point. Young males or overweight people are no more likely to have a work accident than middle-aged females or skinny people. Work accidents are related to work risks. If you are a factory shop machinist, you are more likely to have an accident than as a secretary. The premium is paid by the employer on the risk of the work performed.

    – private insurers will try to minimise payouts and force other insurers to make the payouts instead. These boundary issues lead to more court cases. This type of personal injury litigation has choked the US court system.

    No they won’t. The definition of a work accident won’t change. Whether an accident is work-related is defined in legislation.

  3. Pat 3

    Why did it take 9 years before Labour thought about reducing ACC premiums?

  4. Lew 4

    TE: All these things will change as a necessary consequence of privatisation, which is a necessary consequence of opening the account up to competition.

    If you can rebut my initial competition = privatisation logic challenge here, we might have the basis for an argument. It’s been up since June, and still, nobody has.

    L

  5. randal 5

    so its just another crummy money making scheme for another crummy faceless gang of accountants in australia. hmmmmm

  6. ghostwhowalks 6

    What happens when a private insurer collapses, they after all invest the money for future claims in fancy derivatives and so on.

    HIH went bankrupt a few years ago in Australia and they were among the biggest workers compensation firms.

    The state had to step in , as it seems to do on a weekly basis nowdays.

    But isnt it funny that they want competition for the employers premiums but keep the very highly regulated ( no suing) payments for workers

  7. the sprout 7

    “What happens when a private insurer collapses”

    umm, if you’re lucky the State picks up the pieces.
    Like I said, privatized ACC means much less accountability.

  8. When you get the basics right, then i’ll consider your arguments.

    Opening up to competition isn’t privitisation.

    By your logic, Kiwibank has already been privitised because there is competition from other banks.

  9. Greg 9

    To rebut……….. (slightly differently from Tim)………

    “$200 million in profits flowing offshore, according to John Key?s former employers Merril Lynch”

    Maybe – but billions saved by Kiwi consumers and businesses. Do you want to spite overseas investors by taking money off Kiwi’s?

    “higher levies on most workers, as private insurers cherry-pick the most profitable for themselves, leaving the rest to be carried by the public insurer”

    In saying this your already conceding your own point. Higher levies will mean workers will move away from the public insurer. As long as total marginal profit exceeds total marginal cost insurers will continue to insurer people and in a competitive market every Kiwi will be insurered aty a competitive price – as oppose to the current state monopoly.

    “currently, the work account subsidises accidents that fall under other accounts. Privatisation will mean these claims have to be funded entirely from tax and other levies like car registration.”

    Fully privitise ACC and you won’t have this problem.

    “less certain coverage. Private insurers make their money by not paying out claims”

    Private insurers lose customers by not paying out claims. Resisting claims costs far more than accepting valid claims. Insurers know this – it won’t happen.

    “ess money for accident prevention. As a monopoly, ACC benefits from accident prevented, so it invests heavily in accident prevention. Private insurers would only have a fraction of the market each, so would only receive a fraction of the benefit from investment in accident reduction. A ?tragedy of the commons?-type situation.”

    But their costs are a fraction of ACC, so that fraction of benefit has the same benefit. Private insurers are strongly incentivised to prevent accidents – it increases their profits!

    “more complexity in changing jobs. Different employers will have different insurers, changing obs will require changing insurer.”

    The total marginal benefit of the lower costs far out weights the total marginal cost of filling out a form. Don’t cha think?

    “getting a job may be more difficult if you are more likely to have an accident if that means higher levies for your prospective employer, eg if you are a young male or overweight.”

    And the reverse – lower levies for people who are less likely to have an accident. Why should those who are less likely to have an accident subsidise those who are more likely to have an accident???

    “private insurance increases the administrative burden for healthcare providers.”

    Why don’t you have a chat to healthcare providers about the administrative burden of ACC. Private businesses are more efficient. Privitising ACC will lower beaurocracy.

    “private insurers will try to minimise payouts and force other insurers to make the payouts instead. These boundary issues lead to more court cases. This type of personal injury litigation has choked the US court system.”

    Same response as your ‘private insurers make money by not paying out’ theory.

    “if your insurance company collapses when you have an ongoing claim, what will happen to your payments?”

    Reputable insurence companies insure themselves. Companies that aren’t reputable struggle to find customers and go under.

  10. Lew 10

    Greg: In order to justify scrapping ACC for a privatised system, you’re going to have to expound the benefits of such a system over the one we have now, which (as has been pointed out innumerable times) is the envy of the modern world – for everyone except a small group of very low-risk employers and the insurance industry itself.

    Until then, it’s a non-starter. Because it’s a non-starter, nobody credible is prepared to sign their name to such a policy. Not even National – even if they do plan on doing it by stealth and calling it `the success of the market’.

    L

  11. Tim Ellis 11

    I regret I missed this statement from SP:

    – more complexity in changing jobs. Different employers will have different insurers, changing obs will require changing insurer.

    This also is wrong. The only time when you would have contact with an insurance company in a competitive environment is if you had accident at work. The point of contact isn’t when you change jobs, but when you have a work accident. It doesn’t make changing jobs any more complex.

    Is it more complex to change jobs if your employer uses a different motor vehicle insurer to your previous one? Is it more complex if your employer has a different bank? A different local authority? A different IT company? I think you are really stretching on this point SP.

  12. Phil 12

    Lew,

    I’m supposed to be working, so this will have to be quick…

    Your six point argument has a weakness at step #5.

    The first four points (which are about those who can/choose to pay, will do so. Those that can’t/choose not to, are provided a government ‘safety net’) are common across many of aspects of our lives – be it health, education, transport, and even banking, sort of. In all these sectors the relationship between private and public entities can be strained, but generally works pretty well.

  13. burt 13

    Steve P.

    So is there the same problem with KiwiSaver?

    Did big business investment firms get special policy considerations from the Labour party and that is why there is no “state provided” KiwiSaver scheme ?

    Surely if National are cash for policy for the insurance industry then Labour are cash for policy with the investment industry?

  14. Lew 14

    Phil: In all the industries and sectors you cite, under any governmental system other than the ACT freemarketocracy there must out of necessity remain a default government provider of an acceptable standard, for those who can’t pay full market rates or who are otherwise excluded from the market for those services. The Ministry of Education’s state school system, the Ministry of Health’s DHBs, the Ministry of Transport’s NZ Transit Agency and LTSA are the corresponding examples here. The key difference about these agencies is that they bear special responsibilities which can’t be fully devolved to the private sector because the private sector retains the right to decline clients for its own reasons. Such as fulfilling the requirement that children must attend school, that people are entitled to healthcare, to regulate road construction, standards, safety regulations, taxes, etc.

    In insurance, there’s no viable fall-back position because the entire business model works on cross-subsidisation. The flight of low-risk, low-demand industries to the private sector weakens the default provider in a way that means it will either lose money or its performance will suffer. Since ACC provides no service that couldn’t (in principle) be devolved to the private sector other than the requirement that it cover everyone in every industry, partial competition will allow cherry-picking which will cause it to wither until there remains no practical use for the service except as a last resort.

    Private insurance could work if the government mandated definitions, maximal levy rates per industry, and directed insurers to accept all comers, from whatever industry they chose. But that would never happen, because the insurers would never allow it to happen. They would simply refuse to participate, because it breaks their business model.

    L

  15. Lew 15

    burt: The whole argument (as I’ve explained to you before) is that different rules apply to ACC than to other things. The problem with privatisation and competition in this case rests not on principles, but on the particulars of the industry.

    L

  16. randal 16

    oh you mean aussie frirms will get $200,000,000 more a year and coverage will go down in New Zealand?

  17. burt 17

    Lew

    Yes that’s right, we are talking insurance not investment.

