web analytics

Nats’ ACC scandal getting worse by the day

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, March 20th, 2012 - 88 comments
Categories: ACC, scoundrels - Tags:

Nick Smith, while Minister for ACC wrote a letter in support of the claims of, um, close personal contact Bronwyn Pullar last year after Pullar threatened to embarrass him and ACC. He says, this was in his personal capacity, even though it was on parliamentary ministerial letterhead and he was the damn minister. This is getting very grubby.

The involvement of Boag further suggests that personal influence with the minister was leveraged in an attempt to get Pullar special treatment. And that Smith usd his power to try to help his contacts.

The other thing that concerns me – how is it that a National Party insider, linked to the Minister for ACC, who had previously been making threats to embarrass ACC and the minister, just so happens to be the person who ‘accidentally’ receives the largest leak of private information of ACC clients in history?

[Bunji: Now Nick Smith has admitted to an error of judgement. Will he resign over this abuse of power?]

88 comments on “Nats’ ACC scandal getting worse by the day”

  1. Kotahi Tane Huna 1

    *Pullar [Bunji: fixed]

    It stinks to high heaven.

  2. Anne 2

    Sounds to me like someone on the inside – presumably the ACC – was appalled by the preferential treatment of one claimant while hundreds of other claimants’ cases in similar circumstances were languishing somewhere in an ‘in-tray’ with little attention being paid them. Even so, they couldn’t have handled the turn of events on their own. There must have been others involved. I guess that’s where the answers lie. Who were they and what was their motivation?

    It now has the hall marks of a cover-up extending to the highest level!

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Media reports indicate the woman who sent the email is “highly distressed” but will be keeping her job at this stage.

      I don’t think there was anything malicious in it.

    • just saying 2.2

      hundreds of other claimants’ cases in similar circumstances were languishing somewhere in an ‘in-tray’ with little attention being paid them…

      Actually I think it’s more likely they are languishing on WINZ benefits. Smith had already set ACC targets for reducing long-term claimant numbers, and hired extra staff to “intensively manage” cases to this end. It sounds like this is what Ms Pullar was a part of, and objected to. What surprises me is that her use of such big-wig “close personal contacts” (is this what passes for friendship in NACT circles?) appears to have been unsuccessful, as she felt the need to carry-out a media campaign including actually leaking the document.

      • bbfloyd 2.2.1

        so when did quoting the mainstream media as gospel become the smart thing to do? was she “distressed” because she had made that “unintended” blunder? or because she has been marked down as collateral damage?

        does the “news” report go into any kind of “useful” detail? apart from being a useful distraction from the real issue?

        well swallowed!!

      • Treetop 2.2.2

        This year someone in a WINZ office told me that they are getting clients who were on ACC.

        I want to know how many have shifted from ACC to WINZ?

        • Rosemary 2.2.2.1

          Treetop – this has been happening for years and years. Labour were in fact the worst culprits. This is nothing new. Have a look around the net. There’s more information about this happening than you can read in a lifetime, and is precisely what Bronwyn Pullar means when she says ACC is “rotten to the core”. ACC deliberately sets out to make decisions it knows are wrong. Dispute Resolution Services, the company owned by ACC and that has the contract to hear “independent” reviews of ACC decisions, are also in on it, boots and all.

    • Fortran 2.3

      According to the Herald today an ACC claimant passed to the letter to them.

      Which staff member in ACC stole the letter, or a copy, to send to her to pass to the Herald ?

      Somone with an Agenda ?

  3. toad 3

    This story is just so National Party. Cronyism, corruption, cover-ups – all the things the Nats stand for apart from corporate greed seem to be in this story.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    “The other thing that concerns me – how is it that a National Party insider, linked to the Minister for ACC, who had previously been making threats to embarrass ACC and the minister, just so happens to be the person who ‘accidentally’ receives the largest leak of private information of ACC clients in history?”

    Well we won’t really know until there’s an investigation into what happened.

