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Health and Safety Rep Training – a cut by any other name

Written By: - Date published: 6:40 pm, January 14th, 2014 - 133 comments
Categories: health and safety, Judith Collins - Tags:

I couldn’t give a rats arse about Jordan Williams and his new little Act campaigning vehicle against the State, but I do care about health and safety and the manner in which some of the media have run his latest little ruse against training health and safety representatives in the workplace is a disgrace. Judith Collins has used it as a cover to announce the end of worker health and safety training by unions beyond this year, leaving workers unable to access the powers under the Health and Safety Act to issue hazard notices and represent their workmates.

In the world’s fastest OIA turnaround (just 19 days), Collins has given Williams the advice she sought from ACC regarding the contract it has with the CTU to deliver training to Health and Safety Representatives.

This training is the recognised training workers need under the Act to be able to issue Hazard Notices legally and carry out the role of representative. We have trained over 30,000 workers since 2003 (mostly non-union) to carry out this heroic role despite National cutting down the numbers we can train each year to a new low this year of just 1800 trainees across the whole NZ workforce.

In 2008 ACC restricted access to the course to mainly workers from five of the most dangerous industries (and least unionised!). These industries – forestry, agriculture, manufacturing, construction, road freight transport, avoid using the CTU training for representatives and it has greatly increased the challenge to us to get trainees through the door. Many ignore the Act altogether and don’t even have a representative system. My recent visit with Simon Bridges to a forest contractor all went a bit pear shaped when I asked to meet the representatives (the contractor had 40 staff and was required to have elected reps but it is not even mentioned in the new Forestry regulations so the employer had no idea – MBIE having never enforced it).

Business NZ and Impac Services also offer training and are funded. The training deliverables for the contract do not focus on the outcomes of the training only the numbers trained but the course is approved and overseen by a tripartite group. An evaluation of the training was carried out in 2008 and found to be positive. This report was also released to Jordan.

Anyway Jordan has got all the information and it is very clear – the objective of the training is to improve worker health and safety capability in the workplace through increasing worker skills and knowledge of health and safety (we are talking about a 2 day training course here!). An ACC review of literature cited, supports health and safety training as having an immediate substantial positive effect on knowledge, behaviour and attitudes but is clear that in isolation of a good system overall the impact on accident rate is insignificant.

So the advice then confirms what we all know – the accident rate is terrible in NZ and the training has little impact because it is in isolation of a decent H&S system – not because the training is no good. Basically the Pike Inquiry and the Health and Safety Taskforce also strongly identified this – in addition to training and voice, workers need management buy-in, regulation, rights and power!.

Despite what is a fairly benign piece of Ministerial advice, Jordan has gone on the attack and says it confirms:

  • that the training did little if anything to reduce the accident rate (without saying that the paper makes it clear this is because of the weak system),
    – that the CTU has been challenged to meet its obligations since 2008 (2008 saw cuts and restrictions imposed by ACC in hard to reach industries – we mainly did meet them and turned down thousands of workers outside these industries that wanted training),
  • that the benefits of the training have been in doubt since 2008 (what is in doubt is the system!);and
  • that the ACC review showed the observed beneficial effects of the programme were “small and inconsistent in direction” (but this quote does not relate to the CTU contract but to the literature review of training generally).

And today, ACC said it was ending the programme anyway.

So what is the timeline here:

  • After a series of right wing blogs calling for Collins to end CTU ACC health and safety funding, on the 8 May in the middle of CTU campaign on Health and Safety, Collins ask ACC for a briefing paper on the ACC involvement with the CTU on health and safety training (but not Business NZ or Impac)
  • The paper is provided two days later and suggests there is insufficient other support for workers at work to make the training as effective as it could be but raises no issues of concern about the training itself.
  • In October 2013 Judith Collins is interviewed by the NBR and says she “intends to kill sacred cows that need slaughtering” and queries the value for money of the CTU programme. She says “comparatively few accidents happen in the workplace in New Zealand”
  • In a later press release she questions why this training should be provided free of charge to large employers stating that employers should pay for the training themselves rather than ACC. All three providers get the same subsidy per trainee from ACC but the CTU is the only provider that offers the course for free. Her release only refers to the CTU funding and says in relation to the Business NZ contract and Impac “two other entities have similarly arranged contracts.”
  • We call for the Minister to resign on the basis of her statement re the level of workplace accidents. After Pike and its findings, for the Minister of ACC, responsible for injury prevention, to suggest the workplace accident rate in this country is anything less than a disgrace is unacceptable. The Minister backs down and ‘clarifies’ her statement and the CTU contract for training is renewed for this year.
  • On 8 November Mr Williams makes his request, just 19 days later it is provided in full including the CTU contract but not the other two (we have no problem with our contract being available but we have been unable to get the contracts with Bus NZ and Impact but will now ask for them along with all the other provider contracts ACC has – very interesting!)
  • Today Jordan Williams does his very misleading release which few check the details of and ACC use the opportunity to say they have no intention of renewing the contract next year regardless.
  • Judith Collins follows up by saying the contract is “a rort”.

The thing about this is that the CTU has already asked the new Worksafe to work with us and Bus NZ on what the “workplace rep” piece of the new Safety system should look like including the training component. Workplaces with good systems including trained reps are safer workplaces.

The new law will empower reps and we need to have a training and support system that enables them to act effectively and this requires a new approach. It has been agreed to do this work and that in the interim the current programme fills the gap as the old law still requires it. We have even talked about the need to up skill the current trained reps in a way that doesn’t lose them all to the system. There is nothing sacred about any part of the system and we all want something better.

But this action today, essentially an anti-CTU attack by Collins to cover her cuts to training, this collaboration against the 30,000 reps that have put themselves forward and got the training, taken up the role against the odds and are working away to the best of their endeavours in a stacked system is a disgrace and Judith Collins and her boy, collaborating together against better workplace health and safety just shows how low they both are prepared to stoop.

 

133 comments on “Health and Safety Rep Training – a cut by any other name”

  1. Tracey 1

    There is no proof we need more trained in health and safety cos businesses have a vested interest in keeping their workers safe.