    Just like State Insurance was set up as a state watchdog over evil insurance companies in early settler NZ days, and has made a good profit and provided excellent cover for millions of “low value” NZ clients. Naturally the same could not occur with accident insurance because… ummm errrr…. remind me again why accident insurance is so different from insurance.

  18. Matthew Pilott 18

    Did big business investment firms get special policy considerations from the Labour party and that is why there is no “state provided’ KiwiSaver scheme ?

    Burt – didn’t you embarrass yourself by trying to argue that the government should set up bank accounts for healthy stuff to mimic the Activa card?

    Surely you don’t think that “everything is the same as everything else”, because that’s the simplicity of your argument – “Insurance is the same as Investment. Since SP said X about Finance, the exact same MUST apply to Investment”. Wow – what insight. I would like to point out that there is a Kiwibank Kiwisaver scheme – I suppose they could have made it mandatory, but unlike what the Right seems to think happens, Labour doesn’t seem do such things unless there is a good reason for it.

    So as you point out, Labour could have gone with compulsion, but did not do so because there was no need. What good sorts. Enjoy your choice, Burt.

    Labour are cash for policy with the investment industry?

    Actually, fella, you’re kind of right here. Not cash for policy – there’s no connection between Labour and the investment industry that you can point to, whereas National seem to be making deals with the insurance industry, but Labour did want to encourage savings. Encouraging savings will, naturally help the savings industry – but all Labour got out of it was that people save more – a good outcome for the public in this case.

    $200m going to Australian insurers and the undermining of ACC – how does that help the public again?

    So I guess there’s more to your analogy than I first thought (well that one line of it) – Labour helps the public, National screws them. Good illustration, Burt.

  19. Matthew Pilott 19

    remind me again why accident insurance is so different from insurance.

    They can deny high-risk customers.

  20. Lew 20

    burt: You’re right, it’s not that we’re talking about insurance, it’s that we’re talking about accident insurance.

    Possessions insurance is optional. This is partly because risk is broadly spread – you’re unlikely to lose your home, your car, all your financial assets, and your ability to work all at once. If any or some of the above remain, chances are you can get back on your feet without being condemned to a lifetime of begging on the street. Accident insurance is different because you only have one body. If it gets broken, it needs to be fixed.

    L

  21. Lampie 21

    “Since ACC provides no service that couldn’t (in principle) be devolved to the private sector other than the requirement that it cover everyone in every industry, partial competition will allow cherry-picking which will cause it to wither until there remains no practical use for the service except as a last resort. ”

    a good point

  22. burt 22

    Matthew Pilott

    I thought life and car insurance had different levels of risk and premium based on a whole pile of factors. Oh well silly me. One size fits all. Imagine how stupid I must be – I thought my premiums for my 14 year old Audi worth $2K were less than the new $150K BMW my neighbour has…. Silly me.

  23. burt 23

    Lampie

    State Insurance was originally set up as a last resort for people who were not offered, or could not afford, the price the foreign insurers were charging. It’s called competition…. The rich clients had been cherry picked by the foreign insurers and State was set up to cover the people who were not “nice cherries”.

    Until such time as Steve P suggests all insurance should be done via a single state monopoly then all this crap about ACC being a special case is just partisan noise.

  24. Matthew Pilott 24

    Hey Burt – State can deny high risk customers. Since that’s the point I made, perhaps you’d like to address it, instead of putting the boot into that teeny little straw-man you made.

  25. Lew 25

    burt: “all this crap about ACC being a special case is just partisan noise.”

    What’s my post – chopped liver?

    L

  26. burt 26

    Matthew Pilott

    Stae can deny high risk customers… So they need to change their life style rather than expect to be subsidised by others….

    You socialists expect to be able to do what the hell you want and have somebody else pay for it – this is the problem with ACC. No Fault…. Luxury fantasy land stuff that makes low risk people subsidise high risk people – it’s ass about face.

