Key is weak

Written By: - Date published: 11:50 am, November 5th, 2009 - 100 comments
Categories: john key - Tags:

John Key relaxed but weakLet me start by saying I understand that Key is loved for his laid-back common touch, I don’t think it makes for good governance but I realise it makes for a good political product.

However there’s a big difference between laid-back and weak and letting Rodney Hide spit on him in public only to claim he’s “relaxed” isn’t laid-back.

My gut feeling on this is that if Key isn’t seen to do something about Hide then he’s going to run into some serious problems because, while people are happy to have a nice smiley fella as a PM, they don’t appreciate being represented by a weakling.

And that’s exactly what Key looks like. Not only is he having policy dictated to him by a party that couldn’t even make the threshold he’s now got that party’s leader publicly trashing him and getting away with it.

This won’t hurt Hide. He’s got his tiny base of psychopaths (many of whom troll here on a regular basis) and oligarchs and he doesn’t give a toss about his popularity. It will hurt Key if he doesn’t take Hide in hand.

There’s a thin line between being a good joker and a bad joke.

100 comments on “Key is weak ”

  1. Jcw 1

    So what far right ACT policies have implemented then, if ACT is dictating policy to Key??

    • IrishBill 1.1

      I’m thinking super city and privatisation of ACC. Neither of which are small beer by any stretch of the imagination.

      • George D 1.1.1

        The privatisation of ACC is a core National policy. Unless you’ve swallowed the repetitive branding of National as “centrist”?

      • Sean 1.1.2

        How is the Super City a far right policy? It’s been talked about for many years and with most of Auckland’s citizens demanding some form of merger, Labour then rightly set up the Royal Commission. Just because Rodney is now the Local Government Minister all of sudden makes this merger a far right policy? How perplexing..

        • lprent 1.1.2.1

          It is because Rodney’s vision of a super-city has an uncanny resemblance to the idealized corporate state that Mussolini wanted. A facade of a democracy over the top of a pigs trough for the wealthy to extract money from rate payers. Which is why there are no costings for it. If there were it would show that the overall costs to ratepayers and consumers of the current city provided services will increase.

          That wasn’t the super city that people were after

          • gitmo 1.1.2.1.1

            “A facade of a democracy over the top of a pigs trough for the wealthy to extract money from rate payers”

            Compared to what we have now …… A facade of a democracy over the top of a pigs trough for insiders and mates of council employees to extract money from rate payers”

            Different face same old shite Lynn.

            • lprent 1.1.2.1.1.1

              The idea is to make it better – not worse.

              I hardly think that making it less transparent by corportising assets, reducing access of ratepayers to their councillers, less access to policy, etc is going to help.

              That is what Rodney is after……

  2. Jcw 2

    ACC is not being privatised. It is being opened to private competition. People will get a choice between ACC and a private company, yes, but ACC will not be sold off. Openign ACC to private competition is a reasonable thing to do, hardly far right at all. If you don’t like it, stick with ACC.

    Openign ACC to competition was a National policy right from the start, as was looking at a supercity.

    • snoozer 2.1

      how is creating a system so that $200 million a year in profts will go to aussie insurance companies in return for less coverage and more law suits a “reasonable thing to do?”

      It’s only reasonable in the minds of people who think the interests of business, and their owners, come before those of the wider community.

    • Daveo 2.2

      What a tool. It’s the ACC scheme that’s being privatised as functions previously provided by the state are transferred to the private sector. This isn’t a controversial use of the term, Merrill Lynch called it that in the report where they said National’s policy would give the private insurance industry $200m a year in profits.

      People don’t get a ‘choice’ with privatisation, their employer gets a choice. What I lose as a worker is the right to be covered by an efficient government monopoly system. I’ll instead be subject to a privatised system where I get no choice in provider, my employer colludes with the insurance company to deny me coverage and I’m forced to fight legal battles if I get injured.

      All so that National’s funders in the insurance industry can profit off my misfortune.

      You’re also wrong about National’s election policy. They promised they’d only investigate opening the work account. The ACC Stocktake farce is now going to look at privatising the whole thing.

      You’re just fail after fail after fail aren’t you?

      • Jcw 2.2.1

        Daveo, I will not call you names and I will not insult you as I think it is only neccessary to debate the issues. I just ask for the same level of respect in return.