    Oh wait

    ” “These are forestry basics that are fundamental to forestry safety and Complete Logging’s failures led to Mr Epapara’s death.

    “Forestry companies must apply the Approved Code of Practice for Forest Harvesting. If Complete Logging Ltd had applied it, the chances are Mr Epapara would be here today.

    “Instead, a family and a community grieves over a preventable death.”

    A WorkSafe NZ programme assessing the safety performance of cable-hauling operations was uncovering some alarming systemic issues in the industry that contractors and the forestry companies employing them must address, de Rooy said.

    Nearly half the 162 assessments done had resulted in enforcement action, and WorkSafe had to shut down 15 operations because of serious, imminent danger to workers.

    “That is unacceptable. They are not getting safety right and we will continue to focus on changing their behaviour this year.

    “We will also be meeting all forestry companies over the coming weeks to determine how they’re managing safety issues with their contractors,” she said.

    “We will be forcefully reminding them that they have duties to ensure contractors are putting the safety of their men first.”

    So taxpayers have to pay to bring companies up to speed cos they are too cheap to do it themselves.

    helen? Is it correct that more people died in workplace accidents in 2013 than were murdered?

  2. newsense 2

    Pravda by any other name would smell as shit

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1

      Translation: “I’ve got nothing to say. Lots of hate, Nuisance.”

      If you had a substantive rebuttal to a single fact in Ms. Kelly’s report you’d be all over it. But you don’t. Collins and her boy may smell sweet to you, but can their reek really over-power that from the increasing pile of corpses they made?

      In the meantime I have some nice shiny boots for you to wear.

      • TightyRighty 2.1.1

        so the accident rate is terrible and the CTU training hasn’t improved that, it’s also been found to be of such low quality you’d have to question whether the CTU really cares.

        The funding is still available, just not for CTU to provide the training. That’s the important issue here. it’s not a cut, just a change of provider. Seems silly the ctu blames everyone but themselves. oh wait, they support labour. makes sense now

        • karol 2.1.1.1

          Oh so the NActs just don’t like to see the CTU doing a good job! And want to separate the CTU training from being integrated with the wider health and safety system that included work place reps.

          Why do the NActs hate workers so much?

          • TightyRighty 2.1.1.1.1

            but the CTU aren’t doing a good job obviously? and neither is Business NZ? it’s hardly an attack on Unions when one of the most pro national organisations in country is being tarred with the same brush.

            CTU can continue to have health and safety reps, they just don’t get to waste the taxpayers money having such piss poor ones doing it.

            The funding is still available Karol. It’s not an attack on workers, it’s rort busting.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.1.1.1

              The ACC’s report says nothing of the sort. Can’t you read? Or have you just worked out that reading it would confirm that you’re lying, whereas if you don’t, you can claim that you’re just ignorant?

              Put up or shut up, liar.

              • TightyRighty

                Really? i read it, it says current training of health and safety reps could be significantly better. care to explain how that tallys with the providers screeching assertion it’s the best and that this is a politically motivated attack?

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  It says that some trainees do not have enough understanding of the 2002 act or ACC regulations, and that that those trainees are the ones who’ve never been involved in a workplace accident. In other words if you don’t use it you tend to lose it.

                  It further notes that “workplace issues” account for all the barriers to better practice.

                  You are struggling.

            • Paul 2.1.1.1.1.2

              So Jordan Williams and his phoney Tax payers union don’t have an agenda?
              You’re obviously very naive or expect other people to be.

              • TightyRighty

                Of course. to hold government departments to account for the value of their spending. seems perfectly reasonable that taxpayers have a voice in how their money is spent. unions have a voice and an agenda, it’s the reason they exist. I like this union though.

                • Paul

                  Williams is an ACT acolyte. This is not a union, but a corporate lobby group.

                • freedom

                  ” I like this union though.”
                  I am thinking that is because it’s not really a union

                  Their website is hilarious in the maddening yaw between its stated intentions and the [in]action taken

                  -Ra ra ra we will fight corporate handouts and union corruption. We will battle wasteful government spending and just generally be awesome in our goal of attaining the best possible standards for all NZ taxpayers

                  -unless of course it means checking facts, thinking rationally or stepping on the toes of our corporate masters

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.2

          MBIE is so efficient that its forestry regulations don’t even inform employers of their legal responsibilities, but it must be the CTU doing a bad job.

          Yeah, that narrative really makes sense, especially after the ACC’s own evaluation described the training as “positive”.

          But yeah, I get it Tighty, people are dying but so what: there’s money to be made. Workers? Fuck them. Personally I can see little difference between your government’s policies and more of the same hate speech you displayed yesterday.

          Why don’t you just replace your manifesto with a pile of rotting meat? It would convey exactly the same message.

      • newsense 2.1.2

        sorry I meant state run media- ie…Collins runs the story which we are meant to hear and no ‘journo’ does any leg work..

  3. karol 3

    Well, researched and explained Helen.

    And as well as the Jordan Williams-Judith Collins one-two, this is all done in January when many people are not very focused on politcs: and many of the mainstream journalists likely to be even less critical than usual.

    • Sacha 3.1

      And one of the Minister’s other convenient idiots holds the record for a speedy OIA response – less than 5 hours:

    • fisiani 3.2

      Wasteful spending is wasteful spending no matter how much spin Helen Kelly tries to put on it. The CTU have been found rorting the taxpayer and that gravy train has come to a stop. Now time to look at the other union slush funds that are also a rort.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.2.1

        What about the spin the ACC’s own report puts on it?

        Trainees in safe industries are less likely to remember details of the law or ACC regulations, trainees who’ve dealt with accidents are more likely to have retained the information. All the barriers to better practice are workplace issues like time constraints and employer support.

        So, who to believe, the report that Judith Collins is telling lies about, or a partisan dishonest hack like you?

        In an election year, I guess you can justify playing politics with workplace safety, but to everyone else you and your mistress look like filth.