  27. Vanilla Eis 27

    “it’s ass about face.”

    What, you think that high-risk workers should subsidise low-risk ones?

  28. Matthew Pilott 28

    So they need to change their life style rather than expect to be subsidised by others

    So you’ve got a low-paid but very dangerous job. That’s the thing with you righties – you talk in tehse high and mighty principles without giving a damn about the realities of their implementation.

    Thank you, though, for having the grace to conceed the point that your attempt to treat ACC as any other type of insurance was based upon a flawed premise.

    What, you think that high-risk workers should subsidise low-risk ones?

    Basically – that’s what he’s saying. Low risk people should be able to choose their own cheap scheme, and rely on high-risk workers taking that risk doing the dirty work for them.

  29. burt 29

    Vanilla Eis

    Ass about face was possibly a sloppy use of phrase. It’s wrong that low risk people are paying more then their share so that high risk people can pay less than their share.

    Next thing you know Steve P. will be campaigning that smokers shouldn’t need to pay higher life insurance premiums compared to non smokers, recidivist drink drivers cannot be denied insurance and pay no more than people with a perfect driving record. People with $150K of home contents pay no more than people with $10K of contents etc. Hey everybody could get the benefits of one person installing a burglar alarm because their personal risk is lower and it’s not fair that people who can’t afford a burglar alarm need to pay higher premiums.

    All looks pretty insane when you view it like that eh.

  30. burt 30

    Matthew Pilott

    So you’ve got a low-paid but very dangerous job.

    Dangerous jobs should not be low paid, address that issue rather than hide behind the fact ACC allows this situation to continue.

  31. Matthew Pilott 31

    Burt, you’re not talking about lifestlye choices, you’re talking about people’s jobs.

    So instead of wanting one of the best workplace insurance schemes in the world, you want massive government to interference/intervention in the employment market to dictate what wages people should be paid? Hang on…are you a socialist? No, that’s a far more totalitarian regime you’re after. Ok, I’m playing with that one a bit too much – but how would you suggest we ‘address the issue’ of people in low-paid jobs being at a higher risk of injury/disability/death?

    Unfortunalely the market is a failure in most regards, and in this case does not reward people in relation to the risks they must take. In places such as the US, it penalises them, because there in competition for insurance – so people get penalised for being in risky jobs. At least we don’t have that.

  32. Janet 32

    Those people who think opening up the market is a good thing should listen to some of the doctors who got so frustrated with the paper war privatised ACC caused last time, or some of the union officials who had to fight for injured workers’ rights against reluctant insurers. They dread this new policy.

    The other aspect people who support this privatisation need to think about would be how would they feel if someone they cared about was seriously injured in a non- ACC-workplace accident but the company took a legal case to prove it was the worker’s fault. That would mean no coverage. Meanwhile the worker injured in an ACC workplace, regardless of cause, gets full medical coverage and lifelong disability support as well as rehab and income support and this can amount to several million dollars over their lifetime.

    ACC was set up by politicians who agreed they never wanted people to have to fight for accident or injury support again. We dishonour them by dismantling it. It won’t work.

  33. burt 33

    Matthew Pilott

    So instead of wanting one of the best workplace insurance schemes in the world, you want massive government to interference/intervention in the employment market to dictate what wages people should be paid?

    Not at all. I just don’t think people who hire people into dangerous jobs should pay them buttons and make good profits while people who hire people in low risk jobs subsidise the profits of the risky employers.

    Like I commented to Lew on a previous re-hash of this same theme by Steve P. I paid a few thousand for my mountain bike, I have paid hundreds and hundreds for shoes, clothing etc. It’s just great that I have no costs associated with the risk of falling off the bike because it means I can buy a cool wireless speedo rather than a cheaper one with a wire to the sensor. Thanks to all the people who have chess as a hobby for subsidising the risks I take riding my mountain bike. (my motorbike, my diving, my karate & my skiing)

    Oh, the new skis I got last year, I got them in an end of season sale which saved about $450 but hey I’m still glad that chess players are subsidising the risks I take. Crikey I might have had to wait another year to buy myself some new skis if chess players were not covering the risks of me skiing as well.

