Written By: - Date published: 2:16 pm, November 17th, 2009 - 43 comments
Categories: ACC, activism, national/act government - Tags:

Just got away from the bikoi at Parliament. What a sight. At least 6,000 people they reckon. The lawn and half the forecourt covered. Tui flying overhead joining in the fun.

The bikers know are they being treated unfairly and National is using their levy money to pay for false propaganda for levy increases. They also know this is the thin end of the wedge. The only reason to move to a fully-funded model like an insurance company rather than a compensation scheme or to move to a user-pays system is to set it up for privatisation.

Goff really impressed with his speech. The crowd liked it too. Applause for him was a little half-hearted when he came up to the mic. But the cheers kept growing as he exposed the lies and National’s agenda. Thunderous by the time he finished. Rick Barker was a surprise stand out too. As was David Clendon, who becomes the new Green MP today. The crowd loved it all.

It was a funny contrast among the speakers. Goff’s punchy rhetorical style. Barker and Clendon’s blunt language. The biker organisation leaders revving up the crowd. The academics with their fancy terminology and statistics. Then Nick Smith. The crowd let him speak at first but as he dissembled he was nearly drowned out by boos. A weak voice trying to shift the blame onto his politically appointed puppet John Judge. Promising to ‘listen’ but saying that levy increases are certain.

Standing in the sunshine watching a chastened Smith scamper back into the Beehive, surrounded by minders as 6,000 people chanted bullsh*t. It made my day.

Update: Some phonecam video from Grant Robertson:

43 comments on “Bikoi”

  1. bobo 1

    Bet most middle aged sunday afternoon bikers voted National too 🙂

  2. Noko 2

    Ugh, the term “Bikoi”. I find it quite disrespectful, comparing the massive land loss of the Maori people and their sign of unity against it, to motorcyclists having to pay more to ride their bikes each year.

    • bikerboy 2.1

      before using the term Bikoi the organsiers ran it past Maori and they said it was fine.

      A Hikoi is about speaking out and that’s what we are doing.

      Looks like your PC detector is too sensitive.

    • Ratfink 2.2

      Funny you say that mate hikoi means protest and that is exactly what we did, no violence just an expression of oppinion.
      That our government needs to get thier facts correct,
      “The No Blame ACC policy” is utter bullshit!
      Road motorcyclists are bearing the brunt of all claims be they caused by cars, trucks or even the inclusion of off road motorcyling accidents.
      One group should not have to account for everyone elses actions.

    • Ken 2.3

      Ki ahau nei, kei te he to panui. He mea katakata tenei ingoa, i tautoko ana mo o matou kaumatua.

  3. Pat 3

    I went to an ACC Coverplus presentation on Friday, presented by Susan Grant from ACC. She advised the following figures for road bikes (excludes farm bikes, off road and motorcross bikes etc)

    Levies from road bikes = $12M p.a.
    Annual claims from road bikes = $62M p,a,

    Please explain why a small sector who choose a risky mode of transport or pastime, should be so heavily subsidised by the rest of us.

    P.S. Nick Smith just stated in Q/T:

    5044 motorcycle accidents in 2008
    871 motorcycle accidents in 1998

    • bikerboy 3.1

      he’s lying. One of the speakers at the bikoi was a professor from christchurch and he talked about the real numbers – motorbike registrations were up four times, accidents doubled.

      the levy and payout stuff is lies too.

      The resistance

      • Pat 3.1.1

        Motobike registrations in 1998 were 60,000. Accidents 871.
        Motorbike registrations in 2008 were 97,000. Accidents 5044.

        • Pat

          bikerboy – are you accusing a public service employee (Ms Grant) of deliberately lying about the ACC numbers?

          • bikerboy

            yup. Looks like she’s a comms person or “business relationship manager” which sounds like the same thing. Her job is to spin for the government of the day.

            and John Judge. He’s a public servant too eh?

            and Nick Smith.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Are those numbers in any ACC report, or in the ACC documents on levy increases?

          Nick Smith has a habit of making up numbers.

          Could be hes using the number of ‘procedures’ in each claim for 2008 to artificially rack up the totals.
          see a Doctor 3 times, get prescriptions 10 times and so on

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Wrong Motorcyles in
          2008 were 101,000
          2006 84,000

    • outofbed 3.2

      Its only a risky mode of transport because the rest of “us” keep running into them

    • Lew 3.3

      Pat, the figures as to risk are a bit more complicated than that. The majority of motorbike accidents are caused by car drivers — much like bicycle accidents, and truck accidents, etc. This is because cars are much more common, driven much greater unit-distances, and the average level of expertise of those driving them is much lower than other, more specialised forms of transport.

