Nats unable to justify ACC policy

Written By: - Date published: 1:40 pm, July 18th, 2008 - 46 comments
Categories: ACC, national, workers' rights, youtube - Tags: , , , ,

Unlike some of our counterparts, the Standardistas aren’t into vanity posts. So, in this clip from TVNZ7’s Back Benches on Wednesday, ignore who’s asking the question and watch National’s Chris Tremain try to justify his party’s ACC policy.

Reaches for his cliches but they don’t fit the question so he resorts to attacking the question. Weak.

46 comments on “Nats unable to justify ACC policy”

  1. James Kearney 1

    Look at those veins popping out of Tremain’s neck! He looks like my angry gym coach from school.

  2. vto 2

    That was a useless answer.

    Often times I slow shake my head at the calibre of the people elected to Parliament (in all parties). I just did it again.

    So which standardista is the questioneer?

  3. T-rex 3

    Nice work Steve 🙂

    God that was a pathetic answer.

    Q: Why should we give 200 million a year to aussie
    A: Because National supports small businesses and wants to reduce compliance costs.

    Uhhh…. ok. Would that be one of those negative 200million reductions like the negatax that’s going to pay for the 1.5bil of broadband?

  4. higherstandard 4

    VTO agreed on all counts.

    It was young Clinton who claims that he’s not into vanity posts …… methinks he does protest too much.

    And as for the politicians, crikey I could have come up with a better answer than that off the top of my head, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again between all the MPs in parliament you might just scrape together enough for a half decent cabinet.

    [lprent: corrected your e-mail so the identicon comes out correctly]

  5. HS. yup, getting some teasing for the other standardistas – but his answer was so good I couldn’t not put it up.

  6. Positive and ambitious 6

    He seems very smart and articulate for a National MP.

  7. T-rex 7

    HS – Agreed. Tremain’s my local MP (not that I voted for him), he looks alright on a billboard but god… opens his mouth and it becomes apparent he’s as thick as pig dribble. I mean even if he knows the policy sucks (which it obviously does) you’d think he could at least put a better spin on it that that!

    P&B – ha! Good call.

    Brownlee still takes my “dumbest on the front bench” award.

  8. SweeetD 8

    yeah, wasn’t the best answer. But his performance for the rest of the show was pretty good, and I think he came over pretty well.

    For balance Pierson, could you also post the question where the audience menber asked NZ First’s Ron Mark if his party is taken money from Glen? I used to have time for Mark before that point, but know I think he is scum.

  9. Typical bearded liberal elitist trying to put a good ol’ boy on the spot. You lot think just because you’re smarter than them they shouldn’t run the show! Ha! I bet you can’t press your own weight like Tremo can!

  10. vto 10

    SP’s question: “why would voters vote for a policy whch takes $200million out of their pockets and puts it in aussies pockets?”

    Answer: That’s a silly and naive question. The nature of developed nations economies the world over is for the free inflow and outflow of capital, profit and investment. Money flows into kiwi’s pockets and at times flows out. This happens across every sector of the economy. Unless, sonny jim, you want a closed North Korean style economy for NZ? Now this part of ACC is being investigated … blah blah … whether greater efficiency can be achieved … b;lah blah … only proceed if it is clear there will be benefit to the average kiwi … blah blah etc.

    That’s my attempt at the type of answer he should have given imo. Any points out of 10?

  11. rjs131 11

    If hes so useless I wonder why he got elected? It must say something for the competency of the MP that he defeated in that electorate that he earned less votes than Tremain?

  12. higherstandard 12

    Not bad VTO

    But John Banks has the prize, in my opinion, for the best one liner as a response – was a Kenny Everett “Angry of Mayfair” type performance for those who can recall it, it left the interviewer completely speechless.

    RJS 131 – competency, intelligence, confidence in front of the public or indeed honesty are not prerequisites to be an MP in NZ (or in most countries I suspect).