  34. burt 34

    Janet

    Perhaps you could have a read of this ( History of ACC ) and have a think about how much ACC now resembles the original scheme.

    In the original scheme Injured workers also had the right to sue an employer for negligence. How much did we dishonour the politicians who designed the original scheme when we removed that basic right – the right to hold someone accountable for being negligent and causing you injury.

  35. burt. that’s the dumbest thing in the world. There was never a right to sue in negligence under ACC, there was under the Workers’ Compensation Act, which was good in 1900 but failed to provide cover in many instances. ACC replaced in 1973.

    you don’t understand what the purpose of suing is or what ACC does.

    You sue to be compensation for the damage done to you by someone’s action. That’s why the payment you receive (if you can afford to sue, if you are successful) is called damages. Usually, damages do not fully compensate for costs and exemplary or punitive damages (that make ‘an example of’ or ‘punish’) the wrong-doer are extremely rare. the US situation in that respect is exceptional, in all other common law countries punitive damages are rare. Suing someone is not about ‘holding them to account’, it is about getting compensation for what you lost.

    Now, the beauty of ACC is that you get that compensation without having to be rich enough and lucky enough to win a court case. It frees up the court system and everyone gets compensation. The incentive to reduce accidents comes from OSH, which can prosecute employers who have dangerous conditions regardless of whether accidents have actually occurred yet

  36. burt 36

    Steve P.

    you don’t understand what the purpose of suing is or what ACC does.

    Sorry can you re-post the shit you wrote after that – I switched off when you claimed to know more about my thoughts than I do.

  37. Lew 37

    burt: not about your thoughts – your opinions and beliefs are your own. Steve claimed to know more than you do about what you claim to know about. Those are matters of fact or law or policy about which the truth can be determined by rational means – so I suggest you state your claim as to why he’s wrong or concede.

    You could also try rebutting some of my arguments, which you’ve conveniently ignored once your position has become untenable.

    Come on, burt, you can do better.

    L

  38. burt. I studied tort, especially the tort of negligence, and ACC. So far, your depth of knowledge has been exemplified by mixing up the WCA and ACC, and not understanding what purpose suing serves.

  39. Macro 39

    burt
    It’s NOT shit! It is in fact the reason that ACC is as good as it is, and why it is such a damn good system, and why National are incredibly stupid to be even contemplating playing around with it. We as a country overwhelmingly rejected the National amendments to ACC in 1999. You might recall the overwhelming response to the sad state of ACC prior to National loosing control of the govt then. If you were to take off your eye patch for just a while you might see that most people in this country are perfectly happy with ACC as it is now. Yes there are one or two gliches, sometimes it takes a little while for things to grind round, and there are times when accidents don’t seem to be compensated as one might hope. But on the whole if you are unfortunate enough to suffer an accident in NZ you can be pretty sure that the system will provide treatment and pretty quickly. Not only that if you suffer an ongoing disability you can expect on going assistance. I have a friend who fell off her deck and broke her back. Her house is being refitted for her needs as a paraplegic she is living in a hotel while this is done, and there will be ongoing provision of care. Frankly I don’t see this sort of provision being provided by private providers.

  40. burt 40

    Lew

    I have had a read your posts above and essentially the only thing I disagree with is how we deliver a minimum level of cover for everybody. I don’t think a one size fits all model is the answer. I’m however all for (along with allowing private insurers into the frame) having a set govt premium much like today. General cover much like today. You can even call it ACC. Having tax deductible private insurance premiums changes the scene considerably. Same for health care & schooling. If we look at other growing economies this is generally one of the elements of how they manage the greater social good without being prescriptive in the delivery.