      Under a no-fault system the implicit blame for an accident (which is what you’re implying with these figures) rests with the driver or rider of the vehicle no matter who caused it. In car-car accidents or bike-bike accidents this evens out — but in accidents between vehicle types a lot of implicit blame-shifting goes on. So it’s not fair to sheet home those figures directly to motorbike riders.

      That said, I’m not sure what the actual liability is or how it ought to be represented in levies. My instinct is that there’s some increase in liability which is due, but that the current increase isn’t justified. There are also external benefits to motorcycle usage (carbon, etc.) which could justify a subsidy on public good grounds — although this isn’t really something the Nats would want to touch. I think I recall them making electric cars exempt from RUC, though, for that reason.


      • Pat 3.3.1

        Regardless of who caused the accident, if motorcycle ownership and use continues to increase (cheaper fuel costs etc) then ACC claims are going to increase also.

        If you choose to ride a bike, then you are taking a greater risk than travelling by car. You need to pay for that risk, if you want to have your medical bills paid. Don’t ask everyone else to pay for it.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          What data suggest the claims are increasing other than by small amounts

          • Pat

            Motorcycle accidents increased from 4000 in 2006 to 5000 in 2008.

            • ghostwhowalksnz

              The numbers below from pete are 1396 injuries in 2008.
              Plus he gives a link, while yours are out of the mouth of proven Liar Nick Smith PhD

            • pete

              I think the numbers Pat’s using are ACC claims rather than “accidents”. All sorts of reasons those might change in 10 years: better record keeping, wider coverage etc.

            • ghostwhowalksnz

              Numbers of bikes increased from 84000 in 2006 to 101000 in 2008.
              using ACC figures.
              25% increase in accidents ( undefined) seems about right compared to numbers of bikes

              Which numbers are you using?

        • snoozer

          the whole point of ACC is that’s it’s no fault, Pat. Singling out some groups (and only some) because their activities sarry a higher risk of accidents just increases the cost of the scheme and puts it on a track to privatisation.

          As for crashes. The problem is idiots in SUVs who can’t see motorbikes, not the bikers.

        • Lew


          If you choose to ride a bike, then you are taking a greater risk than travelling by car.

          That’s a moral hazard, shifting responsibility to those sinned against from those sinning. Moral hazards aren’t bad in and of themselves, but there’s an oft-made argument that they’re unjust, particularly among National supporters. Moreover, the stated reason for this policy change is ostensibly to correct a moral hazard, so it fails on its very own grounds. Policy which is unjust for one reason should be justified for some other reasons — such as a common good. I don’t see such a justification of this increase; what I see is a small and somewhat maligned group of the electorate getting mistreated in service of the majority.

          You need to pay for that risk, if you want to have your medical bills paid. Don’t ask everyone else to pay for it.

          You do ask ‘everyone else’ to pay it if there’s data (and there is, anecdotal though it be) about the causes of accidents — you ask the group predominantly responsible for causing the accidents to pay the bulk.

          As I said — I’m not wedded to the argument that bikers shouldn’t pay more. But pointing to claim numbers or accident numbers or ACC case numbers as if they answer the wider question of “where does the risk come from” doesn’t cut any ice.


    • Because ACC has always had a welfare component to it. In this case there is redistribution from those who choose to undertake some risky activities from those who don’t.

      At the intensive margin, not wanting to arse off at 100kmh onto asphalt with only some cow and kevlar between you and the road is more than enough of a disincentive to crash. If the levy rises are aimed at the extensive margin, well thats a bit nanny state then isn’t it?

  4. pete 4

    P.S. Nick Smith just stated in Q/T

    Why on Earth would you trust numbers given to you by Nick Smith?

    • lprent 4.1

      Yeah. That was the immediate thought that popped into my head.

      Nick Smith has just spent most of this year lying with numbers. Why would he stop now?

  5. pete 5

    If you choose to ride a bike, then you are taking a greater risk than travelling by car.

    If you choose to drive a car, you are imposing a greater risk on others than if you ride a bike. You need to pay for that risk.

    Motobike registrations in 1998 were 60,000. Accidents 871.
    Motorbike registrations in 2008 were 97,000. Accidents 5044.

    Number of registered Motorcycles/Mopeds —
    June 1998: 46185 pdf, p40
    June 2008: 130213 link

    Number of injuries (motorcyclists + passengers) pdf
    1998: 969
    2008: 1396

    So yes, I think she was cooking the numbers somehow.

    • Daveosaurus 5.1

      The smoking gun, in other words. Thanks very much for that information: proof that Nick Smith and his stooge at ACC are lying like a couple of rugs.

  6. gobsmacked 6

    What’s really impressive about this protest is how different it is.