      • North 3.2.2

        Oh Fiz…….you didn’t say anything about this until Judge Judy started her great pustulating election year rave on the matter. Probably, like me, you didn’t even know about it. But Judge Judy’s election year ooze is all the “fact” you need. Poor person.

        Fact is, historically (Auckland legal circles) Judge Judy is a well known (not that flash intellectually) self promoter who never gave a fuck about else but self.

        Go well little soldier Fiz.

  4. newsense 4

    Is “killer Collins” an acceptable moniker now she has cut safety training in one of the industries with the worst record of workplace deaths?

    Certainly gives a new sound to ‘Crusher’ Collins.

    Pike River, Cave Creek- no cuts too deep…

  5. Tracey 5

    Is labour awake?????? Where is the leader? His deputy ? Countering this shit. Am beginning to wonder if they even want to.

    By the time I wake up tomorrow all the govt supporters will be repeating jordans crap as fact leaving their reasoning behind them… and so the nact meme continues with oh so many dupes to lap it up and regurgitate despite the facts.

  6. Tracey 6

    ” In a later press release she questions why this training should be provided free of charge to large employers stating that employers should pay for the training themselves rather than ACC. ”

    Because they cut corners hence so many workplace deaths. Note that an enquiry found a forestry workers death was preventable. Do some companies actually ask their lawyers what a transgression would cost and their accountants how much systems and training will cost and then decide the economic answer?

  7. Tracey 7

    Sacha

    Perhaps we need a copy and paste answer to each time anyone spouts their inconvenient lie

    • Sacha 7.1

      We already pay for political parties to have research and comms teams to do just that. Getting them to do their jobs on the other hand..

  8. Tracey 8

    No trained reps… no corporate manslaughter. ..
    ” In a submission to the Taskforce, Robyn Levinge says New Zealand has never prioritised health and safety like it has with road safety, domestic violence and drink driving.

    “The fact that there has been no legislative review of the Health and Safety in Employment Act since its introduction in 1992 is illustrative of why Kiwis continue to be killed and injured at work,” says the owner of Auckland-based consultancy Optime.

    “As a country, we have simply not given health and safety the priority it deserves at any level.”

    Levinge worked overseas for 12 years as a health and safety specialist for global corporates before returning to New Zealand in 2004.

    She was shocked to find legislation here had failed to keep pace with international best practice and changes in kiwi work practices.

    “The health and safety sector and industry in New Zealand has suffered from too much talk and no action,” she says.

    “By contrast, in Australia and the UK, continual change and improvement in the framework and implementation is being lead from the industry sector.”

    More than 100 people die from workplaces accidentsin New Zealand every year. As well as the emotional toll on families and communities, the economic and social cost of work related injuries is about $3.5 billion dollars.”

  9. Sacha 9

    And lest we think this is not part of a bigger plan, Judith’s real boss Steven Joyce confirms he wants less “red tape” and “roadblocks that discourage investment”: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11185746

  10. Darien Fenton 10

    Judith Collins said on TV1 that “this was a sacred cow that needed to be killed.” Outrage doesn’t even begin to describe my reaction to that.

    • mickysavage 10.1

      Thanks Darien (and Helen).

      This is cynical beyond belief. They use their pet poodles (Jordan Williams’ Taxpayers Union) to jump up and down and then showing a responsiveness beyond belief they can the scheme.

      The action is complete with its Crosby Textor inspired (and designed?) lines, (.84c in the dollar wasted). Of course if a programme is that inefficient it should be cut.

      But we need to see the figures on this. The total spend since 2003 was $19m, or $1.9m per year.

      If it saved one life a year it could be considered to be efficient by even the most cold hearted of accountants, any more than this and the scheme would be an inspired investment choice.

      Thanks to Williams and Collins et al and in the middle of the holiday period they have presented this as a slam dunk.

      But we (and Labour) need to respond precisely and quickly.

      • TightyRighty 10.1.1

        a more committed provider, with a higher quality and more efficient offering might save two lives though?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.1.1.1

          Your drivel is incompatible with the findings of the ACC’s own report.

          The one that deceitful little toe-rag is cherry picking from.

          Put up or shut up.

          • TightyRighty 10.1.1.1.1

            so you are saying only the CTU?BusNZ can provide the absolute best Health and Safety rep training?

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.1.1.1.1.1

              No. I’m saying your narrative is a lie, and completely contradicted by ACC’s report, and further, that if this is deliberate you’re mendacious and if not, you’re credulous and ignorant.

              So which is it? Are you Judith Collins’ little bitch, or deceitful trash in your own right?

              • TightyRighty

                I saw a lot more two stars in the acc document than 5 stars.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  It says some reps have limited understanding of the 2002 act and/or ACC regulations. It notes that this is entirely a result of “workplace issues” which are identified as time deficiency and/or insufficient employer support.

                  It further notes that the reps that tend to have less knowledge are the ones in low-risk work environments.

                  You were saying how an external provider could impact on these issues?

                  Perhaps by increasing risks in otherwise safe jobs?

                  • TightyRighty

                    good twisting of my words there. I was saying that it seems the minister in charge isn’t happy with the CTU/BusNZ’s performance. Funding hasn’t been cut, just withdrawn from those who can’t make proper use of it. CTU / BusNZ are external providers. they’ve had little impact. time to see if another organisation can.

                    sounds like a fair accountability of taxpayer funds to me.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Nice feigning complete ignorance of what the report really says, as detailed above, the part you don’t want to talk about, the part that shows your mistress is playing politics with workplace safety in an election year.

                      Oh, and thanks for confirming your Quisling bad faith. You can’t pretend ignorance of a report you’ve read any more, and anyone can read it to confirm your twisted lies for themselves.

                    • red blooded

                      Have you ever attended a Health and Safety training day, tight arse? I have – and it gave me the basis to go back to my employer and institute a review of a number of practices that needed a good shake-up. People are injured and killed at work on a regular basis in this country and often it’s those on the front line who know where the weaknesses in the processes are and have practical ideas about how they can be improved.