    Perhaps we could discuss compulsory third party motor vehicle insurance instead of ACC, I think it’s the same concept as ACC. Unless you think that all motor vehicle third party insurance must move solely to a state monopoly we can continue to debate this without the emotion that ACC seems to muster.

    Now onto Steve P. – Deep breath and start a new comment.

  41. burt 41

    Steve P.

    In your haste you completely stampeded through what I was saying to Janet and grabbed something you could bat me with. Great.

    Do you think I’m really confused about the WCA from 1900 and ACC today? Janet said “ACC was set up by politicians who agreed they never wanted people to have to fight for accident or injury support again. We dishonour them by dismantling it.”.

    The question is Steve, who are we dishonoring? How have they already been dishonored by the changing implementations and iterations of ACC? How have they been dishonoured by the proliferation of it’s collection points? It’s subtle but steady slippage to user pays and the general lack of it’s transparency to the consumer today?

    The initial system was honorable, I agree with Janet on that. Is it still an appropriate solution 108 years later – I’m not so sure.

  42. burt. ACC has not been around 108 years. The WCA and ACC are not the same thing, one is not merely an evolution of the other.

  43. Macro 43

    burt
    Private providers will never be able to deliver a system as good as we have now – end of story. Why? Because they will be looking to rip $200 million a year out of it in profit. Not my figures – but good ol JK’s mates at ML.

  44. burt 44

    Steve

    Yes I’m onto the fact one is an Act and the other is an monopoly govt administration backed by an series of Act’s. That’s not problematic for me Steve. Did you visit the link I provided? It was a ‘History of ACC’ from the ACC website. ACC kinda say they evolved from the WCA?

  45. burt 45

    Macro

    Yes yes, it’s all about John Key right now today. New policies that might stand for decades must be made up right now to stop him. His policies are evil, change is bad.

    You keep up the good fight, lets ignore what actually might work and might not and lets just have the status quo – yeah yeah yeah.

  46. Swampy 46

    “By moving out the point when the pubic system takes over liability for accidents that were covered by private insurers during the brief privatisation period in the 1990s, Labour will reduce the cost of ACC, allowing employer levies and car registration to drop 20% from next year.”

    Labour, in other words, will do smoke and mirrors or make someone else pay for an election promise, as has been done in the past with ACC. There is no free lunch.