  13. T-rex 13

    vto – for evasion? a solid 8. You’re probably too smart for National.

    It still doesn’t answer the question, or address the fact that the net result of whatever “efficiency/benefit/etc/etc” anticipated is going to be 200mil/year heading to aussie, but it certainly conceals the reality more effectively than Tremain managed.

  14. polaris 14

    Clinton, you should have known better.

    Just like when you ran for the Women’s Rights Officer position on the VUWSA executive back in 2003, even when you knew the constitution barred you ‘cos you were a male.

    But then, you were a reactionary right-winger. You’ve changed so much!

  15. insider 15

    The alternative is that if insureance companies think there is $200m to be made from getting into ACC then we are being grossly overcharged by a govt bureucracy. If it was as efficient as is claimed by some that $200m wouldn’t be on the table, surely?

  16. r0b 16

    That’s my attempt at the type of answer he should have given imo. Any points out of 10?

    Poor Nats probably can’t use that answer.

    After all the fuss they made over enriching Aussies in the buy back of KiwiRail the astonishing hypocrisy of running the line that it’s fine to enrich Aussies here would probably be too much even for Mr Key.

    No, they’ll just keep their heads down, small target, and hope no one calls them on this outrageous double standard.

  17. T-rex 17

    Insider – Only if you make the assumption that corporates aren’t prepared to sacrifice standard of care/cover for the sake of profit. While the reality is that the CLEARLY are.

    That $200mil will be $200mil cut from compensation and care payouts.

  18. polaris. No I wasn’t, I was a contrarian leftwing liberal. And I didn’t run because I was barred by the constitution. The HRC opinion in the matter remains one of the worst pieces of legal reasoning I’ve read. I’m still in two minds whether it was a good idea –

    On the one hand I was standing for equal rights and democracy. I can see why you might only let women vote for WRO – VUWSA lets both genders for WRO – but I can’t see why you would only let women run.

    On the other hand, I was enabling the reactionaries who were anti the WRO office and loved me. That made me feel dirty and you still get the occasional VUWSA type who remembers it and thinks I was a rightie because I was challenging the leftwing VUWSA establishment.

    I hear there was a male women’s rights officer at Massey last year and he did a good job by all accounts.

  19. higherstandard 19

    r0b

    Outrageous double standard …… bit like Vector and AIA ?

  20. r0b 20

    bit like Vector and AIA ?

    Ahh, no, not really.

  21. Macky 21

    You guys are amateurs. Farrar has had 4 vanity posts in 2 days.

    [lprent: Yep – the only person that does vanity posts around here so far is me. That is mainly because I can’t think of anything else to write about. But seriously, there are at least 10 active writers on the site. Imagine if they each did a vanity post every other day……]

  22. insider 22

    T- rex

    At least there is evidence that competition tends to improve outcomes. On the thankfully few times I’ve had to access insurance the companies have never quibbled about payment. Why would it be different under this scheme?

    McCully’s weekly email says the PWC report Steve keeps banging on about said “New Zealand’s injury rates are high by international standards, and rehabilitation of seriously injured claimants is well below standards achieved elsewhere. The report recommends significant improvements in respect of both. ”

    This is pretty damning if true (though the real issue is rate reduction assuming we started at a higher base). All the discussion focus here has been on making payouts or levies. The real focus should be on improving injury and rehabilitation outcomes. If our system is so world leading, why is it not delivering a world leading low injury rate? As workers rights advocates, wouldn’t the Standard consider the most basic right to go home in the same shape you came to work?

    Perhaps that shows ACC is not configured correctly? Competition may shift those settings more effectively.

  23. T-rex 23

    Perhaps that shows ACC is not configured correctly? Competition may shift those settings more effectively.

    It’s possible, but I think you’d have to be extrordinarily optimistic to assume your second sentence will hold true.

    Considering that in almost all respect our system IS seen as world leading wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to try and improve the flaws within the existing framework rather than adopting a framework that’s well accepted (and demonstrated) as giving an inferior overall result?