                      I didn’t hear anything from Crusher today about how to make things better and safer for workers, I just heard the word “rort” (carefully phrased to avoid possible litigation – “all the hallmarks of a rort” – nice to see that Judith cares about her own safety…). If she was going to bring in the legal supports recommended by the various enquiries I would have no problem with her changing providers for the health and safety programmes (so long as they were high quality specialist providers). That’s not what’s happening here, though. It’s just part of the “unions are evil – stay away” narrative that NACTs like to spin. It’s yet another cut to support systems for workers. No wonder businesses are so “confident”!

            • Skinny 10.1.1.1.1.2

              This is all about a paranoid National Party cutting the funding in election year. This is really desperate stuff. That old tart Collins pretty much said it on One News last night, croaking on about Unionists getting together to talk union issues. Anyone watching her would be thinking all the deaths in the forestry indusrty and in the back of veiwers minds would be the Pike River tragedy. The retoric of a taxpayer funded scam by Unions rings hollow with Business New Zealand being attached to funding also.

              It was a poorly executed political stunt at the start of an election year, that was off putting to voters. Her National radio interview was no better, pretty much amateur hour. To think this nasty old cow has prime ministerial ambitions, Joyce would be chuckling as much as I was watching the sideshow on tv last night.

    • Rosie 10.2

      So true Darien. TV3 also used the same soundbite. Collins clearly liked the sound of that meme she so desired to flourish.

      “- In October 2013 Judith Collins is interviewed by the NBR and says she “intends to kill sacred cows that need slaughtering” and queries the value for money of the CTU programme. She says “comparatively few accidents happen in the workplace in New Zealand” “

    • ScottGN 10.3

      She also just went on National Radio (that’s remarkable in itself) and called it a rort, skating as close as she could to implying some sort of criminal collusion between the CTU and large business to rip off taxpayers with this scheme. Hang on to your hats everyone Election 2014 is underway and it’s going to get dirty.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.3.1

        She should keep talking like that, while all over the country, there are 30,000 workers who have received this training, who can directly counter her lies first hand.

        Let me see now, What’s 19,000,000 divided by 30,000? Six hundred and thirty three dollars per worker. A two day training course.

        When I was doing workplace training I was charging $1,000 per day and that was ten years ago.

        I can’t see how these figures represent some sort of rip-off.

      • freedom 10.3.2

        “She also just went on National Radio (that’s remarkable in itself)”

        just once it would be great to see RNZ say something like
        ‘The Minister asked to be on the programme but we declined’

        you know, just for balance,

  11. RedBaronCV 11

    Now what I’d like to hear is an opposition making noises about shutting down the forestry industry take but being required to continue to pay the contractors and workers enforced by a right to a lien over the unharvested trees. Then tell the owners they have to prove that they are using best practice safety.
    10 deaths is huge and something drastic is needed to get the message through.

  12. Rosie 12

    “We call for the Minister to resign on the basis of her statement re the level of workplace accidents. After Pike and its findings, for the Minister of ACC, responsible for injury prevention, to suggest the workplace accident rate in this country is anything less than a disgrace is unacceptable”.

    We here in this household fully back the CTU call for the Minister’s resignation. Her words are cruel and false. Clearly Collins is in her position as ACC Minister for the benefit of the worst offenders in industry. She is not here to serve the workers or any other user of ACC’s services, and as such, needs to step down as she is not performing her duty.

    (As an aside, in the meantime, Impac have informed Mr Rosie he will not be able to attend the above mentioned ACC H&S course he requested to go on in February due to “funding restrictions”…….)

    And as for you, Jordan Williams, I suggest you go and do a days worth of work in real life, and see what happens to you if you suffer a preventable accident and then discover there are minimised ACC services available to you to help you recover, or that you have to pay for it. The balloon that is Planet Williams would suffer a needle prick if that were the case.

  13. Sanctuary 13

    This “Taxpayers Union” is the new ACT party, only they won’t bother with democracy this time – they’ll be the David Farrars and Jordan Williams, doing their dirty work with lots of lots of unaccountable money.

    Who is funding the taxpayer union, anyway?

    • mickysavage 13.1

      It is almost as if a bunch of RWNJs sat around a table drinking beer thinking about the most offensive name they could come up with. Calling their organisation a “union” is beyond the pale. It should be a rallying cry for us to get our activists energised …

      • RedBaronCV 13.1.1

        and today the “Manangement Round Table” called for the introduction of unions to enable increase productivity and enable the orderky sharing of those workplace gains.

    • greywarbler 13.2

      The taxpayers union will think that everyone should fund it seeing we are all taxpayers through GST. But of course talking about the ‘taxpayer’ strikes a bell in the heart of all those disgruntled at being asked to pay their share in the running of a country that has a central body to facilitate affairs that benefit such taxpayers.

      They want it all, for free. Ding, dong goes the bell. The rallying call goes out to all the moaning shits and the I’m above you lot as I worked hard and you didn’t, lot etc. The Non-taxpayers Union, the flat line, flat rate, dying country union.

      When I heard that moany little voice on the radio talking about the taxpayers’ union, my brain flashed Jordan Williams up correctly. My brain got 10 out of 10. Cheers everyone. A not very enjoyable podium to be on though.

  14. chris73 14

    I am so looking forward to the election campaign, its going to be dirty and nasty 🙂

    • JK 14.1

      No need to look forward to it – Chris 73 – its here now, and its showing its dirty fingernails already

      • chris73 14.1.1

        “Recent ACC analysis concludes that, even with optimistic assumptions, for every dollar spent on the training 84 cents is wasted.”

        I agree and its only going to get worse from both sides (best reality tv show)

  15. Will@Welly 15

    Over the Christmas break, they analyzed every motorist killed on the roads cost $4.3 mill. in lost productivity and other associated costs to the New Zealand society.
    So, last year, we know we had 10 hard working individuals killed in forestry alone. Someone needs to start doing the sums, how much is this flagrant opportunistic Tory Government costing this country, without mentioning the human pain and misery they are inflicting on the families who lose loved ones.
    As for Helen’s article, thank you. But for me, having lost a cousin, aged 21, in an industrial accident many years ago, its too f**king raw. It killed my aunty.