    ACC officials admitted they had been emailing each other these sorts of excel spreadsheets for years, though. My guess therefore is that it was simply a frequent-contact feature when typing in someone’s name into an email client, where it “helpfully” decides that the name you started typing is for XYY recent contact instead of XYZ like you wanted and then the email goes to the wrong person. This particular email apparently had at least 50 names in the To field, so it’d be easy to miss a mistake like this.

    If my guess is correct, then the problem here was inevitably going to happen sooner or later, simply because emailing attached excel spreadsheets to various people is an inadequate and inappropriate process to be using when dealing with private data of this nature.

    • toad 4.1

      Too much of a coincidence imo, Lanth, that it was someone with close Nat connections who just happened to be the recipient of an auto-type error. I think I prefer Anne’s theory at this stage, but we won’t really know unless we get an independent investigation, and Collins doesn’t seem to want to go there.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        I don’t really think so.

        Clearly this woman had friends in high places that were trying to work on her behalf. It’s quite probable that this meant that the woman who originally sent out the email had been in contact with her using her email client, when otherwise this woman may not have normally dealt with clients directly.

        • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1.1

          Yeah. This whole thing is murky enough without assumming foul play on the one part that could have been accidental.

          A shockingly bad accident that shouldn’t have happened for all that.

          • Lanthanide 4.1.1.1.1

            The other point against foul play is that if the ACC employee deliberately leaked it to Pullar, then as soon as this was found out she’d be fired and potentially have legal action taken against her by the privacy commission.

            Not something any sane person would do, at least not in the way it appears to have happened (email with excel spreadsheet attached). Then again, she could simply be using plausible deniability.

    • Ross 4.2

      I think that’s probably the correct interpretation of what happened. I did see it reported that WINZ was now wanting spreadsheets emailed to one person at a time.

    • Mariana Pineda 4.3

      Maybe the Nats will make it better by giving the work to overseas call centres and getting rid of all of the hard working NZ ACC workers so that they wont be able to incriminate the ministers or pick on them any more.
      That will fix it eh.

  5. AJ 6

    I know the Smith letter scandal is terribly exciting and the media is lapping it up, but let’s not forget what set this whole thing off in the first place: ACC’s inept staff, corrupt management and out-of-date procedures that allowed the details of over 6,000 claimants to be released. Password protecting documents is pretty basic stuff, after all, and would’ve prevented the problem in the first place. You might say, “But it was just names and numbers, nothing vital”. But if you’re a sensitive claimant, perhaps someone who still lives in fear because of the mental injury you suffered, having your identity as an ACC claimant in the open could be extremely frightening and distressing. Even if not, it’s still a massive breach of your privacy and against ACC policy and worthy of a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner. This is not nothing. Don’t let the soap opera within the National Party detract from the real issue. Nick Smith as former Minister and Judith Collins as the present Minister need to be held to account, as does the ACC board and Ralph Stewart, for what has gone wrong inside ACC. When will we be assured that the problems have been identified and that real changes have been made to ensure this sort of breach of privacy never happens again?

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      I know the Smith letter scandal is terribly exciting and the media is lapping it up, but let’s not forget what set this whole thing off in the first place:

      That would be Nick Smith’s National Party friend trying to blackmail ACC, wouldn’t it?

      When will we be assured that the problems have been identified and that real changes have been made to ensure this sort of breach of privacy never happens again?

      A block on priority files going through the email system should do it. No big deal.

  6. Pascal's bookie 7

    wee correction Zet: “even though it was on parliamentary letterhead ”

    Former ACC minister Nick Smith has admitted he wrote a letter supporting the claim of a former National Party official on a ministerial letterhead.

    emph mine

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6603029/Minister-wrote-reference-for-ACC-whistleblower

    Just an ‘error of judgement’ though. So that’s ok.