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    22 hours ago
  • Vaccine mandate for border and corrections workers to end
    The Government has announced an end to the requirement for border workers and corrections staff to be fully vaccinated. This will come into place from 2 July 2022. 100 per cent of corrections staff in prisons, and as of 23 June 2022 97 per cent of active border workers were ...
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    1 day ago
  • New Zealand's Commonwealth relationships strengthened at CHOGM
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has concluded a visit to Rwanda reaffirming Aotearoa New Zealand’s engagement in the Commonwealth and meeting with key counterparts. “I would like to thank President Kagame and the people of Rwanda for their manaakitanga and expert hosting of this important meeting,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “CHOGM ...
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    1 day ago
  • Emergency monitoring centre opened to keep New Zealand safer
    Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty officially launched the new Monitoring, Alerting and Reporting (MAR) Centre at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) today. The Government has stood up the centre in response to recommendations from the 2018 Ministerial Review following the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake and 2017 Port Hills fire, ...
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    1 day ago
  • Waikato Expressway speed limit to change to 110km/h
    Transport Minister Michael Wood has welcomed the announcement that a 110km/hr speed limit has been set for the SH1 Waikato Expressway, between Hampton Downs and Tamahere. “The Waikato Expressway is a key transport route for the Waikato region, connecting Auckland to the agricultural and business centres of the central North ...
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    1 day ago
  • Government listening to sector on NCEA
    Following feedback from the sector, Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti, today confirmed that new literacy and numeracy | te reo matatini me te pāngarau standards will be aligned with wider NCEA changes. “The education sector has asked for more time to put the literacy and numeracy | te reo ...
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    1 day ago
  • Further Aotearoa New Zealand support for Ukraine
    $4.5 million to provide Ukraine with additional non-lethal equipment and supplies such as medical kit for the Ukrainian Army Deployments extended for New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) intelligence, logistics and liaison officers in the UK, Germany, and Belgium Secondment of a senior New Zealand military officer to support International ...
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    2 days ago
  • Electoral changes will bring greater transparency for voters
    Changes to electoral law announced by Justice Minister Kiri Allan today aim to support participation in parliamentary elections, and improve public trust and confidence in New Zealand’s electoral system. The changes are targeted at increasing transparency around political donations and loans and include requiring the disclosure of: donor identities for ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government invests to minimise gambling harm
    The Labour government has announced a significant investment to prevent and minimise harm caused by gambling. “Gambling harm is a serious public health issue and can have a devastating effect on the wellbeing of individuals, whānau and communities. One in five New Zealanders will experience gambling harm in their lives, ...
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    2 days ago
  • More free flu vaccines and a second COVID-19 booster to groups at risk of hospitalisation
    The Government has widened access to free flu vaccines with an extra 800,000 New Zealanders eligible from this Friday, July 1  Children aged 3-12 years and people with serious mental health or addiction needs now eligible for free flu dose. From tomorrow (Tuesday), second COVID-19 booster available six months ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government backs action to drive strong wool growth
    The Government is investing to create new product categories and new international markets for our strong wool and is calling on Kiwi businesses and consumers to get behind the environmentally friendly fibre, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said today. Wool Impact is a collaboration between the Government and sheep sector partners ...
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    3 days ago
  • Veterans Minister pays tribute to service and sacrifice at Korean War commemoration
    At today’s commemoration of the start of the Korean War, Veterans Minister Meka Whaitiri has paid tribute to the service and sacrifice of our New Zealand veterans, their families and both nations. “It’s an honour to be with our Korean War veterans at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park to commemorate ...
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    4 days ago
  • Matariki projects star in latest round of Tourism Infrastructure Fund
    Minister of Tourism Stuart Nash and Associate Minister of Tourism Peeni Henare announced the sixth round of recipients of the Government’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund (TIF), which supports local government to address tourism infrastructure needs. This TIF round will invest $15 million into projects around the country. For the first time, ...
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    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s Matariki speech 2022
    Matariki tohu mate, rātou ki a rātou Matariki tohu ora, tātou ki a tātou Tīhei Matariki Matariki – remembering those who have passed Matariki – celebrating the present and future Salutations to Matariki   I want to begin by thanking everyone who is here today, and in particular the Matariki ...
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    5 days ago
  • First Matariki holiday marked across New Zealand and the world
    Oho mai ana te motu i te rangi nei ki te hararei tūmatanui motuhake tuatahi o Aotearoa, Te Rā Aro ki a Matariki, me te hono atu a te Pirīmia a Jacinda Ardern ki ngā mahi whakanui a te motu i tētahi huihuinga mō te Hautapu i te ata nei.    ...
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    5 days ago
  • Minister to attend second United Nations Ocean Conference in Portugal
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister David Parker will represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the second United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, which runs from 27 June to 1 July. The Conference will take stock of progress and aims to galvanise further action towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, to "conserve and sustainably use ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government supports innovative dairy sheep sector to scale up