  16. CC 16

    Collins: “this was a sacred cow that needed to be killed.” Can think of a less than sacred one that could do with the chop!

  17. Craig Glen Eden 17

    Colins has called the funding a scam/rort, I think the CTU should take a defamation case, this is clearly about making the CTU look like criminals. Colins needs to have this hanging around her neck in election year.

    • Arfamo 17.1

      Nope. She’s a lawyer. She’ll have chosen every word she said. It’ll either be unactionable or unwinnable.

      • Craig Glen Eden 17.1.1

        Lawyers often make mistakes, and Collins has made a huge one. This is about defending the Union movements integrity and its about time NZers got to see that the Unions are not going to lie down and be trampled on.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 17.1.1.1

          Collins is nasty vindictive trash, who from all accounts was a shit lawyer. Let her keep on displaying her disgusting opinions.

          Look at the quality of cheer-leaders she’s got: Chris73, BM, etc.

          These people are electoral poison. Just like Collins.

          • red blooded 17.1.1.1.1

            Collins was very careful to keep saying it had “all the hallmarks of a rort” and “looked very much like a rort”. At more than one point she was on the verge of saying it WAS a rort, then pulled back and inserted the weasel words. She’s vicious and manipulative, but she’s not stupid.

          • North 17.1.1.1.2

            Collins…….never a lawyer of any note…….tax lawyer (if that suggests anything positive) ? No. Probably did a couple of trusts, who didn’t ? Not respected for intellect……..known as a magnificient self-promoter however and a vicious bitch with it. Auckland Law of the time was full of arseholes like that. She’s done well.

            Sadness is it’s only got worse – Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, wherever. Little Lawyer Jordan Williams exemplifies it.

    • thechangeling 17.2

      She’s not called Judith ‘Crusher’ Collins for nothing. It’s time to crush her and all her ilk.
      We’re all behind you Helen. Good piece.

  18. xtasy 18

    So, so dear unions, dear Helen Kelly, dear Labourites, dear “labour movement” advocates, activists and supporters, this was the first torpedo attack from the right, and this year will be full of it, you better believe it! It is time to bloody wake up, to get your acts together, to not always get caught out on the back-foot.

    This is nothing new, and Judith Collins is one to watch, she is a leading strategist when it comes to propaganda, and she has shown before, how she uses and abuses the mainstream media to create scenarios and supposed “truths”, that are just made up stuff. See this from 2008, when she was behind a press release fed propaganda attack against the then government, claiming GPs were being bullied by sickness beneficiaries – virtually en masse:

    “GPs told to dob in sick-note bullies”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/462982

    “In a letter,Work and Income principal health adviser David Bratt said claims of bullying by beneficiaries were regularly brought to the department’s attention.”

    “National Party social welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins said the letter contradicted previous statements that there were no reports of doctor-bullying.”

    And ACC Forum had a thread on this too:

    “Sick people BULLY doctors as well as too lazy to work another smear campaign going on!!”

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/6711-sick-people-bully-doctors-as-well-as-too-lazy-to-work/

    Scoop had this article:
    “Labour turns blind eye to sickness benefit scam”

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0805/S00570/labour-turns-blind-eye-to-sickness-benefit-scam.htm

    “Ms Collins says revelations by doctor Tom Van Herck that GPs are being bullied into giving able-bodied people medical clearance to stay on a sickness benefit come as no surprise.”

    “National has been highlighting this practice for years now, but Labour has consistently denied there is a problem.”

    “For years, doctors up and down the country have been complaining that the practice is becoming more common, and that in some places it is rife.”

    “GPs say the practice is being encouraged by Work and Income staff who can’t be bothered trying to find jobs for beneficiaries who are not interested in working.”

    Just in time before a general election in 2008 Judith Collins released a number of press releases on these bizarre claims, which in the end only referred to two or three GPs or doctors that were making allegations. They seemed to work together with Collins on creating a hype, and the useless and self serving main stream media grabbed it all up with excitement, re-published the rubbish, to feed into the wider public’s perception, that there were hordes of people bludging off the taxpayer, claiming benefits, after having “bullied” doctors into signing medical certificates.

    How times change, now we get news that it is rather WINZ staff and their designated doctors harassing sick and disabled, to accept flawed, biased and actually illegal practices, forcing them to look for work, rather than get the welfare support they need to get well, or to be able to cope with their disabilities.

    And it was Dr Bratt coming into the picture too, then, strangely working in strange cooperation with Judith Collins, admitting there was a history of “doctor bullying”.

    Now, after Cam Slater went a bit too far with his escapades, and has lost some credit, has to stay in the background a bit, Collins has found another useful ally, of loyal mindset, who is Jordan Williams, who claimed last year, that his “taxpayers union” is not politically affiliated or even interested. Strange that, with such happenings, where OIA information of particular types is made available conveniently and swiftly, to feed to the media, to launch a well coordinated attack on unions.

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/player/ondemand/769302804-jordan-williams–new-zealand-taxpayers–union

    Jordan Williams, the new “unionist” from the right has good connections to top media “personalities” in the MSM, and David Farrar loves commenting favourably on the guy also. With what I heard and saw, the right have got the MSM in their palm, the left have got what? Nada, really stuff all in media influence. Labour still seems to be on “holidays”, while the right is launching the first smart misinformation attacks in the most important election year for decades!

    Yep, this should not surprise now, and it is time that the unions that represent workers do act as unions again, not as sofltly spoken “media commentators” with an “academic” touch, like Peter Conway, who it was, as I believe, who fronted on television news last night. Now, where did I hear or read about Helen Kelly taking a stand and present this via the MSM? If she did, I respect her for it, if she will do so tomorrow or in the coming days, fair enough. But coming on here is ok in a way, but this will hardly reach the wider public, to be honest.

    It is time to sort stuff out, to organise, to get the information campaigns into gear, and to not end up on the back foot on this kind of stuff! The unions should be up there and leading the news on this challenging stuff, presenting the truth, and their positions!