    Take the positive features and adopt them, by all means. No need to take the crap features too.

  24. insider 24

    T-rex

    The problem with your argument is that ACC are already doing that through their opt out system for large companies. They are effectively privatising the risk by allowing companies to not pay levies but accept liability, and I suspect it is delivering better outcomes in terms of injuries because it encourages employers to focus on prevention.

    SO why shouldn;t all employers have the option if they think they can get a better outcome and reduce costs? The actual benefits and assessments could still fall within ACC’s guidelines – it shouldn’t mean that those in private systems get paid less if injured and insurance costs more closely reflect the risks.

    I liken it to moving health spending emphasis from hospital based to preventative care, which is an uncontroversial approach.

  25. roger nome 25

    Clint –

    “but I can’t see why you would only let women run.”

    Proabably for the same reason they don’t let men work at rape crisis. A woman who’s just been victimised by a man often isn’t going to comfortable getting support from a man (i’m assuming that the woman’s officer position involves a support role).

  26. insider. maybe you should read the report, or at least the summary, rather than relying on an MP in a party who wants to privatise ACC for an honest account of it.

    The accident rate is dropping. And there’s no evidence to suggest privatisation will make it drop faster. The guess that ‘maybe accident rates will drop’ if competition comes in is a bloody silly reason to dismantle a worldleading scheme and ship $200 million to aussie insurers. Maybe if I drink the unmarked bottle of liquid I found in the fridge it will taste nice, but it’s not worth risking my health.

    Our high accident rates are partly a product of the industries in which our population works – we have a relatively high number of farm workers, which is an industry with an inherently high accident rate. If we were more of a service economy, we would have proportionately fewer accidents.

  27. roger nome. It’s a good argument but shouldn’t it be the women’s democratic choice whether to follow it? (ok that doesn’t work because for some reason, they let men vote on the issue at Vic) but, yeah, like I say, it was more a principle thing at the time and probably a mistake doing it.

    captcha: dainty feet. You need dainty feet to walk the line of trying not being seen as rightwing when doing something that opposes a leftwing establishment, and my feet ain’t dainty.

  28. higherstandard 28

    SP

    A not insignificant proportion of ACC claims are from sport and MV related injuries.

  29. “A woman who’s just been victimised by a man often isn’t going to comfortable getting support from a man”

    I have many examples that can prove you’re wrong about that rogered nome.

  30. HS. yeah but I believe the high accident rate argument is about work accidents.

    For all who are interested, here’s http://www.acc.co.nz/about-acc/acc-injury-statistics-2006/SS_WIM2_063028 the number of ACC injuries broken down by type since 1996. Before getting excited, remember that from 1998 to 2002 a large portion of injuries were not under ACC but under private insurers, so that dip in ACC numbers is not a dip in actual accidents. There’s also demographic effect of the aging population, especially on the non-work catagory, which most accidents involving the eldery fall into.

  31. roger nome 31

    D4J:

    I didn’t mean “all the time”, it’s just often the case. Did you know that many women choose to not have intimate relations with men, because they’ve been abused in some way by men/a man in the past? It’s about trust, and a person seeking support must be able to trust whoever they get it from.

    Steve:

    “Shouldn’t it be the women’s democratic choice whether to follow it?”

    I definitely see where you’re coming from, and why you did it. I also think that you’re right to look at it as a mistake now.

  32. Ari 32

    The problem with your argument is that ACC are already doing that through their opt out system for large companies. They are effectively privatising the risk by allowing companies to not pay levies but accept liability, and I suspect it is delivering better outcomes in terms of injuries because it encourages employers to focus on prevention.

    SO why shouldn;t all employers have the option if they think they can get a better outcome and reduce costs? The actual benefits and assessments could still fall within ACC’s guidelines – it shouldn’t mean that those in private systems get paid less if injured and insurance costs more closely reflect the risks.

    As they’ve covered here before, ACC is not very happy about the results from allowing employers to cover themselves- so why should we extend that privatisation even further?

  33. Macro 33

    And we know vis-a-vis Talley’s that when they are handled outside of the ACC scheme that insurers and bad employers will try to wriggle out of their obligations given half a chance!

    Further to the OPINION from National et al that work place safety will increase – JUST HOW DO THEY THINK THAT WILL HAPPEN?
    Already we have instances where workers are encouraged to understate or falsely represent the nature of the cause of their injury. Why? – because of OSH. With penalties for employers of $100,000 or more for preventable work place accidents there are already more than enough incentives for employers to insist on safe work places. A cheap insurance cover is just that! CHEAP!! and probably very Nasty with fishhooks aplenty. (Well it would keep Monty happy I suppose – he like fishing!)
    (I forgot to mention that it will keep the lawyers happy as well!)

    For those who insist – “well it must be bad because NZ is the only country in the world with such a scheme”. NZ is the only country in the world that has had the balls to tell the INSURANCE companies of the world “GET LOST!! – we can do this better and give EVERYONE the same universal cover whether they are at work or at home or participating in sport or what ever!” AND WE DO!

  34. Draco TB 34

    Well said Macro

  35. Felix 35

    I can’t help but think some of these righties who complain that we’re the only country in the world with a decent accident insurance system just aren’t very ambitious for NZ.

  36. Swampy 36

    “As they’ve covered here before, ACC is not very happy about the results from allowing employers to cover themselves- so why should we extend that privatisation even further?”

    Wrong, it is the CTU that objects. ACC, well they have a vested monopoly interest to protect. The fact that a former CTU head is now the head of ACC speaks for itself.

    Better policy: workers insure themselves as they do with other types of insurance where they are the primary beneficiaries, then they can choose the company they wish to be insured with.

  37. Swampy. Workers do insure themselves. They do so collectively through a democratically accountable organisation, paid for by a system of levies. Workers chose to elect the third Labour Government which had ACC as a central plank of its platform – workers chose ACC and still favour it because it is cheap, efficent, and reliable.

  38. Sorry Moderators I know it is off topic but T-rex and I seem to share a fondness for graphic’s programs.
    And although I think he is an incredibly pig headed patronising sod at times I sort-o-like the guy too.

    T-rex,

    If you find yourself behind a big mean mother of a new computer again one of these days: I managed to acquire the queen of all 3D modelling programs: Maya. You give me a sign and you can have it to play with. It’s awesome. I did some workshops on this program as a model maker in a different life but always wanted to learn more so now that I have a little time I have returned to this old dream.

  39. T-rex 39

    And although I think he is an incredibly pig headed patronising sod at times I sort-o-like the guy too.

    Lol! The feelings mutual – strange how that can work hey 🙂

    I think it’ll be at least 4 or 5 months before I decide to invest (I just won’t have anywhere to be able to put it until then!) but I’d definitely be interested – it sounds like a pretty impressive piece of software. Did you get the PLE version or one of the full ones?

    Anyway – thanks for the offer – I’m not sure how I’d get it off you though? You could host the file somewhere, but I don’t want you to get in trouble for hosting anything illegal.

  40. T-rex,

    The complete and full one. At the time we were contemplating extending our SFX company into the 3D realm and we did a couple of workshops on it, but the cost was just staggering so we didn’t.

    I’m sure they know that the program is floating around but only the dedicated will be able to master it fully and the big studio’s can’t afford to get caught working with illegal stuff. This way they get the best of both worlds. The studio’s paying the big bucks, the students learning and getting hooked on this amazing piece of software and the little ones like us just having fun with it wouldn’t have bought it in the first place because of the high price. So why bother going after the very few who know about the program and who download it. It was really ridiculously easy to get my hands on it.
    I’m sure when the time comes we can work something out. Be prepared for a steep learning curve though and many sleepless nights of joy.