        Snoozer: if a private company can provide a service that is better than what ACC provides (to convince switching) AND make a profit then good on them. I’m not going to pay more to ACC/get an inferior service just to deny a company of profits as I am not idealogically opposed to the private sector as you seem to be.

        Daveo: might I suggest that your employer is living in an outdated universe if it is truely reasonable to suggest that he would colude against you to screw you over. Such behaviour would be hugely detramental to staff morale and would no doubt resultant in the loss of productivity or valuable staff. I, nor anybody I know, has been actively screwed over by a boss. Perhaps you need to find a new job, mate.

        • Daveo 2.2.1.1

          Jcw, I’m calling you a tool because you’re a tool. It’s that simple. When you get informed about the issues rather than repeating National’s spin like a sucker then I’ll start treating you with some respect.

          It’s telling that your only defence is ‘yeah it gives employers and insurance companies the power to screw you over, but i don’t think that will happen and if it does you should have to leave your job and find a new one.’

          Face it, you turned up to a knife fight armed with a spoon, and as a result you’ve been shown up as yet another of the National Party’s useful idiots.

          • Jcw 2.2.1.1.1

            If they do try and screw you out of insurance payouts they are legally required to provide for how about take them to court.

            • Armchair Critic 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Too sick to work, insurance company won’t provide cover and your solution is “get a lawyer”. Against an organisation with the resources and time to wear you out, until you are too sick to pursue you case, or dead.
              Have you even thought through what you are advocating?

            • lprent 2.2.1.1.1.2

              Jcw: Have you EVER tried to push a case through civil court?

              Obviously not, because you wouldn’t say such a moronic statement. It takes about 2 years minimum and costs 10’s of thousands of dollars. Which is what you don’t have because you are injured and off work.

              That is assuming of course that the insurance company doesn’t try to delay the court hearings and doesn’t appeal the decision to higher courts. Which they are really required to do by the shareholders because they have spent all of that money defending their decision.

              Even if you win the case, you’ve lost all of the early treatment that could have got you back to work. The arsehole(s) that refused the payments has had nothing much happen to them (personally I think that there is a criminal matter that they should answer for).

              [rush of blood to the head retracted]

            • George D 2.2.1.1.1.3

              lprent, that last part of that comment is sick. Your blog and all, but fuck that’s a nasty, sick, gutterish thing to say to absolutely anyone.

              I suggest (as a guest here) that you or another moderator delete that immediately.

            • Jcw 2.2.1.1.1.4

              Iprent, if businesses are required to provide no fault cover for their empolyees for work related injuries then this is kind of moot anyway. Unless you are arguing that private insurance simply doesn’t work, which is just foolish. I certainly didn’t have to take my insurance company to court to claim for my stolen laptop.

              I ask you to apologise for telling me to kill myself, it was probably just a rash comment anyway.

            • gitmo 2.2.1.1.1.5

              ‘Why don’t you just find a weapon and kill yourself. It will markedly improve the intellect of those of us who remain .”

              Nice, I see the standards here are still vastly superior to the ‘sewer’

            • lprent 2.2.1.1.1.6

              George D: Have you ever had to take a case through Civil Court against the insurance companies? If you had then you’d have a good idea about how I feel when I see an ignorant little dipshit sprouting theoretical dogma.

              We finally got a payment for our leaky building. It took close to 4 years and drove the 60 apartment owners to hell. We paid for the building to be rebuilt because to delay until we got the insurance companies for those responsible to cough up would have meant that the building would have had been uninhabitable, probably derelict, and condemned.

              The insurance companies dragged it out as long as they did in the hope that they could drive the owners to either drop out of the case or accept a diminished payment, probably by going bankrupt or mortgagee sales or suicide.

              That is almost exactly the same circumstances that JCW is postulating should happen for accident compensation. He was using EXACTLY the same arguments that were used for the deregulation of the building industry inspection systems in the 90’s that caused the leaky homes problems. He was also saying that the same recourses would be available. What he wasn’t interested in was the amount of misery and inefficiencies it causes to the people like me who get caught in the legal mire.

              ‘No-fault’ by the insurance companies doesn’t apply because they’d argue that it wasn’t a work related problem. That leaves the employee stuck between the insurance company and the ACC – with a legal argument about responsibility and no compensation or rehabilitation.

              The insurance companies customer is not the employee, it is the employer. So unlike the laptop there is no customer relationship. So the insurance company has every reason to cause hell for the employee – it makes them look better to their customers – the employers because it reduces their premiums.

              Both of these are what happens in aussie. It is also what was starting to happen here in the late 90’s. If you have a look at people who are caught in that type of legal mire, suicide rates are massively higher that the norms. I can tell you why – it is hellish.

              So in effect JCW is postulating a set of superficially plausible fictions about how things work. What the effect is that it causes a lot of people to hit the problems I’ve had for the last few years. I’d expect that the world would be a better place if he followed my suggestion. I find his attitudes profoundly disgusting…..

            • lprent 2.2.1.1.1.7

              Oh, and it didn’t even get to court. It settled 2 months before the court date. The insurance companies didn’t want a precedent to be set…..

              I’m just really really glad that our building was inspected by the council during construction. Otherwise it’d have taken a lot longer.

            • George D 2.2.1.1.1.8

              You make good points lprent, but you still just suggested someone kill themselves.

          • TightyRighty 2.2.1.1.2

            “when you are informed of the issues” it’s like there is some secret left wing news service that only speaks “the real truth”. what a dick daveo

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.2

          if a private company can provide a service that is better than what ACC provides (to convince switching) AND make a profit then good on them.

          It’s physically impossible for them to do that. To make a $200m profit and provide the same level of service then they need to charge $200m more.

          • Jcw 2.2.1.2.1

            No, because then nobody would migrate to private companies. It is simple, the private company must be more effiicient than ACC. Unless you are seriously suggesting that ACC is perfectly efficient and no improvements are possible

            • Jcw 2.2.1.2.1.1

              To armchair critic: http://www.acc.co.nz/making-a-claim/am-i-covered/index.htm

              ACC doesn’t cover you if you just get sick. In the real world I don’t see a company involved in a work related accident colluding with the insurer to stop payouts. Imagine the media coverage. The insurance company and the insurer would get slaughtered.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.2.1.2.1.2

              You and logic aren’t much aquainted are ya’s.

              Firstly, no private provider will provide 24hr no fault universal coverage. They will cherry pick the most profitable customers to have, demographically speaking. They will then charge those customers whatever ACC charged them minus enough to get them to switch. The customers ACC is left with will still need to be paid for so levies will rise, or benefits fall. Overall the system will be less efficient.

            • Armchair Critic 2.2.1.2.1.3

              Yes, I know ACC doesn’t cover being sick. Perhaps if I restated my comment:
              Too [badly injured] to work, insurance company won’t provide cover and your solution is “get a lawyer’. Against an organisation with the resources and time to wear you out, until you are too [incapacitated through deteriorating health as a result of your work-related injuries] to pursue you case, or dead.
              Have you even thought through what you are advocating?
              In the real world insurance companies don’t make money by paying out on claims.
              In the real world employer’s levies go up when employee’s claims are paid out, so they are keen to avoid claims too.
              So insurance companies and employers have a common interest in not paying out claims. And your contention is that they wouldn’t collude?
              As for media coverage, people are interested in Britney Spears and the All Blacks. I can imagine the media coverage in your scenario – short and sweet at best, but much more likely to be non-existent.

            • Jcw 2.2.1.2.1.4

              ACC already provides incentives to businesses that have a low claims rate. If business were going to cover up claims they would do so already. If a business tried to cover up a claim the empolyee would not have to put up with it. Empolyment relations are firmly in favour of the empolyee in this country

              If it is a legal requirement for a no fault cover scheme for empolyees in this country then business will be forced to have schmes that cover in this manner. How can a payout under a no fault scheme be denied?

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.2.1.5

              It is simple, the private company must be more effiicient than ACC.

              Which is impossible for the private company to be. It’s still going to require the same number of doctors, it will require more bureaucrats (multiple companies causing massive duplication), advertising and lawyers.

              There’s a reason why the US o fA’s health system costs three times more than ours and isn’t as good – the private insurance companies.

          • kelsey 2.2.1.2.2

            That’s perfectly possible. You’re assuming that there is no incentive to reduce the rate of accidents and the effectiveness of rehabilitation. for example, if we had fewer motorcyclists, then it would be possible to have lower premiums and have room for profit. That’s the motivation here – by providing room for innovation and consumer choice, there can be structural changes to behaviour leading to better outcomes for both the insurer and the insured. It’s like trade – both sides benefit. It’s not zero-sum.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.2.1.2.2.1

              It’s the employers account. There are already incentives for reducing workplace accidents. It’s a pretty weak argument to claim that the silver bulllet for OSH will be privatising ACC.

        • rainman 2.2.1.3

          “(Neither?) I, nor anybody I know, has been actively screwed over by a boss.”

          I LOL’ed, I truly did.

          Jeebus mate, where have you been living? Companies screw staff over all the time, and the power balance ain’t in the employee’s favour that’s for sure. I know plenty of cases of dodgy employer behaviour, one even first-hand.

      • Mark M 2.2.2

        Daveo

        the private insurance companies will only make $200m profit if employers ” choose ” to insure through them.
        Presumably they will only do that if they can save money.
        Which can then be spent on other things which in a worse case scenario could be put in the Bank and lent to someone to buy a house , start a business and so on.

        Is there anything wrong with that

    • IrishBill 2.3

      That’s called privatisation. “Opened to private competition” is a euphemism designed to fool suckers into thinking it’s something different to privatisation.

      And even Rodney admits the structure of the super city has been driven by Act. In case you missed it pretty much the entire story is Hide boasting about how much act had got done because Key and his team are weak.

      Here’s a hint:

      He told the table guests before his formal speech that a person could get a “s…load” done in government as long as “you set the agenda” and have a clear direction.

      “you turn up with your papers” and “they are too busy with their own stuff; they’re not bothered”.

      His ability to make progress on the Auckland super-city plan had been an example of his achievements, he said, and he talked about getting rid of 700 bureaucrats and saving $66 million. “You’re thinking, s…”

    • Draco T Bastard 2.4

      Openign ACC to private competition is a reasonable thing to do, hardly far right at all.

      No it’s not and yes it is.

      • Jcw 2.4.1

        I fail to see who would lose in this move, unless you are refering to the work account and the conspiracy against the worker I have never encountered. If i wanted a private provide to cover me for my accident insurance why do you assume that you know better than I do and that I am incapable of making a logical decision in my own interests?

        • Draco T Bastard 2.4.1.1

          Society will lose (which means you will lose) ~$200m/year because that’s at least how much extra it will cost to have ACC workers account provided by private insurers.

          • Jcw 2.4.1.1.1

            Once again, if it cost an extra 200 million a year no one would swtich.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.4.1.1.1.1

              Unless they have no choice which is what will happen because this government will do everything needed to close down ACC.

            • Jcw 2.4.1.1.1.2

              don’t be foolish closing down ACC simply isn’t on the agenda

            • Pascal's bookie 2.4.1.1.1.3

              Not necessarily. Think of it this way.

              Acc provides me with cover at 100$. I’m low risk, and a private provider offers me coverage at $90. Woot!

              Now, assume the cost to either provider of covering me is $80. ACC uses the extra 20 to subsidise someone else with a higher risk profile . That subsidy is gone, and that person’s premium is now, say $140 instead of $120.

              I have gained a $10 dollar benefit through lower premium. No argument there.

              However, the coverage hasn’t changed, and yet the total amount of premium being paid has.

              It’s gone from 220 (100 +120) to 230 (90 + 140).

              The cost of the system has increased in my example, it has become less efficient, and yet there is a clear benefit in my switching to the private provider.

            • Jcw 2.4.1.1.1.4

              Ok first of all SHOULD you subsidise those with a higher risk profile?

              Secondly you ignore any gains made from increased efficiency in private companies, e.g. more streamlined paper trails, more efficient ICT systems and basically less waste. Private corporations that have no competition tend to become wasteful and inefficient, as they simply do not have to apply themselves to cost reduction. The same can be said of ACC. So the private insurer can insure you at a lower cost. You switch. ACC is forced to become more efficient if it wants to have a reason to exist.

              Also there are some things I am forced to pay for when it comes to ACC that I quite frankly resent. For instance chiropract treatment is covered by ACC. I do not want to pay for coverage for myself that I do not beleive in.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.4.1.1.1.5

              Jcw, my comment was aimed at your notion that privatising the system couldn’t possibly make it more expensive. I’l note that you didn’t really address my logic so I’ll assume that you agree that at least in theory it could, as per my scenario, which was deliberatly simplified to highlight the underlying logic.

              Your introduced aspects are interesting though.

              Ok first of all SHOULD you subsidise those with a higher risk profile?

              It depends on what question you are seeking to answer. If you want the overall system to be efficiently provide 24hr universal no fault coverage, then such subsidisation may well be the best way of doing it. If you are more concerned about some normative argument about assigning fault, then perhaps not. If we eliminate those cross subsidations however, costs overall may rise, and it may be less efficient overall. Agreed?

              It may well also mean that certain industries can no longer afford insurance, and if such insurance is compulsory they may have to close. Possibly industries with lots of semi skilled outdoor or underground work with lots of machinery and stuff. Guess which types of industries those one’s might be, and think “export earnings”

              On the rest, you are, as they say, assuming a can opener. ie, assuming that the thing you need to make your argument work, is already true and sitting in your hand.

              If ACC is inefficient and riddled with excess costs, then those costs could in theory be reduced. As you say, a market is one way of doing that. Political oversight is another. The private sector is absolutely riddled with bloat, but the oversight mechanisms are actually poor in comparison to the public sector. As long as this quarters profits are acceptable, bloat is simply tolerated. Corporate excess is actually viewed as a sign of success, like a peacocks tail. Which is lovely, but expensive.

              I’ve not heard Nick Smith or anyone else suggest that there are in fact such savings to be made in the ACC system. If there were, I would think we would have heard about it. On the other hand, there was that PWC report that said that our ACC system was very efficient in comparison with other regimes internationally. Absent that, your argument is just that there must be such savings to be made because, umm, hand wave, generalise, mumble and pray, efficient market hypothesis, mumble and pray, enlightened self interest amen.

            • kelsey 2.4.1.1.1.6

              Acc provides me with cover at 100$. I’m low risk, and a private provider offers me coverage at $90. Woot!

              Now, assume the cost to either provider of covering me is $80. ACC uses the extra 20 to subsidise someone else with a higher risk profile . That subsidy is gone, and that person’s premium is now, say $140 instead of $120.

              And as a result, the person with a higher risk profile changes their behaviour (say stops using their motorbike), because they have to pay the actual cost instead of being cross-subsidized. As a result their cost goes down to $90 as well. Everyone is better off, because behaviour has changed.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.4.1.1.1.7

              the person with a higher risk profile changes their behaviour (say stops using their motorbike)

              In theory, all our foresters could become accountants or something, yes. I’m not convinced NZ would be better off though.

              But anyway, you missed my point.

        • Craig Glen Eden 2.4.1.2

          Jcw firstly the employee does not get a choice, the employer choses. So their is no choice freedom and or customer market regulation. Do you get It? YOU DO NOT GET A CHOICE. THE EMPLOYER DOES.

          “conspiracy against the worker I have never encountered.”

          Well Jcw what do you do for a job? Because I have run appeals and battled with these people and I can tell you they make money through not paying the person even when you have a OSH notified accident, OSH report and employer who wants to help the employee the insurance company argued the case. The person was chemically exposed and had almost died as a result of the toxicity. The employer was a good employer and wanted to help but couldn’t they had also admitted liability.

          So forget your National Party Lines mate because you have no idea the shit you are speeling and the damage you and others will do to your fellow New Zealanders by supporting the Insurance companies profiteering.

    • “ACC is not being privatised. It is being opened to private competition”

      Hahahahahahahahahaha

      Good one JCW.

      At a semantic level you are possibly correct but at a policy level the decision is a disaster. ACC is a monopoly for a very good reason. Open it up to “competition” and watch how insurance companies will cherrypick the profitable part of the business and the rest of us will pay increased amounts for what is left.

      • the sprout 2.5.1

        reminds of Bill’s other classic euphemism “slim down and streamline”. sounds so much more attractive than “hack to pieces with an axe”

  3. Tigger 3

    jcw – if you’re going to come here and argue ACC you’d better have something better your sleeve than chanting a spin slogan like ‘people will get a choice’.

    • Jcw 3.1

      So choice is bad? We must all be forced to have a particular service provided by the governemnt because it would be wrong to allow us to choose a private provider?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Choice invariably costs more.

        • Jcw 3.1.1.1

          Why? Please explain yourself

          By that logic everything would be more efficient if there was a monopoly on everything

          • Bright Red 3.1.1.1.1

            there are such things as natural monopolies – any universial compensation system is an obvious example.

            Small businesses didn’t like privatisation in 1998 and they don’t want it now because it means spending time and money searching among the different comapnies to find the ones that meet your needs, the ones you can trust, and the best price.

            That’s a difficult activity because companies purposefully make comparison difficult to impede customer mobility (see confusopoly http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/confusopoly)

            Then you have to deal with companies’ whose interest is in paying out as little as possible. It adds up to a lot of time and money for businesses haivng to deal with this complexity.

            I mean look at how the government approaches reducing compliance cost for businesses – it’s not by introducing lots of new bodies to deal with, it’s by streamlining things so they have to deal with as few bodies as possible.

            • Jcw 3.1.1.1.1.1

              If that were true, then said small businesses will stick with ACC. Since ACC will still exist and it will still be publically owned it will be there as an option of the privat sector options are poor.

          • Daveosaurus 3.1.1.1.2

            “Why? Please explain yourself”

            Prices rise to meet the cost of competition.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.3

            Why? Please explain yourself

            See post @ 18:35

  4. IrishBill 4

    So I’m assuming from the lack of a challenge to my basic premise that people agree that Key is weak and this will hurt him? Yes? No?

    • Jared 4.1

      In the real world it should hurt him, but I doubt it will. I think youd like it to hurt him though…

    • Bill 4.2

      If the media run with a line similar to the one they took on the conference tapes then no, it won’t do Johnny any harm.

      Hide reckoned that to report what he said would be unethical…just like the tapes were somehow unethical. will be interesting/revealing to see what the media does or doesn’t do with this.

      • Bright Red 4.2.1

        different because it’s one of their own, you would hope they at least stick up for their collegues

        • Bill 4.2.1.1

          Hmm. When was the last time you saw a boss stick up for an employee? (editorial control and all that in this instance)

          Not saying it doesn’t ever happen, but….

  5. Tanya 5

    It isn’t nice to call Rodney’s supporters psychopaths, how judgmental and extreme.

    • IrishBill 5.1

      Less extreme than said psychopaths attacking solo mums as useless breeders, claiming beneficiaries are thieves and (since the SST started kicking cash their way) arguing for the death penalty. Call a spade a spade I say.

    • Bill 5.2

      It isn’t nice just how judgemental and extreme those psychopathic Rodney supporters are!

      That better Tanya?

      • Psychopaths typically do harm to others and do not show empathy…and Rodney’s supporters at least advocate, real world harm to others and do not show etc. Perhaps sociopath might be more on the money.

        Re this post, Shonkey won’t be hurt this time by Rodders display, but Rodney just may be.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1

          Sociopath is just the modern form of psychopath

          • RedLogix 5.2.1.1.1

            Interesting. I had the idea that psychopathy was an endogenous, perhaps genetic condition not amenable to cure; whereas sociopathy was more a learned behaviour that is exacerbated by others covertly encouraging and abetting it.


  6. Why? Please explain yourself

    By that logic everything would be more efficient if there was a monopoly on everything

    According to the recent PWC report, the New Zealand ACC monopoly delivers a far more efficient system, with near instantaneous effect.

    1. Open that up to the private sector, and you will get the same type of claims dodging you get from current insurance providers.

    2. It is unfair on the taxpayer to pay for only the cases that will not represent any likelihood of a reasonable return.

    3. The failure of HIH in 2001 would have left thousands of employees without cover and the state would have had to step in to remedy this. Moral hazard anyone?

    4. The legal system is already overburdened as it is, you want to put more pressure on the civil litigation system in order to press for your right to sue? Many people simply can’t afford the time, and money in order to pursue a legitimate claim in common law jurisdictions where the right to sue remains.

    • Jcw 6.1

      If ACC is so great it has nothing to fear from private competition.

      • lprent 6.1.1

        I ‘fear’ that you are even more stupid than you appear. Who cares what ACC ‘fears’

        We fear being put in a position where our employers can go and select a fuckwit insurance company without us being consulted on the matter. Why? Because if employees were consulted, they’d pick ACC.

        It is the employers who fear ACC because they can’t hide their crappy work practices through having an proxy insurance company fighting legal battles on their behalf.

        • Jcw 6.1.1.1

          I am not stupid, thank you.

          Employers can use an insurance company to hide crappy work practices? Really… because I think it would make much more sense for a private insurer to offer incentives to improve work practices. After all that would reduce the number of claims.

          Take this scenario; an act is written to open the work account to private competition. Also in this account is compulsory no-fault cover for employees of a business, paid for by the business. And before you say “but then businesses will cover up accidents so stop levies going up’:

          How to pay less

          ACC can reward you for safe workplace practices by discounting your levies. Programmes have been designed to meet the needs of differing business types.

      • Daveo 6.1.2

        You just don’t understand the point. ACC’s monopoly, non-profit status is what makes it so efficient. If you start privatising it then you destroy the very thing that makes it efficient.

        Levies will rise, cover will be reduced, lawyers will infest the system. And we’ll all pay the price.

        The rest of your comments, about how the private sector is somehow magically more efficient, don’t have any basis in the real world. Read the PwC report, look at the international evidence.

        Simply repeating the “private competition = good, public service = bad” mantra isn’t at all convincing to people who’ve studied the evidence.

        • Jcw 6.1.2.1

          ACCs non profit status will not change. I fail to see how ACC being a monopoly makes it more efficient. I fail to see how opening ACC to competition will make ACC itself any less efficient.

          • Geek 6.1.2.1.1

            It becomes less profitable because the private insurers will aim their product at lower risk area’s. if your job entails a safe low risk day you will have no issue getting cheaper private provider. The problem arises when you are the guy who climbs up a phone poll at 3 AM to ensure Mr Safe has power after a storm. The increased risk of that job means that the private insurer will now only offer the product at an incredible inflated rate to try and discourage taking up.

            This will mean that the higher risk jobs will end up staying with ACC. Because these jobs are high risks they have a majority of claims. This means that ACC still has a large portion of claims but a small portion of the intake. The government will be forced to cover the short fall.

            ACC will never be able to meet the reduced rates of the privates because they will always have to cover the high risk cases so they can’t truly compete.

            Choice unfortunately is an illusion in this matter.

            • Jcw 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Private companies will charge more for work accounts that are more risky. ACC should too. After all why should one business subsidise anothers profits? It makes no sense

              The only question will be if private companies can provide cover to the risky jobs cheaper than ACC can to the same.

          • Richard 6.1.2.1.2

            As others have explained, the low risk clients will migrate to private companies. This is because the private companies will charge low risk clients less than what ACC did (but more than what it costs, obviously, because that is part of their profit).

            ACC will be left with all the high risk clients. So, ACC will ultimately need to put up its levies, or gather a subsidy from the government. If ACC puts up its levies, then the high risk clients will pass that cost onto their clients. Which will ultimately increase costs for everyone. Alternatively, if ACC gets a government subsidy then that will ultimately have to be funded from taxes, which also increases costs for everyone.

            You cannot remove $200 million from the system in profit without adding at least $200 million in somewhere. That $200 million will ultimately come from the NZ people.

            So, sure if you are a low risk client you personally may end up paying marginally less for ACC type cover, as the work account is privatized. However, the country as a whole will end up paying more.

            And addressing the other point raised, of course the insurance company will fight to not pay you out. Sure, if you have a really clear case in your favour the company will pay out. But if your claim can be remotely construed as contestable then the insurance company will fight you every time. If your claim is worth $2 million, then the insurance company would be mad to not spend $1 million in lawyer fees to prevent payout. The $1 million the lawyers “save” is another part of the insurance company’s profit.

    • fraser 6.2

      all those links are bung (or is it just me)

    • kelsey 6.3

      I’ve had two out of two claims declined by ACC. There’s no recourse. What makes you think ACC is all sunshine and roses? At least having the threat of taking them to court might change behvaiour. Right now, they can decline and you can’t do jack.

      • the sprout 6.3.1

        actually there rights of appeal for ACC decisions. you have been poorly advised.

        having been there myself, the rights of appeal with the private insurers that starting doing ACC cover at the end of the 90s was truly abysmal. absolutely no accountability or concern. that’s how they achieved such ‘good outcomes’.

  7. Pat 7

    PB wrote “Now, assume the cost to either provider of covering me is $80. ACC uses the extra 20 to subsidise someone else with a higher risk profile . That subsidy is gone, and that person’s premium is now, say $140 instead of $120.”

    Good example. Now a new private provider might see an opportunity to specialise in that riskier sector (e.g. farming) and charge you $120. Because they understand the sector better, understand the risk profile better, and can mitigate against higher risks in the sector (e.g. individual farmers with prior accident history, quads vs motorbikes vs cabbed tractors, dairy vs sheep etc).

    Case in point: Classic Car Insurance. Provides a lower premium than all other insurance companies because they specialise in the sector.

    • IrishBill 7.1

      You’re making the naive assumption that private insurance companies would actually provide the same level of coverage rather than challenge claims on a cost/benefit basis and refusing cover to high-risk buyers.

      Let me put it this way. If I’m a manager at Fat Cat Insurance Ltd and someone comes to me seeking coverage for high tension lines workers I’m either going to quote them massive payments or straight out deny them a policy so that they look to other insurers (until finally ending up on the public ACC option).

      And if I do have a claim for something like, say, an accident leading to quadriplegia that is going to cost millions but I can litigate at an 80% chance of success for only a few hundred thousand. Well, guess what I’m going to do? Meanwhile it will be the public health service and the welfare system that pick up the tab (thanks Taxpayers).

      It’s basic private enterprise and it’s founded on profit-seeking.

      That’s the experience the US have had with the system Key and Hide are advocating for. Why the F*ck would we want that here?

  8. Homo Domesticus 8

    Friends, glove puppet John donKey talks tough but does not deliver, nor will he. He got tough on useless Richard Worth, although we don’t know what Dr Worth really did wrong, but he will not do the same to a Cabinet colleague. He is not that stupid; he knows that those that pulls his strings, the international currency speculators, Business Roundtable, Brash and Douglas etc will not like it.

    Besides, the perks bludger Hide is right, Key has done nothing.

    Homo d. (FPP)

  9. Secret agendas

    Cutting wages

    10% unemployment

    Yet more piss weak opinion based as analysis based as facts.

    This place is starting to remind me of KB on a bad day and the failure of LP to self moderate his comments at 1.45 – or any other moderator to do so – is rank hypocrisy. If DPF had made such an appalling piece, I would expect a post here within minutes.

    • Homo Domesticus 9.1

      Friend, clear your head, am I the only free-thinking pakeha that can see what is happening? Look around you, listen. Brash and co want NZ to become an antipodean version of the erstwhile Celtic Tiger Ireland with a bit of Singapore and Hong Kong thrown in. Said enough for now. Remember Friend, read the code.

      Homo d.

  10. JD 10

    “This place is starting to remind me of KB on a bad day and the failure of LP to self moderate his comments at 1.45 or any other moderator to do so is rank hypocrisy. If DPF had made such an appalling piece, I would expect a post here within minutes.”

    Put it down as stress related. Probably triggered by poll results of Labour still being sub 30 and National being even more popular.

  11. todd 11

    jcw.You are wasting your time here.
    This site is reserved for John Key Haters

    • The Voice of Reason 11.1

      Not so, Todd. There’s hardly anyone here who hates John Key. What is there to hate? As Rodders has pointed out, he’s not actually doing anything. Bit hard to work up a good hatred toward the political equivalent of a little fluffy cloud.

  12. Adrian 12

    jcw, listen boofhead, a NZ builder pays $3500 p.a for ACC, an Aussie for same cover pays 13% of gross income, up to 4 times as much and often has to go to court for any payout.

  13. illuminatedtiger 13

    What a weak push over he is.

  14. Sorry, but if a man like the people doesn’t suit the people: what does? Government of the people, by the people, for the people.

  15. Gus 15

    It nice to have a leader that doesnt get all pissy and threatened. God when will we learn. We have it so wrong. Its not weakness, its strength.

  16. Armchair Critic 16

    Doug – They are pretty fussy about sticking to the topic at Red Alert – as is their right. And you were way off topic.
    Suggesting anyone kills themselves is not right, though. While I generally agree with LP (and the bulk of his reply to JCW was right on the mark), the last bit was a bridge too far.
    LP/moderators – I appreciate the comment above may constitute self-evident stupidity on my part and acknowledge your right to run your site and write as you see fit. I’m happy to be banned.

  17. BLiP 17

    Yep. I would love to have John Key as my boss. Not only could I give him the fingers while I took money from one account to pay an expense from another budget but I could also travel around the country telling customers he did nothing and that getting my plans in place was easy because everyone else I worked with was incompetent.

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