    And, dear Helen, I will not forgive you for this, I am sorry:
    http://www.racp.org.nz/index.cfm?objectid=22F19F0B-FBD1-C1B2-DFCD1710C0C44EFD
    http://www.racp.org.nz/index.cfm?objectid=57063EA7-0A13-1AB6-E0CA75D0CB353BA8
    http://www.racp.org.nz/index.cfm?objectid=E1D5428F-B1BF-2C2F-7A247F80DC4F363C

    A consensus statement on the “health benefits of work” by the AFOEM of the RACP, all stuff that has been pushed by the controversial UK “professor” Aylward, is supported by one WINZ Principal Health Advisor David Bratt, a questionable Dr David Beaumont (formerly ATOS, UK), and other “experts” from mostly the UK, who have no scruples about the horrific results of failed welfare reforms in the UK. And Helen signed it for the CTU!?

    Thank you, and we look forward to some real pro worker action – and hopefully a reversal from welfare perversion of the “work will set you free” kind – in election year 2014.

    I know where my vote will go.

  19. RRM 19

    If this training is a good thing, why is it dependent on ACC money?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 19.1

      Oh, are you saying that employers should wear the full cost since they get the full benefit? Or that ACC shouldn’t, as part of its brief, provide funding because Friedman? Or what exactly?

      I think you don’t really know what you mean, but in the place of any fact-based analysis you still felt the need to say something, anything, so long as it conveys the understanding that you’re a mental cripple libertarian.

    • freedom 19.2

      “If this training is a good thing, why is it dependent on ACC money?”

      an ounce of prevention and all that 🙄

  20. adam 20

    Helen, when this happens over and over, do you question you links to the labour party? I mean just one MP has raised above the trenches and spoken out, one – that is piss poor. Labour which laid the framework for this, labour which has mumbled there way through work place safety and workers rights of late. I know past history – but at this point it seems to be past baggage as well!

    And what really worries me, what gives me the absolute shits – government departments which should giving free and frank advise, are partisan – so there are anti-worker, anti-union and ultimately anti-people. This is what you get in neo-liberalism an environment were by workers die at work, and the people who should help prevent that are the enemy. There is an old photo of Unionist marching in this country with a banner which says it all. “IF BLOOD BE THE PRICE OF YOUR CURSED WEALTH, GOOD GOD WE HAVE BOUGHT IT FAIR”

    Good God we have again , good god we have.

    • Craig Glen Eden 20.1

      Just one MP has raised above the trenches and spoken out. Cunliffe was on TV last night cant remember if it was TV1 or TV3 saying this was a politically motivated attack by the the ACC minister.

  21. vto 21

    National Party policies and philosophies killed 29 men at Pike River.

    Fucking murderous cunts are National Party members.

    • fisiani 21.1

      Must be no moderators looking at the above post. Change National to Labour and an automatic ban would take place. You can surely disagree without being disagreeable vto. Mind your language.

      • jcuknz 21.1.1

        If you want to be taken seriously you should ‘mind your language’ thiat applies to most contributors to this thread … there is a serious problem to be fixed but the language of the gutter doesn’t help, here or elsewhere.

        • McFlock 21.1.1.1

          Yes. The real obscenities in this country are words like “fuck” and “cunt”, not children dying in poverty. Thank goodness we have stalwarts like you protecting us from the horrors of “shit”, “cock-gobbler”, “felchy mcgoatfucker”, and so on.

      • vto 21.1.2

        Mind my language fisiani? Get fucked. Your policies and philosophies lead directly to deaths in the workplace. If people’s avoidable deaths are insufficient to justify heavy language then what is? You people are unbelievable. A bunch of deadly muppets.

  22. infused 22

    It’s funny you all bitch and moan about highways that return better value than this program.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 22.1

      It’s rage. Rage at the fact that workplace health and safety have been so cynically, fatally compromised by this awful, neglectful government. These cuts are the latest in a long, serial political manslaughter.

      Oh, and I hear Collins has issued a press-release:

      “What your miserable life worth anyway? You’re lucky you even have a job.”

      • newsense 22.1.1

        glad to hear the rage. I’ve seen red over a few things, but I’m glad there is some real anger out there at this outrageous crap from Collins being so smug.

    • vto 22.2

      Value? Value?

      See infused, you are blind too.

      It is not about fucking value ffs, that is the approach that saw Pike River Coal kill its men.

      IT IS ABOUT SAVING LIVES. BURN IN HELL

      • infused 22.2.1

        Very nice of you vto.

        When the emotions cool off, how about actually coming up with a better way of delivering health and safety?

        Health and safety didn’t kill the guys at Pike river. A broke, shitty company did. When a company is that dire, no amount of health and safety programs are going to work.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 22.2.1.1

          “More worker participation in managing health and safety is needed and will require legislative change and guidance from the regulator.”

          The Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy.

          From the “snapshot” part of the report.

          Yet another example of reality deserting a sinking wingnut.

          • infused 22.2.1.1.1

            No, you’re missing the point. The company was fucked – hence health and safety took a back seat.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 22.2.1.1.1.1

              No, you’re missing the point; the Royal Commission is a credible source, and you? Not so much. Capice?

            • Arfamo 22.2.1.1.1.2

              The company was fucked all right, but the workers died because the DoL and the health and safety laws were even more fucked. And both Labour and National are responsible for that.

              • red blooded

                Besides, if there had been a decent Health and Safety rep for the workers (as opposed to one appointed by the company), perhaps (just perhaps) they might have raised concerns about basic issues like the lack of an escape route, or the regular build-up of gas in the mine shaft. Of course, it would have been difficult with an un-unionised workforce, no decent government Mine Inspectorate, piss weak regulations… it’s all part of a bigger picture – profit before people. Still, a workers’ H&S rep could have been one way to help stop that work environment becoming so dangerous.

                • vto

                  Exactly, red blooded.

                  And this bullshit by Collins and David Farrar and Jordan Williams simply perpetuates the fatal flaws in the system. These people actively work to diminish the health and safety practices with the absolute direct result that people get killed.

                  29 at Pike River

                  More in forestry.

                  Their deaths are directly attributable to the acts of Williams, Farrar and Collins.