    The Government is boosting its partnership with New Zealand’s dairy sheep sector to help it lift its value and volume, and become an established primary industry, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “Globally, the premium alternative dairy category is growing by about 20 percent a year. With New Zealand food ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government supports Buller flood recovery and longer term resilience
    The Government is continuing to support the Buller district to recover from severe flooding over the past year, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced today during a visit with the local leadership. An extra $10 million has been announced to fund an infrastructure recovery programme, bringing the total ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government outlines plans for future COVID-19 variants
    “The Government has undertaken preparatory work to combat new and more dangerous variants of COVID-19,” COVID-19 Response Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall set out today. “This is about being ready to adapt our response, especially knowing that new variants will likely continue to appear. “We have undertaken a piece of work ...
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    1 week ago
  • Next steps for NZ UK free trade agreement
    The Government’s strong trade agenda is underscored today with the introduction of the United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement Legislation Bill to the House, Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “I’m very pleased with the quick progress of the United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement Legislation Bill being introduced ...
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    1 week ago
  • Five new members join education Youth Advisory Group
    A ministerial advisory group that provides young people with an opportunity to help shape the education system has five new members, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins said today. “I am delighted to announce that Harshinni Nayyar, Te Atamihi Papa, Humaira Khan, Eniselini Ali and Malakai Tahaafe will join the seven ...
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    1 week ago
  • Address to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons First Meeting of States Party
    Austria Centre, Vienna   [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] E ngā mana, e ngā reo Tēnā koutou katoa Thank you, Mr President. I extend my warm congratulations to you on the assumption of the Presidency of this inaugural meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. You ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt makes sure support workers have right to take pay-equity claim
    The Government is taking action to make sure homecare and support workers have the right to take a pay-equity claim, while at the same time protecting their current working conditions and delivering a pay rise. “In 2016, homecare and support workers – who look after people in their own homes ...
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    1 week ago
  • Targeted second COVID-19 booster a step closer
    A law change passed today streamlines the process for allowing COVID-19 boosters to be given without requiring a prescription. Health Minister Andrew Little said the changes made to the Medicines Act were a more enduring way to manage the administration of vaccine boosters from now on. “The Ministry of Health’s ...
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    1 week ago
  • Commerce Commission empowered to crackdown on covenants
    New powers will be given to the Commerce Commission allowing it to require supermarkets to hand over information regarding contracts, arrangements and land covenants which make it difficult for competing retailers to set up shop. “The Government and New Zealanders have been very clear that the grocery sector is not ...
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    1 week ago
  • Plasterboard taskforce set up to ease shortages
    Ministerial taskforce of industry experts will give advice and troubleshoot plasterboard shortages Letter of expectation sent to Fletcher Building on trademark protections A renewed focus on competition in the construction sector The Minister for Building and Construction Megan Woods has set up a Ministerial taskforce with key construction, building ...
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    1 week ago
  • First Matariki public holiday celebrated with a unique broadcasting collaboration
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson and Minister for Māori Crown Relations Te Arawhiti Kelvin Davis announced today the inaugural Matariki public holiday will be marked by a pre-dawn hautapu ceremony at Te Papa Tongarewa, and will be a part of a five-hour broadcast carried by all major broadcasters in ...
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    1 week ago
  • Health volunteers recognised at Parliament
    Volunteers from all over the country are being recognised in this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards, just announced at an event in Parliament’s Grand Hall. “These awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health and disability sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other ...
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    1 week ago
  • Trade Minister to travel to Europe, Canada and Australia to advance economic recovery
    New Zealand’s trade agenda continues to build positive momentum as Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor travels to Europe, Canada and Australia to advance New Zealand’s economic interests. “Our trade agenda has excellent momentum, and is a key part of the Government’s wider plan to help provide economic security for ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister to travel to Europe and Australia
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will leave this weekend to travel to Europe and Australia for a range of trade, tourism and foreign policy events. “This is the third leg of our reconnecting plan as we continue to promote Aotearoa New Zealand’s trade and tourism interests. We’re letting the world know ...
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    1 week ago
  • Remarks to ICAN Nuclear Ban Forum session “The Ban is the Plan and this is Why”
    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Nga mihi ki a koutou. Let me start by acknowledging the nuclear survivors, the people who lost their lives to nuclear war or testing, and all the peoples driven off their lands by nuclear testing, whose lands and waters were poisoned, and who suffer the inter-generational health ...
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    1 week ago