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ACC protests send clear message to NACT

Written By: - Date published: 9:13 pm, October 19th, 2009 - 8 comments
Categories: ACC, activism, national/act government - Tags:

Today hundreds of people around the country marched against the cuts to sexual abuse counselling due to be implemented by ACC next week.

The protests were widely covered by the media, with excellent coverage by both TVNZ and 3News. I was at the Auckland march where a couple of hundred people turned up to rally in Albert Park and then march to the ACC offices in Sale Street.

Dr Kim McGregor from Rape Prevention Education addressed the rally in her capacity as a therapist. Dr McGregor did a study of sexual abuse counselling for her PhD and wrote the existing ACC guidelines. She has promised to resign as an ACC registered therapist if these new guidelines are implemented.

Labour MP and spokesperson for victim’s rights Lynne Pillay also addressed the rally, and made it clear that these cuts are just the first of many cuts to ACC being implemented by the National Government. ACC claiming these cuts are in the interests of survivors is just a cynical way of trying to keep the public in the dark.

The march down to the ACC offices was lively, and the crowd was outraged but determined and peaceful.

Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin also had a great turnout. In Wellington, Labour leader Phil Goff and Green MP Catherine Delahunty addressed the march, making it clear that the opposition are fully behind the fight to stop these proposed guidelines being implemented.

Big ups to the Auckland police, who while a little annoyed at not being given notice of the protest, acted very professionally and did a great job of clearing traffic for the march. I acted as police liaison for the Auckland march, and was very impressed by the empathy and professionalism shown by the police who responded to the protest.

8 comments on “ACC protests send clear message to NACT ”

  1. toad 1

    Cheers, rocky. I was on the Auckland march too.

    I’ve never seen the Police be so tolerant of a “sit-in” like that which happened in the foyer of the Auckland ACC office. Usually, there would be arreests within the first 5 minutes for that type of protest.

    I suspect the tolerance of the Police was because they know that they are often the ones who have to pick up the mess when sexual violence victims don’t receive adequate support.

    So big ups to the Police, and big ups to everyone who marched today. It may take time, but we can win this. Most people don’t want victims of sexual violence being stigmatised forever as being “mentally ill”.

  2. Dancr 2

    Our society will be worse off if these changes go ahead – thanks for describing what it felt like to be there. I hope it reverberates through the House tomorrow. And apologies for posting on top of you – I would have delayed if I have realised in time!

  3. Rex Widerstrom 3

    Looking at that pic, at first I thought Big Brother had invented a new word – “unselling”. Indeed it is a right to “unsell” public assets 😀

  4. gingercrush 4

    I’m surprised you were happy with TV 3’s coverage. Personally, I thought it was disgusting. The way they made Goff appearing at the protest into a cheap attack is in my opinion atrocious.I’m not surprised though. TV 3 has a rather bad habit of getting in wee small digs all for supposedly news.

    These are scenes National could do without but for Labour leader Phil Goff it was an opportunity to voice support for the cause and score a few political points. – This piece really irks me.

    • rocky 4.1

      Yes I did notice that bit and was not happy about it. At the same time though, it wasn’t about Phil Goff, and while they were unfair to him, they did have a fairly balanced perspective on the issue. It’s more than I can say about most media coverage of protests.

  5. tc 5

    Muldoon had the bok tour now JK has this, not in the same league yet but I’m sure he’ll lift his game before the terms out………foreshore/seabed looks a good opportunity.
    These protests galvanise the right even more……how dare we question their mastery, bow down and be grateful loyal serfs.
    Goff’s a nice guy……we all now where they end up finishing as sections of the media have decided.

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