web analytics

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

          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

            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


  • A charge on plastic bags – debunking some myths
    The launch of my Members’ Bill last week, which would introduce a 15 cent charge on single-use plastic bags at the check-out, has generated a lot of comment on mainstream and social media. From The Paul Henry Show at the ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 hours ago
  • National’s $1trillion property sandcastle
    The National government's failure to fix the housing crisis has seen the ballooning and unsustainable property market touch the $1 trillion mark, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. "Labour wants an economy that creates high wage work that is based ...
    7 hours ago
  • Government failure on housing crisis drives Reserve Bank to add tools
    If the Government was delivering a comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis, it is unlikely that the Reserve Bank would be continuing to pursue debt to income limits for lending for housing, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    1 day ago
  • International embarrassment for NZ likely over National’s failure to protect Maui dolphin
    New Zealanders who care about Maui dolphin should prepare to feel embarrassed: the Government is about to be put to shame on the international stage for its lack of action to protect Maui’s dolphin. The International Whaling Commissions’ 66th Biennial ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    3 days ago
  • Why don’t we spend $1b to keep people out of jail, rather than spending it on keeping them in?
    Earlier this week, Corrections Minister Judith Collins announced the government’s ‘solution’ to our burgeoning prison population. It seems that most, if not all, of Bill English’s hard-won surplus is going to disappear into another round of prison-building.  That must be ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    5 days ago
  • PKE Ship Sent Packing – Not Too Soon
    It is appropriate that the palm kernel expeller (PKE) ship off Tauranga has been sent packing. For weeks I have been saying this ship needed to be sent away, but it seems as if MPI has been trying to find ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    5 days ago
  • Do you #LoveSnow?
    I was a lucky kid. When I was about five or six my mum and auntie took me up to Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu and taught me to ski. As a young kid I thought there was no bigger ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Awa Kairangi/Hutt River – Swimmable?
    On Thursday night I hosted a great swimmable rivers meeting organised by the local Greens in Heretaunga (Hutt Valley). It was great to see about 70 people attend and engage in the topic. We were welcomed by Te Atiawa representative ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • September benefit figures disappointing
    The Government is out of touch with the reality that fewer people are going off the benefit and into employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The quarterly benefit numbers for September are concerning. They show that ...
    5 days ago
  • MFAT officials refuse to back Prime Minister on Saudi sheep claims
    An Ombudsman’s interim decision released about the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the multimillion dollar Saudi sheep deal shows MFAT has failed to back up the Prime Minister’s claims on the matter, says Labour MP David Parker. “The ...
    5 days ago
  • Barry Coates on his first weeks in Parliament
    Week one in Parliament has been quite an occasion. I would like to share the experience. I had given up on the prospect of getting into Parliament before the election and had been enjoying the diverse work I was doing ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    5 days ago
  • Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend
    Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “After ...
    6 days ago
  • Parliament must restore democracy for Ecan
    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    6 days ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    7 days ago
  • Vote Sooty Shearwater/Tītī for Bird of the Year
    Sooty shearwater (Puffinus griseus) are amazing and deserve your vote in Forest and Bird’s Bird of the Year competition.  They make one of the longest known bird migrations, flying an annual round trip of 64,000 kms across the entire Pacific ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    7 days ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    1 week ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    1 week ago
  • Energy use going in the wrong direction
    New data out this week from Statistics NZ paints a concerning picture of energy use across the economy under this National Government. You won’t be surprised to hear that there is some seriously worrying information here about how dirty our ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    1 week ago
  • Junior Doctors go on Strike
    Thousands of junior doctors took strike action for 24 hours this week for better working conditions and safer working hours.  The Green Party supports their cause, and particularly their claims to reduce the number of days worked from up to ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    1 week ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    1 week ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    1 week ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    1 week ago
  • Strengthening our relationship with the Rātana movement
    It was a privilege to visit Rātana Pā last week with fellow Greens’ Co-leader James Shaw, our Māori Caucus and senior staff to meet with the leaders of te iwi mōrehu, to strengthen the ties between the Green Party and ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    1 week ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    1 week ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disconnected thinking dirties the water
    Iain Rabbitts’ belief that drinking water quality, charging for water use and the land use that leads to water quality degradation should be treated separately is part of the problem we have right now in this country. The connection is ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Report back from Hands Off Our Tamariki hui
    This week I attended a hui in Otaki organised by Hands Off Our Tamariki about the proposed reforms to the Child Young Persons and their Families Act. Moana Jackson and Paora Moyle spoke.  They expressed deep, profound concern about the proposed ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s visionless immigration policy
    National’s recent immigration announcement is a continuation of the visionless approach to government that it has displayed in the last three terms. Rather than using the levers of government to implement a sustainable immigration policy that benefits new and current ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seclusion rooms in schools
    Schools are undoubtedly stretched and underfunded to cope with students with high learning support needs. But this cannot justify the use of rooms (or cupboards) as spaces to forcibly isolate children. It has emerged via media that this practice continues ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Public should get a say on new Waikato power station
    I had an opinion piece published in the Waikato Times about a controversial proposal to build a new gas-fired power station. It’s not on their website yet, so here it is: If you think the public would get a say ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • MSD and their investment approach
    The Government talks about investment but there is no investment. It is not investment if it isn’t over the whole of life and if there is no new money  — Shamubeel Eaqub   Investment sounds like adequate resourcing but this ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Certainty needed for community services
    A couple of months ago I was at a seminar where three community organisations were presenting. Two of the three presenters were waiting to find out if their organisation would get a contract renewed with MSD. Not knowing if their ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
    For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Leroy’s New Paw Prints
    Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago