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?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Teachers should elect their own professional representation
    A new Bill introduced to Parliament today would give teachers the right to elect representatives to their own professional body, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    5 hours ago
  • A fair deal for working people and good employers
    Labour will implement sensible changes to employment law to prevent the small number of bad employers undercutting good employers and driving a ‘race to the bottom’ on wages and conditions, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    5 hours ago
  • The Foreign Minister, the Zone and the Convention
    Last month the relatively new foreign minister of our realm, Hon Gerry Brownlee, steered a wobbly diplomatic course on Israeli settlements, which became leveraged to a political level. In May, he described UN Security Council resolution 2334 of December ’16, ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    5 hours ago
  • Pouring Government energy into avoiding energy leadership
    Energy Minister Judith Collins yesterday released the new New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy and it’s very disappointing. It’s unambitious, continues business as usual & won’t achieve much. It continues National’s well-worn tactic of playing tricks, rather than actually ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    7 hours ago
  • Māori Party’s waka up river without paddle
    The Māori Party’s waka is up the river without a paddle over its Waka Oranga mobile health unit pilot programme, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    1 day ago
  • English covering for Barclay to pass legislation
    The Prime Minister has been relying on Todd Barclay’s vote to pass key legislation, explaining why English has covered up the Barclay scandal for so long and why he continues to refuse to answer questions, says Leader of the Opposition ...
    1 day ago
  • Typhoid report shows health officials under the hammer
    A chaotic picture has emerged around the response of Auckland public health officials to this year’s typhoid outbreak, says Aupito William Sio Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesman.  “Our Pacific community was left exposed by the Auckland Regional Public Health Services’ ...
    2 days ago
  • Huge high country station risks going to overseas ownership
    The real estate advertisement is spot on in describing Mt White Station as an “iconic” South Island high country station. The 40,000 hectare property is adjacent to Arthur’s Pass National Park and the upper reaches of the Waimakariri River. Mt ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    2 days ago
  • Bill English must be upfront about his involvement in Barclay scandal
    Bill English’s explanations that he was on the periphery of the long running employment dispute involving Todd Barclay don’t stack up, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister claims to have been a bystander, but we know he was ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour will not resile from royalties
    Labour believes cleaning up our rivers so that they are clean enough to swim in is the most important freshwater issue for this election, but that it is also fair that a royalty should be charged where public water is ...
    4 days ago
  • With friends like Hone, who needs enemies?
    With less than three months until the election, Hone Harawira has delivered another blow to the Māori Party’s flagship policy of Te Ture Whenua Māori reform and the already unstable MANA-Maori Party alliance, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. “On The ...
    4 days ago
  • Shifty Bill jumps the shark
    Bill English's claim today that it has never been established that Todd Barclay's recordings of his staff took place is bizarre and shows a complete lack of honesty and leadership, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  "Todd Barclay told Bill ...
    5 days ago
  • Te Ture Whenua – gone by lunchtime?
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell has to front up about yesterday’s mysterious withdrawal of Te Ture Whenua Bill from Parliament’s order paper, says Labour’s Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.  “Has he lost his way and has decided to run ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English ignorance of law beggars belief
    For Bill English to claim he and others in the National Party didn’t realise the law may have been broken in the Todd Barclay taping scandal is simply not credible, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister ...
    6 days ago
  • Government ignored advice on Pacific people’s superannuation
    The Government ignored advice from the Ministry of Pacific Peoples that raising the Superannuation age of eligibility would have a ‘disproportionately high impact’ on Pacific people, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Aupito William Sio.   “The Ministry for Pacific ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English misleads Parliament on Police statement
    Bill English's attempt to restore his damaged credibility over the Todd Barclay affair has backfired after his claim to have "reported" Mr Barclay's actions to Police has proven not to be true, says Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson. ...
    1 week ago
  • Keep it Public
    The Green Party strongly supports the Tertiary Education Unions call to #KeepitPublic Keep what public? Out quality tertiary education system that National is trying to open up to more private for-profit providers with a new law change. The (Tertiary Education ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • This ‘technical error’ is hurting big time
    Jonathan Coleman cannot resort to his ongoing litany that the Ministry of Health’s $38 million budget blunder is an error on paper only, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “He might keep saying it’s a ‘technical error’ but the reality ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour to invest in public transport for Greater Christchurch
    Labour will commit $100m in capital investment for public transport in Greater Christchurch, including commuter rail from Rolleston to the CBD, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “As the rebuild progresses, there are huge opportunities for Greater Christchurch, but ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party will repeal solar tax
    It’s ridiculous for an electricity distribution monopoly to apply a charge on solar panels but worse than that, it’s harming our effort to tackle climate change. Hawke’s Bay lines company Unison last year announced a new solar charge for their ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • English fails the character test over Barclay
    Bill English is hoping this scandal will go away, but he is still dodging important questions over his role in covering up for Todd Barclay, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Government must apologise for Christchurch schools stuff-up
    The Ombudsman’s findings that the Ministry of Education botched the reorganisation of Christchurch schools after the 2011 earthquake are damning for an under-fire National Government, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “The Ombudsman has found the reorganisation of schools in ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s multinational tax measures weak
    The Government’s proposals to crack down on multinational tax avoidance, by its own admission only recovering one third of the missing money, means hardworking Kiwis will bear more of the tax burden, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. “The Government ...