  7. Kevin 8

    What makes this story interesting is that initially Ms Pullar had enlisted the aid of Nic Smith, “a friend” in getting her claim reconsidered by ACC but was not successful.
    Following on from that Ms Pullar inadvertently recieved the files sent in error and attempted to use them as leverage at another meeting where she was assisted by Ms Boag.
    Ms Pullar has used her National Party contacts at the highest level to advance her ACC claim, but was not successful.
    ACC have now referred the matter to Police, therefore Ms Pullar may face allegations of using a document for percunairy advantage.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      “attempted to use them as leverage at another meeting where she was assisted by Ms Boag.”

      Note that she denies this.

      It seems like a rather stupid thing to attempt anyway, “give me a benefit or I will release privileged data I shouldn’t have”. Looking at a jail term for extortion and/or breach of privacy there.

      • Ross 8.1.1

        Yes it would be a stupid thing to do. It could be more along the lines of ACC wanting her to delete the material and Pullar responding that that will happen in due course, after ACC has given her benefit application due consideration. I suspect ACC has put the worst possible spin on this given that it has fucked up.

        I remember a government agency sending me information that it wasn’t supposed to send me – though I had requested it – and then demanding that I return it. Since I’d requested the information and did not breach anyone’s privacy, I kept it.

        • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1.1

          It could be more along the lines of ACC wanting her to delete the material and Pullar responding that that will happen in due course, after ACC has given her benefit application due consideration.

          That’s the same thing.

          Note the ‘offer’ Boag uses about ACC is them saying that some sort of settlement might be worked could only be contingent on the files being returned. That’s a pretty out there thing for them to say unless it’s in response to, what exactly? A threat perhaps?

          And was Boag saying that she would hate for Smith or the government to be embarrassed? oh yes, she was. Crikey how could they be embarrassed by the files being returned. Why weren’t the files returned again? Who was making it contingent? All very confusing I’m sure.

          Just errors of judgement though.

          • Ross 8.1.1.1.1

            PB

            It’s not the same thing at all. On the one hand there is a threat to release the information bu tin the scenario I mentioned there is no threat all. In fact, there is an assurance that the material will be deleted. It may be that while ACC wanted to talk about the private information release, Pullar wanted to talk about her ACC claim.

            • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Ross, If I say to you that I have some damaging info on you, And I will quite happilly destroy it, that’s one thing. If I say, I will happilly destroy that info once you do X, that’s another thing entirely.

              You are ignoring that Boag was talking about how much she wanted to avoid the Govt in general, and Smith in particular, being embarrassed, because they were her friends, don’t you know.

              How on earth could they become embarrassed again? Why was the info held onto again?

              • Ross

                PB

                You don’t cite any source for your comments. The fact is that the government was always going to be embarrassed about this, whether Pullar went public or not. ACC were always going to contact the thousands of people whose private info was sent to Pullar. What are the chances that none of those thousands was going to bleat to the media?

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Boag detailed her recollection last week in an email to Collins, which was obtained by the Herald on Sunday. The email said it was “verbally agreed” the information would be returned “on agreement on the way forward”.

                  It said the staff member had offered Pullar in writing “one year to re-establish her business”. The staff member’s written offer “asked for the return of the data (but) did not acknowledge that this would be contingent on reaching an agreement acceptable to both parties”.

                  Boag said it was significant ACC staff did not warn its management or minister until after the breach became public. She wanted ACC to deal with the privacy breach internally and not as a public issue. “I am a supporter of this Government and I also call [former ACC minister] Nick Smith a friend. I don’t want him embarrassed. I have friends on the ACC board. I do not want them embarrassed.”

                  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10792840

                  now that’s Boag’s own spin. So why would the info be kept if not to maintain leverage? Why all this talk about contigency/ Why would ACC make an offer like that, unless there was a threat implied?

      • ianmac 8.1.2

        I think Michelle (or someone in a radio interview) has said that it was the ACC staffer who suggested that as a way out of returning files, and not Ms Pullar.

      • Anne 8.1.3

        It seems like a rather stupid thing to attempt anyway

        Agree, but don’t forget the sense of entitlement endemic among National Party high fliers (and their mates) which can blind them to the risks involved.