                  That is why the disgusting language gets sprayed so heavily. They deserve it. I don’t want people like them in my community. They can fuck off.

  23. Chooky 23

    There should be an audit of ACC and a public inquiry into how it operates!

    Radio NZ and the Mainstream media should be held accountable for taking the National Party line and portraying money spent on health and safety as a swindle ….the swindle is all Nacts!

    Where is the Labour Party on this, in counter attack?….after Pike River health and safety should be a govt priority!….anything else is an insult to New Zealanders

    As it is ACC can not get their billing right and is trying to rip off anyone who comes in contact with it even if they don’t use it….by billing them several times over illegitimately

    eg I had a shoulder sprain which cured itself within a week and did not require physio….I was billed well over a $1000 for money we as a small business had already paid to ACC…..and the bills keep coming….they cant or don’t listen ( next stop for us is an official complaint about harassment and extortion)……how many other people are being bullied into paying into ACC illegitimately ?…or ripped off and not helped when they need help?

    Health and Safety must be a priority for ACC….and NZ has a very poor track record here!

  24. Tracey 24

    ” If this training is a good thing, why is it dependent on ACC money?”

    Because some companies wont pay for it otherwise. Eg forestry. Eg pike river.

    Infused with stupidity

  25. Lionel 25

    Collins talks about slaughtering sacred cows when she used to cry when her old man sent bobby calves to the works believe it or not her parents were labour voters she turned tory when her and her husband owned restaurants and they had trouble with the unions might explain why she has taken the action she has would,nt surprise me if she put that arrogant mongrel runt Williams up to fronting the MSM in first place being that he aligned to Lusk/Slater/Farrar she is an evil deceitful bitch

  26. greywarbler 26

    I have just heard Judith Collins talking about a scam, saying bums on seats seminars, (learning groups) when discussing the safety in the workplace scheme run by the ACC. She notes that it was established on David Caygil, a former Labour Minister’s watch, and seems to imply it is some sort of expensive, wrongly directed activity because it was set up by Labour. While David Caygill I have thought, was a dry autumn leaf.

    And she seems to be blaming the CTU for working well with the employers, they apparently should be arguing. This woman is toxic. She speaks with the same certainty of sainted witchhunter about anything she doesn’t approve of as Jenny Shipley.

    I heard Justice Minister Judith Collins talk about the Australian-NZ being deported because the Australians don’t want to pay for or deal with this man they have convicted of incest and indecent act on a girl under 16, (both the same person?). She I think, called him a bad bugger or very similar.

    I can’t find any reference to this on Radionz – the ability to call up past news is not easy, if there is a way to call up more than notes I haven’t found it.) But I don’t think it is appropriate for a Minister to speak as if she is on a blog, when she is making public announcements.

    Also I noted that he was called a dangerous criminal by the radio news team in being compared with the killer who was deported, and then killed again in Christchurch – another young girl, Jade Bayliss. This present deportee is not a killer, and is not dangerous. And he may have had consensual sex, I don’t know, and has gone against the mores of society but which do not threaten society except in an abstract manner.

    The Australians are showing their legacy of punitive behaviour to people and hard-line contempt for NZ again. The Criminal Bar Association speaker noted that they used to be the location for criminals to be sent, now they have chosen to revert to the same approach and consider NZ a suitable penal colony. They being super-human in having such high integrity themselves.

  27. karol 27

    Now where is Mr McCready? Time for a suit of defamation of the CTU by Collins and Jordan Williams – in the One News video, Williams states that the CTU used the training to “line their own pockets” And Collins claims the training was used to recruit union members.

    Disgraceful smear campaign!

    • greywarbler 27.1

      Perhaps there needs to be a trust set up to collect funds for actions that support and retain good democratic policies and principles. Any solicitor in the house who knows about such things?

    • BM 27.2

      Judith Collins isn’t stupid, she wouldn’t make these sort of accusations unless she had proof.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 27.2.1

        Tui billboard.

        • BM 27.2.1.1

          If she’s lying, take her and Williams to court and do them for defamation.

          I have a sneaking suspicion that’s what she’s hoping might happen, Crusher crushing the rorters and all that sort of stuff.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 27.2.1.1.1

            Yeah, I’ll do that. Then the court will say: “what is your standing?”, and I’ll say “BM said I should do it”, and the court will say: “why are you taking that credibility free low IQ zone seriously?”

            Who cares what you think your Mistress wants, BM? You’re trash and so is she.

          • lprent 27.2.1.1.2

            You really don’t understand the law of defamation do you? It is a law mostly about individual reputation. Organisations cannot effectively use it in nz if only because it gives rather more scope for discovery to malicious idiots likes Collins than any organisation would like. Try finding a successful case taken by an organisation in the last 3 or 4 decades.

            Try reading the most basic guide there is.. http://www.howtolaw.co.nz/bring-an-action-in-defamation-xidp392173.html

            “Crusher” – they have a display at MOTAT of the single boy-racer car that was crushed. She really is one of the most useless ministers that we have ever seen.

            • greywarbler 27.2.1.1.2.1

              ‘Blonde Ambition’. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blonde_Ambition

              Actually put any colour hair, and ambition after it, and it could be applied to all of NACTs ACT-tresses or SMs (at heart).

            • BM 27.2.1.1.2.2

              You’re correct, I was just parroting what Karol wrote in her post.

              There was this statement in the link you put up.

              However, the rules are slightly different if you are a body corporate, in which case you must prove that the defendant has caused, or is likely to cause you monetary loss.

              Wouldn’t that be something the CTU could follow up on?

              • lprent

                Yes and No.

                The problem comes with the discovery.

                It isn’t atypical for requests for discovery with organisations to include such fishing requests as

                “Give me all correspondence with people who attended the courses”

                “Give me your complete membership lists for the last decade” (so that can be correlated with who attended courses – and passed to Whaleoil – because Collins always appears to have problems with privacy)

                “Show me all emails for the organisation” (just in case there is something to do with health and safety)

                Arguing these issues in front of a judge is why most civil cases tend to take a while and typically cost more than any possible damages. The difference between what could theoretically be done and what is practicable to do is immense for any organisation.

                Moreover it is also typical for most of the discussion on a topic to be effectively shut down in case it jeopardises the case. Arguing about health and safety in the workplace from the CTU is not something that should disappear from the public debate.

                So while Judith Collins and Jordan Williams may be lying through their teeth, there isn’t any *effective* recourse through the courts. Saying that there is, is simply a exercise in silly diversion.

    • Craig Glen Eden 27.3

      Totally agree Carol see my posts above the Union movement needs to take them on.

  28. Craig 28

    The old adage used to be ‘any health and safety training is a good thing’.. for 35 years I used to hear this every time a health and safety inspector left for a better paying job after having soaked up two years’ of departmental training.. the same is true for the CTU trained health and safety reps on site in the larger workplaces.. really it is no different than spending money on immunising children against crippling childhood viruses (every dollar is always well spent and you can never know how much injury and hurt has been avoided when people stay healthy and well both in childhood and at work) ..it is terribly cynical and untrue of the ACC minister to say the ACC-funded CTU training was ‘bordering on fraud’.. how ridiculous and lacking in personal integrity is that?! Remember these are the same people, PRIOR to Pike River happening, who were hell bent on REDUCING the health and safety inspectorate of the old Department of Labour…..

  29. MrSmith 29

    All very well Hellen but I fail to see where the picture of two people and a dead deer fits into this story apart from the fact quiet a large percentage of the workers you represent Hunt and Fish, is that it?

    [lprent: Helen didn’t put in the image (she seldom does). I hurriedly (I was busy) put the photo into the post because it lacked one. It was the only image we have on file with jordan williams (also lusk and an anonymous guest victim) in it. I also added the categories, tags, and limited excerpt ]

      • MrSmith 29.1.1

        And it was a stupid image to put up then, a picture paints a tho………. and this image seems to suggest that these two are the devil incarnate because they go hunting, and that may be true, but you risk disenfranchising a huge chunk of the population that Hunt&Fish&Vote which is fine unless you want to win the next Bloody election.

        • Arfamo 29.1.1.1

          Yeah, I reckon there are bugger-all people who will decide how they vote in the next election based on that picture on this blog. Are you serious – gotta be a piss-take, surely? If you’re really that mad about it, go outside and kick some boxes to death. You’ll feel better afterwards.

          • MrSmith 29.1.1.1.1

            Jesus is this stupid week, you’ve just stereotyped me as someone that likes kicking boxes to death now and you’re asking me if I’m serious!

            • Arfamo 29.1.1.1.1.1

              Yep. It’s pretty obviously stupid week. Go kick some boxes. You won’t be alone in that activity I suspect. Quite a few worthy advisers to KDC might be joining you. Or maybe they’ll be kicking their own arses.

    • Will@Welly 29.2

      Distraction. I think Helen is using the photo to refer to people who shoot their mouth’s off without engaging their brains first.(Benefit of doubt allowed, presupposing such people actually have one)
      Collins, Joyce, English, Williams and even a certain Mr. Smith tend to fall into this category.

      • MrSmith 29.2.1

        As Hellen didn’t post the pic Welly then I suppose we can call that ‘shooting yourself in the foot’ .

    • Paul 29.3

      It shows who Jordan Williams gets his ideas from.

    • felix 29.4

      Here’s another pic of Jordan Williams you can use. Pretty sure it’s public domain.

      http://www.reactionface.info/sites/default/files/images/1287666826226.png

  30. Philj 30

    Xox
    ‘Minister of JUSTICE’ Judith Collins – an oxymoron if I ever saw one!

  31. captain hook 31

    Philj…no just a moron.
    anyway the question is what is ACC going to do about all the people getting killed in the forestry industry or are they just collateral damage in the interests of production. sort of like e-coli if ya know what I mean.
    Its a ll a question of mind over matter.
    ACC doesn’t mind and they don’t matter.

  32. xtasy 32

    Judith Collins is a person that must be given special priority attention by the opposition MPs and media persons, as she is well connected to a whole number of persons in the media, one of them also Sean Plunket working at Radio Live (expect him due back on air soon!).

    Plunket has made no secret of the fact that he only got a job with Radio NZ on Morning Report many years back, when Jim Bolger was Prime Minister. He even admitted on one of his first shows on Radio Live (early 2013 I think), that he well knew, that he would never have got that job with RNZ, had it not been for Jim Bolger, who WANTED him to get that job!

    That is how closely the public media in this country is interlinked with politics, especially government! Certain appointments to boards and directorships are clearly political, although they would never admit it.

    Late last year Collins was on Radio Live and being interviewed by Plunket, and she exploited the opportunity, emphasizing all the “positive” news she wanted to get across, and hiding the fact, that she already had herself announced earlier that year, that she would consider reducing levies. So what ACC proposed was not as apolitical as she claimed. She had already paved the way. Plunket gave her plenty of air and opportunity, and will do so again.

    See details on that:
    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/15530-acc-rolling-in-cash-while-many-claimants-left-without-help/

    So it is time for “the left” to take her for being a serious challenge, and to deal to her, as is needed! She must be exposed for her manipulative use of media, and her selective, often dishonest comments and statements.

    Again, I fear, this coming election may well be decided by THE MEDIA, that is the mainstream media (MSM)! Just last year we heard how some key media positions have been filled with right leaning journalists and “personalities”! So this challenge is paramount, to get things right and have ready positions and statements with good, correct information for media releases, interviews and more! So far I see Labour perform DISMALLY! Even the Greens need to shape up.

  33. Mary 33

    Lusk and Williams: kings of the jungle. Marvelous stuff.

  34. philj 34

    xtasy. Sure, the MSM will be a huge factor leading up to the General Election. And we all know who runs the MSM. And who is behind our last non commercial Public Broadcaster

  35. philj 35

    Health and safety is very much at the forefront when visiting parliarment these days. These is much greater security /safety for our rejected reprehensibles.

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    22 hours ago
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    23 hours ago
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    7 days ago
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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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