    1 week ago
  • World Refugee Day – we can do our bit
    I’m really proud that yesterday, on World Refugee Day, the Greens launched an ambitious plan to increase the refugee quota to 5000 over the next six years. Of those places, 4,000 will be directly resettled by the government and another ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • PM’s leadership in question over Barclay affair
    The Prime Minister must belatedly show some leadership and compel Todd Barclay to front up to the Police, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Twice today Bill English has been found wanting in this matter. ...
    1 week ago
  • Another memory lapse by Coleman?
    The Minister of Health ‘couldn’t recall’ whether the Director General of Health Chai Chuah offered his resignation over the Budget funding fiasco involving the country’s District Health Boards, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “In the House today Jonathan Coleman ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English needs to come clean over Barclay
    Bill English needs to explain why he failed to be upfront with the public over the actions of Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay, following revelations that he knew about the secretly recorded conversations in the MP’s electorate office, says Labour Leader ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister, show some backbone and front up and debate
    Rather than accusing critics of his Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill of telling ‘lies’, Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell should show some backbone and front up to a debate on the issue, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. “Te ...
    1 week ago
  • Equal pay for mental health workers
    Today, mental health workers are filing an equal pay claim through their unions. Mental health support workers do important and difficult work in our communities. But because the workforce is largely female, they are not paid enough. It’s wrong for ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Nats’ HAM-fisted housing crisis denial
    National’s decision to knowingly release a flawed Housing Affordability Measure that underestimates the cost of housing is the latest evidence of their housing crisis denial, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Pike footage builds compelling case for mine re-entry
    New footage of the Pike River Mine deep inside the operation, revealing no fire damage or signs of an inferno, provides a compelling reason to grant the families of Pike River’s victims their wish to re-enter the drift, says Labour ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will get tough on slum boarding houses
    The next Labour-led Government will legislate a Warrant of Fitness based on tough minimum standards to clean out slum boarding houses, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It’s not acceptable for New Zealanders in the 21st Century to be living ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party tribute to Dame Nganeko Minhinnick
    Haere ngā mate ki tua o paerau; te moenga roa o ngā mātua tupuna. Haere, haere, haere. It was with a huge sense of loss that we learned of the death of Dame Nganeko Minhinnick yesterday. The Green Party acknowledges ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent answers needed on DHB funding
      Jonathan Coleman must come clean and answer questions about what actual funding DHBs received in Budget 2017, says Labour Health Spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Treasury puts Māori Land Service on red alert
    A damning Treasury report raises serious questions about the delivery of Te Ururoa Flavell’s proposed Māori Land Service, giving it a ‘red’ rating which indicates major issues with the project, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.  “Treasury’s Interim Major Projects Monitoring ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Economy stalling after nine years of National’s complacency
    The second successive quarterly fall in per person growth shows the need for a fresh approach to give all New Zealanders a fair share in prosperity, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwi kids deserve much more
    All Kiwi kids deserve so much more than the impoverished picture painted by the shameful rankings provided by the UNICEF Innocenti Report Card, says Labour’s children spokesperson Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Zone a precursor to a total nuclear weapon ban
    New Zealand’s nuclear-free zone, legislated by Parliament in 1987, is something we all take pride in. It’s important, however, that we don’t let it thwart its own ultimate purpose – a world free of nuclear weapons. That goal must be ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • English must confirm we still stand by our principles on UN resolution
    Bill English must tell New Zealand whether we remain in support of the UN Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “After Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee’s evasive answers to repeated questions on ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori party drop the poi on Māori health
    The Māori Party have dropped the poi when it comes to supporting Ngati Whakaue and Māori interests in Bay of Plenty by allowing an iwi owned and operated service Te Hunga Manaaki to be brushed aside in favour of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to invest in Whanganui River infrastructure
    Labour will work in partnership with the Whanganui Council to repair and redevelop the city’s Port precinct in advance of planned economic development and expansion. To enable Whanganui’s plans, Labour will commit $3m in matching funding for repairing the Whanganui ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parihaka: an apology
    An apology only works for healing if it is sincere and if it is accepted. We teach our children to apologise and to be genuine if they want to be forgiven. On Friday, June 9 at Parihaka, the Crown apologised ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Survey shows many international students plan to stay in NZ after study
    Most international students in New Zealand at PTEs (private training establishments) who have a plan for themselves after study intend to stay in New Zealand to work. This shows how low-level education has become a backdoor immigration route under National, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Councils step up as Nats drop the ball on housing crisis
    Phil Goff’s Mayoral Housing Taskforce is another positive example of councils stepping up where National has failed on housing, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for a breather on immigration
    Labour will introduce moderate, sensible reforms to immigration to reduce the pressure on our cities, while ensuring we get the skilled workers our country needs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New Zealand is a country built on immigration. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inaction puts Māui dolphins at risk
    Conservation Minister Maggie Barry was at the United Nations Oceans Conference in New York last week, trying to convince the world that the New Zealand Government is doing a good job at protecting our marine environment.  Yet last week after ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    2 weeks ago
  • National unprepared as immigration runs four times faster than forecast
    National has been caught asleep at the wheel by record immigration that has outstripped Budget forecasts, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • First home buyers shouldn’t carry the can for National’s failed policies
    The introduction of tighter limits on lending to first home buyers would see them paying the price for the National Party’s failure to recognise or fix the housing crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Nine years of denial and ...
    3 weeks ago