        Btw, I agree with Lanthanide. The leaking of the claimants’ info. to Pullar seems like it was inadvertent, but it has highlighted what appears to have been a very shabby attempt to pull power on behalf of a claimant who happened to be one of them.

  8. Just heard the contents of the letter read out on RadioLive. It’s very carefully worded, and merely refers to Smith’s knowledge of Ms Pullar BEFORE her accident. He says that it would be inappropriate to comment on any matters relating to her claim,

    His “crime” is to have sent it on ministerial letterhead; hardly a hanging offence Bunji

    • Pascal's bookie 9.1

      Bro, he says it would be inappropriate to comment as a friend, because he is the minister, then goes ahead and comments anyway, on ministerial letterhead. ffs.

      And do you seriously not grok that testimony about her state of being before the accident are very relevant to her claim?

    • He said on Radio NZ this morning that he believed that he sent it on blank paper.  If it was on Ministerial letterhead this makes his offence much worse.  His suggestion this morning is confirmation that he realises the implications of doing so.

        • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1

          Someone save a copy of that…

          he;s fucked

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 9.2.1.2

          “It would be inappropriate of me to comment…” but I’m going to do so anyway, in a manner which will have a material impact on her claim.

        • just saying 9.2.1.3

          Looks to me like ACC may have been suggesting Ms Pullar’s symptoms were caused by a pre-existing condition and her mate Nick was telling them them they were not.

          This letter is outrageous. He notes in detail that his opinion and intervention would be inappropriate and then opines and thereby intervenes. As ACC minister he could not have more clearly indicated (in writing anyway) that Ms Pullar was not to be part of the reduction in numbers receiving weekly compensation long-term that he himself had ordered.

          Does anyone know when (or even if) Ms Pullar stopped receiving compo? It seems amazing to me that she didn’t get away with this, and I think it’s possible that the reasons may be due to the fact that her judgment really has been seriously impaired and her high-falutin’ “friends” have got to the point where they can’t ditch her fast enough.
          If that was the case, ironically, having friends in high places would have worked better if she was malingering, and better able to play the game.

          • David H 9.2.1.3.1

            Or the old “It’s degenerative” excuse that they use on me and others since I and them turned 50.

        • Fortran 9.2.1.4

          Now having read the letter cannot see a problem.

          Mountain out of molehill – silly to put on Ministerial letterhead though, but not a hanging offence.

          I make mistake too (often).

  9. Pascal's bookie 10

    Now Nick Smith has admitted to an error of judgement. Will he resign over this abuse of power?

    Silly. An ‘error of judgement’ just means that he decided to do someting really stupid, which means it wasn’t his fault, or something.

  10. “Error of judgement” Bullshit!
    From personal experience in the public service I know that a letter from the minister gets greater attention. And Tricky Nicky knows this.

    This man has been a minister an MP for 11 years, six of which as Minister. He is fully aware that such a letter (from him, on ministerial letterhead) gets greater attention and has the potential to influence decisions. He also knows that a reference on ministerial letterhead has greater credibility.
    He was using the ministerial letterhead because we WANTED to, in order to use the gravitas of his office to either influence a decision or to add greater credibility.

    Did he know this could be seen as exerting undue influence? Of course he did and he cannot say that he didn’t.
    So why did he then commit an act he knew was wrong?
    Because he WANTED to. He wanted to write a letter that would have the influence of a ministerial letter AND he thought he could get away with it (which raises other issues of the way the Nats see themselves as being able to peddle influence as a birth right).

    Doing something that is you know is wrong and brushing it off as an error of judgement is not enough and needs further explanation.
    What caused this error of judgement and what does that say about your ability to make further decisions of even greater import?
    Too Tired? Too Drunk? Too Ill-informed? Too Ignorant? Too busy?

    “Error of judgement” is not the end of the matter (As Key and the PR team would hope), but only the beginning.

  11. Kotahi Tane Huna 12

    Too corrupt?

  12. KATY 13

    What,s the betting on knickers giving an apology by way of a personal statement in parliament this afternoon, the donkey accepting it, followed by refusal to comment anymore on this subject as the matter is now subject to an ongoing police investigation.

    • Pascal's bookie 13.1

      Yep. With a side bet on , “he’s no longer the Minister for ACC so it would be inappropriate to punish him in his new roles for events that accured in a different portfolio”

      • felix 13.1.1

        There’s the trifecta!

        I note that both The Greens and Labour have oral questions on the subject today. Which is:

        a) nice that they both see an opportunity to hammer a corrupt minister

        and also

        b) a disturbing sign that they’re still not working together even at such a basic level as organising question time.

        • Fortran 13.1.1.1

          felix – you are right

          Labour and the Greens must work closely together now as an introduction to the coalition next election. Otherwise there will be ructions after the election (if not before).

        • Anne 13.1.1.2

          Unless they colluded on who was going to ask what question at what point in the question time. Nice to think they did but…

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 13.1.1.2.1

            I don’t think there’s going to be any fighting over the food at this feast. There’s more than enough for everyone and their dog here. Speaking of Winston…

  13. coolas 14

    The Minister for ACC uses Ministerial letterhead to plead on behalf of a friend. If that’s not a conflict of interest and cronyism what the fuck is. Totally unethical. He should resign. The part of the story I like is that Pullar’s request was denied; that ACC stood up to their loathsome Minister, but that will no doubt provide fodder to the spin – nothing came of it anyway, so what’s the fuss – Tracey Watkins in The Herald? 3,2,1.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 14.1

      Where’s your sense of patriotism? How are we going to stay at the top of the corruption league table if we start noticing it?

  14. Carol 15

    I find Smith and co’s actions to be pretty disgraceful and hypocritical, with their attitude of entitlement, even while making things tougher for ACC claimants and turning it into something with an approach of non-entitlement…. to use the line of one MP in the House today (Hague I think). Under NAct ACC has come to treat ACC claimants as if they are in the wrong and not entitled to the treatment they need unless they can strongly prove otherwise…. and it requires persistence.

    Smith should not only resign, Nact should be looking at providing a better service for claimants, and not continue to pursue their punitive approach.

    • Mark 15.1

      @Carol
      Any evidence of this “attitude of entitlement” being any greater than any Politician, Public Servant, public person, worker, beneficiary, ACC claimant etc?
      We are faced with ongoing reports of many claimants of any State largesse.. (Welfare, ACC, Tax, Business entitlements) rorting the system, and  prudent Govt Depts will be remiss by handing out OUR money without being satisfied that it is lawful (SFO, IRD actions against the Banks etc)
      Isn’t this a good thing?
      By a “better service for claimants” do you mean accepting every claim and writing cheques on the taxpayers account?
      I see Winstons’ grubby fingers behind leaks and further leaks, Smith’s letter is foolish but not by any stretch corrupt.
      Move on. 

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 15.1.1

        “Move on” lol you poor thing. There is no corruption in New Zealand. Watch and learn.

        • Mark 15.1.1.1

          I don’t recall making that assertion.
          Any counterfactual or thought out opinion, or just wishful thinking?

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 15.1.1.1.1

            I don’t recall asserting that you made any assertions at all.

            • Mark 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh, so you are asserting there is no corruption in New Zealand?
              Jesus man ( gender assumption), get your head out of the sand!!

      • Carol 15.1.2

        Thank-you Mark for illustrating my point. I have been on the receiving end of this approach of non-entitlement and don’t take kindly to assumptions of rorting, while promoting the rorter narrative over the many of us not getting the treatment our specialists are asking for. It’s not as bad for me as for people whose injuries are not accepted as ones ACC covers…. I am covered and the specialists and operations get paid for…. ACC advisors just don’t accept one of my specialist’s for treatment in spite of more than one letter from the specialist.

        Most of us ARE different for Smith and Pullar…. we don’t tap powerful politician cronies to support our case….. just go with what our specialists are recommending….. but I guess their judgements mean nothing and they are just trying to aid our rorting?!

        And I hear numerous stories from others along the same lines since National came into government.

        And my comment was also about hypocrisy (you ignored that), from Nats who want tightening up on beneficiaries and ACC claimants but try to tap their powerful cronies for preferential treatment when it works against them.

        The Winston point is a big stretch…. you are asking for evidence based decisions for claimants, and have NO evidence of Winston being involved.

        Smearing others is just an attempt to divert from the mis-deeds of Smith and cronies.

  15. Mark 16

    Carol, I don’t think I illustrated your point at all.. my main point was that we should all be pleased that we don’t have a system that willy nilly pays out whatever everyone wants (entitlement) without a fairly rigorous process.. human nature being what it is.. and the predominant philosophy on this Blog of “tax the rich a bit more and everything will be paid for”
    And sure, people will try to get what they can in possibly desperate circumstances, and Smith was probably put in a very awkward situation – showed a bit of humanity there rather than undue influence I imagine.
    Did the ACC situation really change that much when the Nats got in.. perhaps we were only then informed that we had a huge forward claims deficit?
    Cronies is an easy word to splash about, without requiring much proof, and again could be easily directed at past & present Politicians.
    I enjoy the rigorous debate on The Standard, and am happy to say that one or two of my long held assumptions and prejudices have been seriously challenged.. but never by blanket shriekings of  “corruption, cronyism, etc” without some pretty hard evidence to support them. 
    My comment about Winston.. no evidence whatsoever, but a gut feeling like you wouldn’t believe lol.
    Anyway, hope you get the treatment you need. 

  16. Mark 17

    Thanks for the Links Carol, however I would hardly call the first 2 anywhere near impartial.. yeah a lot of opinion and idealogy sure.
    And 4 Doctors talking to Stuff (hangon, this is MSM which we all agree is a waste of space).. could be seen as similar to a few Legal Aid Lawyers having to justify their fees  against scrutiny.
    A few letters to Andrew  Little.. yeah right this is serious evidence. 
    Nats “priming  ACC for privatisation” heard that rumour too, but again a ;ack of concrete evidence.
    As I said, my main point is to welcome some scrutiny.. without this some people are able to rort, leaving a lack of funds for the genuine.. kind of like Welfare really. 

    • felix 17.1

      Sounds like the only source of evidence you’ll consider is the official Nick Smith Fanclub Newsletter.

      And guess what? They ain’t gonna publish any. So where does that leave you?

      What exactly could you possibly contribute to the discussion when you have exactly zero sources of reliable information?

  17. Pascal's bookie 18

    Just for the record, one thing I do not want to hear, under any circumstances, and for whatever reason, is Winston Peters speculating about Nick Smith’s sex life.

    [so, you don’t want to know why I referred to her as a ‘close personal contact’ of Smith’s either? Zet]

  18. prism 19

    By the way that photo of dr nick shows him when he was young and ingenuous. He’s a bit more haggard now but the strains of politics are not so unrewarding as to send him back to his trade of civil engineering.

  19. Treetop 20

    I keep coming back to the level of injury sustained by Pullar and the entitlements she is entitled to. Smith wrote on Pullars behalf regarding her health prior to the accident in his 7 July 2011 letter.

    What could Smith add that would be useful to Pullars medical assessment with the ACC Dr.

    I do not know the process for a non sensitive claim, but with a sensitive claim after a form is signed with your GP (possibly a medical certificate stating the injury). The next step is going through ACC for a psychiatric assessment, then the final step is going to the ACC AMA assessor.

    Where is a person left when they do not want to go to the AMA assessor because of the errors that the psychiatrist has made? (Even though they say that you have PTSD as a result of sexual offending). Basically the psychiatrist’s report for the AMA assessor is not accurate.

    A person rings ACC and tells them that they will not be going for the AMA assessment. After a year ACC write back and decline your claim when the is NO time limit between when the ACC psychiatrist is seen and the AMA assessor is seen.

    I don’t know enough about Pullars case, but I suspect that she is unhappy with ACC minimising how her injury has impacted on her, that there are details in dispute, that the time the claim has taken is burdensome, but Pullar is not going to let ACC off the hook without a fight.

    I expect that there is a grey area with head injuries as they may taken several years to settle and for the level of injury to be known.

    I think that ACC are heartless bastards to people when they were sexually offended against during childhood and that the offending occurred prior to 1974 as ACC have said that they do not have to cover prior to 1974. This disturbing policy (not covering a child has occurred under the National government).

    • Carol 20.1

      For my non-sensitive injury, I was taken to hospital in an ambulance, and ACC was immediately involved, via the ambulance, surgeons etc. My GP was not involved. The requests for more physiotherapy for me go to a Clinical Assessor who never sees me but makes a judgement based on reading written reports from my specialists, physiotherapist etc…. who are very familiar with my injury and have seen me several times.

      I gather this situation happens when deciding other kinds of claims for surgery etc.. i.e. that for non-sensitive cases the claimant is never seen by the advisor/assessor deciding on accepting or rejecting the claim. It probably saves money, but it can lead to many flawed decisions, IMO.

    • Treetop 20.2

      Due to Carol’s post 20.1 I need to add that I was talking about the process for an Independence Allowance or a lump sum claim.

      Thank you Carol.

    • Sarah 20.3

      With a head injury assessment you always need to index it against pre-injury capability with accounts from friends, employers etc.

      Who knows how many other similar reports Pullar has on her file of this nature. But they are very important for any assessment for a head injury to ascertain the effect of the injury.

      Smith showed a lack of judgement clearly. But equally if he knew her, employed her etc then provision of report of this nature would be relevant. Perhaps he should have put it on plain paper, and just signed N Smith, so no one would know his identity.

      I don’t see how this affects ACC, as ACC assessors are supposed to be independent of ACC. Being on Ministerial letterhead was a bad move.

      • Treetop 20.3.1

        “With head injury assessment you always need to index it against pre-injury capability with accounts from friends, employers etc.”

        I do understand this, however Pullar’s GP file would be another source to establish how her health was prior to her brain injury. As I said, “I keep coming back to the level of injury sustained by Pullar and the entitlements she is entitled to.” Rosemary 2.2.2.1 answers this as she points out, “ACC deliberately sets out to make decisions which are wrong. Despute Resolution Services, the company owned by ACC and that has the contract to hear “independent” reviews of ACC decisions, are also in on it boots and all.”

        In 2003 a psychologist told me that they no longer take head injuries because of how ACC are.

        Pullar has to be accessed by a specialist international clinican competent in head injury. Her trust in ACC has been shaken to the core.

        Complex PTSD is not yet recognised as it does not appear in the DSM – 1V, however DESNOS is mentioned and there is a 6 symptom cluster which is found in Complex PTSD but not in regular PTSD. I can only conclude that the treatment for Complex PTSD is different to regular PTSD and the treatment for Complex PTSD is not mentioned, only the 6 symptom cluster under DESNOS in the DSM – IV. NO code for Complex PTSD to go onto a form for ACC so the person languishes. Herman is the leading researcher in Complex PTSD.

        I have had PTSD for 45 years. In 1986 I mentioned being sexually offended against during a counselling session, this was written in my file. Being sexually offended against in 1967 was raised again by me in 2003. Because nothing was done in 1986 I thought that being sexually offended against did not leave me affected. In 2009 a psychiatric report done by a psychiatrist for ACC, the psychiatrist wrote “had she told the hospital treating team…” I gave the psychiatrist my psychiatric notes, (did he read them?) ACC was fleeced at least $2000.00 for a misleading report. The assessment was brutal and it took 3 hours (usually 90 minutes is allocated). My case is complicated/complex due to the police retriggering PTSD and a crime commited against my mother.

        The perpertrator was born in 1892, offending occurred in 1967 and it is 2012. I thought carefully about pushing the submit comment and this was not done in haste.