    Most protests involve predictable names and faces (McVicker and McCroskie on one side versus Minto and co on the other). Sure, they too have every right to protest, but the public probably just regard them as “the usual suspects”.

    Nobody can dismiss this kind of crowd. There’s no knee-jerk response to trot out. “Bloody PC bikies”? Nah.

  7. TightyRighty 7

    is there a levy on cyclists? seeing as they seem to have accidents all the time, don’t pay any form of road user charges, nor do they seem to be subject to any acc levy. methinks the bikers with engines could point this out and save themselves a problem.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 7.1

      If you want to pick on cyclists how about boats, quad bikes, pedestrians, rugby players, cricket clubs, kids who climb trees, hikers, shooters and just about anyone else who incurs risk during their daily activities.

      • pete 7.1.1

        Under current right-wing logic we wouldn’t levy shooters, we’d levy anyone not wearing a bullet-proof vest.

        Why should shooters have to subsidise anyone who makes a choice to take a risk by not wearing body armour?

      • TightyRighty 7.1.2

        theoretically, boats and quad bike users are paying to acc through the acc levty on petrol. if thats wrong, at least they contribute to the roading fund without really using it. my point is that cyclists are economic free riders, as they are a rather vocal road using minority. let them put their money where their mouth is by contributing

    • snoozer 7.2

      yeah but how do you levy cyclists? They’re not registered, they don’t use fuel.

      But let’s not get too silly. All these different levies are basically raising money from the same people.

      Originally, ACC had just two income sources – a levy on employers and a levy on employees. Admittedly it was desgined in a time when workplace injuries were more common but the principle still stands – most of us work, that’s the easiest place to raise the revenue from.

      the only justifications for raising the money closer to the activity where the accident takes place is
      a) to put a more direct financial cost on accidents to discourage them, well I’ve always thought the fact of the accident was discouraging enough
      b) organise ACC like a private insurer, so it’s ready for selling.

  8. Hilary 8

    No levy on bicycles. And farm bike levies are not going up. Just motorbikes. Phil Goff, who rides all three, made this point at the protest.

  9. outofbed 9

    Talk about upsetting people That lovable Smith
    ACC — protests
    ETS—- protest
    Just the RMA for the trifecta except the changes to the RMA were watered down after a proper select committee process ,
    Still significantly waters down our environment protection laws though
    He really is not a very nice person

  10. Freddy 10

    There are a number of examples of bad maths from ACC to stack their increase in levies. One example using the figures quoted above of 101,000 registered motorcycles in 2008 and ACC collected $12 million.
    The last rego I paid for my bike (June 2009) cost $267.21 of which $204.66 was ACC levy. So what is 101,000 times $204.66? Answer $20,670,660 ie $20 million NOT $12 million.

  11. Adrian 11

    Lies, damn lies and statistics. Pete’s 1396 accidents and ACC’s reputed $62 million costs= $44,300 per case. Thats a lot maybe not for a crippling crash but most are sprains and grazes. Sounds like more Nick the Prick and ACC bullshit.

  12. Adrian
    Lies, damn lies and statistics. Pete’s 1396 accidents and ACC’s reputed $62 million costs= $44,300 per case. Thats a lot maybe not for a crippling crash but most are sprains and grazes. Sounds like more Nick the Prick and ACC bullshit.

    The $62 million is about $40 million worth of pre1999 claims before the fully funded model total claims of 3173 active claims (1837 pre 1999) which are the long term accidents claims remember before that we were pay as you go.

    1396 is 2008 current claims is about $22 million
    $12.m in rego levies only. It is also estimated that bikers also paid 9 million fuel levies, how ever ACC or anybody can come up with accurate figures for this.

    Bikers also own cars (drive or ride one at a time argument, yet paying multiple levies) 130,213 is also 130,213 + cars that are coming from bikers
    so we can add 130,213 x 168.48 = $12,069,822.08

    Now ACC was never ever designed to have the seperate acconts and the sooner it goes back to the one grand super fund the better. and the more cross subsidising the better the system works. I pay ACC in my PAYE this year it works out to be around $2000. My ACC levy in my PAYE covers anything I do as a citizen and I mean anything including riding a motorcycling.

  13. Adrian 13

    Thanks for the clarity Nighthawk. Am I right to presume from this that the 20mill is the ongoing cost year on year of long term moto treatment and compo? What of Freddy’s estimate of 20.6 mill of ACC levys and you are quite right bikers are paying at least three times if they work and own a car.

  14. Ron 14

    Reading this discussion it seems NACT’s tactic has worked. This whole discussion is premised on the idea that there is a funding shortfall at ACC.
    There isn’t.
    While we’re arguing about WHO should pay more, NACT are rubbing their hands together because the reality is NO ONE needs to pay more.

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