    By the way, do you want to know what caused me to go looking for it?

  41. T-rex 41

    Yeah, I’ve got the same philosophy with most software I use non-commercially. It’s in the companies interests to let me use it, even without a license, because it means that if I do find a commercial application I’ll be forced to buy a license and they’ll make money 🙂

    I’d like to know, yup. I suspect it had something to do with collapse modelling of some towers dear to both our hearts 😉

  42. Swampy 42

    “Workers do insure themselves. They do so collectively through a democratically accountable organisation, paid for by a system of levies. Workers chose to elect the third Labour Government which had ACC as a central plank of its platform – workers chose ACC and still favour it because it is cheap, efficent, and reliable.”

    Not correct. The insurance (ACC) is the employer’s responsibility to pay, as you and everyone else in this thread is abundantly aware. The rest of your post is meaningless waffle, as workers are not given any choices related to ACC – decisions are made by employers.

    Now, some common sense logic. The main bones of contention of ACC are all related to the undeniable fact that it is an arrangement with employers. Change that to an employee insuring themselves with the agency of their choice (ACC or another) and most of the contention would disappear, wouldn’t it.

  43. T-rex,

    At some stage I thought how would I approach the sfx of 911. I have been a modelmaker and sfx engineer for 18 years and in fact had a very rare day off on 911 2001 so I saw the whole thing live on CNN.
    I thought what if: I was not plagued by that silly little thing called conscience and someone asked me to design the 911 fx in real life.

    I trawled the internet in search of demolition software. I thought Demolition experts would probably have software to pre-design a demolition and lo and behold I found a software packet called “Blast code”

    http://www.blastcode.com/companyinfo/press.php?article=080102
    Advertised as a plug in for Maya and specialised in generating demolition sequences. What was funny was the fact that it doesn’t just advertise as a film fx program but also as a tool for military, government, engineering and scientific simulation purposes. Huh? (The pentagon and Hollywood have a long and exceedingly seedy relationship)

    This software allows you to build buildings and place explosives in order to see the effect of a demolition plan virtually. It also allows you to build virtual planes and slam them into buildings. So in fact only one human being could pre plan the greatest SFX demolition with this program.

    I intend to reverse engineer the demolition with the help of some of the Architects and engineers of 911 truth.

    http://www.ae911truth.org/

    captcha: covered not. LOL

  44. nommopilot 44

    “Now, some common sense logic. The main bones of contention of ACC are all related to the undeniable fact that it is an arrangement with employers. Change that to an employee insuring themselves with the agency of their choice (ACC or another) and most of the contention would disappear, wouldn’t it.”

    hmmm common sense logic is so handy. take the problem from x and give it to Y and X’s problem is gone. Of course there may be some new “bones of contention” under your scheme such as workers being forced to pay insurance when they have only marginal control of workplace safety practices.

    besides this, what you’re talking about is noting like what has been suggested by National (granted your policy might be better than theirs, but that’s not saying much)…

  45. Revelations today http://darrenrickard.blogspot.com/2008/08/acc-staff-spending-on-day-spas-and.html of spending by ACC staff on face lifts,spa treatments,pet care etc make your contention that ACC should stay an inefficient, bloated,corrupt and ineffectual State organ are curious.

    The poor British lady who lost all her limbs in a workplace accident is only entitled to $100,000.00 ! Limited to that figure because Labour passed legislation to do just that earlier on this decade.

    It should be sold, when National take office. It was more effective efficient and cheaper for employers in private hands, as all business is.

  46. bill brown 46

    A big thank-you to Pansy this morning – I’d forgotten about the Nats promise to shut down ACC – hearing her talk this morning on the radio reminded me.

    Sort of like JK managing to keep cocktialgate and dogatemymcdonald’sgate above the fold on the front page of the Dom this morning.

    Keep giving those stories legs guys, you’re doing a bang up job!

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