  20. bad12 21

    Being of the school which heavily indulges in the study of the human condition, yeah the same one oft mentioned by Sir(hoick)Bob a previous leader of a bright political and social future, we have to wonder here just what it is that the previously obscure recipient and leakee of ACC info did for the National party cause,

    Putting aside Captain Fantastics stunning piece of Ministerial intervention in her case for just a second one has to wonder just what one has to do to not only have the relevant Minister personally intervene on ones behalf AND have the previous Party Prez attend at least one meeting with ACC,

    Perhaps a big Party donor of days gone by,or did the Party.s old nemisis in the form of one W.Peters lift the lid a little with His veiled reference on the Parliaments floor to ex ACC Minister Smith,s sex life,

    Theres more here than a simple letter from ”a friend” who happened to be the Minister in charge of the department He was sending the letter to,perhaps we are about to be drip fed the lurid details from the Parliaments floor,

    Bring it,along with David Attenborough,a large can of air freshener,and,a bucket is all we can say…

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Final BMG poll – nothing to see here
    BMG research have unleashed their final poll of the 2019 campaign:Westminster voting intention: CON: 41% (-)LAB: 32% (-)LDEM: 14% (-)GRN: 4% (-)BREX: 3% (-1)via @BMGResearch , 06 - 11 Dec Chgs. w/ 06 Dec That's a bit of a "Dunno why we bothered" sort of poll. "Phillip, I'm afraid I've been a ...
    31 mins ago
  • Grant Robertson Spends Up Large – On The Establishment!
    Grant Keeps On Trucking: Out of the $12 billion Robertson has announced for infrastructure investment, $8 billion will be allocated to specific projects, with the balance of $4 billion held in reserve. What does it say about this Government's "transformational" ambitions that 85 percent of that $8 billion is to ...
    2 hours ago
  • Boris Johnson … Hides … In a Fridge
    I am not making this up.First few lines of the Dail Mail write up:Boris Johnson's exasperated media minder swore on live TV today as the PM refused to speak to Good Morning Britain before trotting into a fridge as he started an early milkround in Yorkshire. Piers Morgan was visibly ...
    10 hours ago
  • Shy Labour Voters?
    In previous elections pollsters have bemoaned the 'shy Tory' - the respondent who is so fearful of being judged as a cruel and heartless bastard by an anonymous pollster, or their spouses, workmates and friends, that they lie about their intention of voting Conservative, skewing the poll figures in Labour's ...
    12 hours ago
  • Seven reasons to be wary of waste-to-energy proposals
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I was in Switzerland recently and discovered that they haven’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    17 hours ago
  • Reviewing the whitewash
    Back in 2015, then Ombudsman Beverley Wakem conducted a review of the OIA, Not a game of hide and seek. The "review" was a whitewash, which found no need for legislative change, and instead criticised the media and requesters - which destroyed Wakem's reputation, and undermined that of the Office ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • You Gov MRP Poll Out
    So, You Gov's MRP poll - the weird one that tries to reflect what will happen at a constituency level and which pretty much nailed the hung parliament in 2017 - is not looking too good for Labour:
    UK #GE2019 MRP seat projection:CON: 339 (-20)LAB: 231 (+20)SNP: 41 (-2)LDEM: 15 ...
    20 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Accountability?
    We've known about climate change for over forty years now,and it has been a major political issue for twenty. And yet fossil fuel companies have kept polluting with impunity, while government have looked the other way and twiddled their thumbs and refused to do anything because "the economy", or just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Delusional And Irrational: The Rise Of Paranoid Politics In New Zealand.
    Sheer Loopiness: Many of those expressing bemusement at the antics of these #turnardern effacers, were convinced that they were yet another expression of the National Party’s increasingly spiteful anti-government propaganda campaign. They marvelled at the oddness of the perpetrators’ mindset and questioned the common-sense of allowing the rest of New Zealand ...
    22 hours ago
  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    2 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    2 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    2 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    6 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    6 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    7 days ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    7 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago