The entitle-itis is strong in this one

The Dunedin victim of a “horrific” mauling by three Irish wolfhounds has had another blow after learning she will not be compensated for lost income.

The woman was attacked about 6.30am on December 2, leaving her with injuries over much of her body.

The most serious was to her right leg, where little remained of her calf muscle.

Before the attack, the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, worked two part-time jobs to supplement her benefit income, but the injuries left her unable to work.

Thinking it would be a formality, she asked for compensation from ACC for lost income, but was shocked to learn they would not give her compensation on top of her benefit.

Instead, she was told by an ACC staff member it would take a dollar off her benefit for every dollar she received in compensation – which in her situation meant she would be no better off than if she received no compensation at all.

The entitlement is strong in that one!  Plug her into the national grid and we’d all get lots of free energy.   Read more »


Holidays are dangerous, can’t wait for the Greens to call for a ban on summer

Summer holidays are dangerous and full of injury.

I can’t wait for the Greens to suggest a ban on summer holidays.

Last year, it received 3554 claims for Christmas Day and 4037 claims for Boxing Day, totalling $5.4 million.

Figures obtained by RNZ show last year there were 154 claims for Christmas tree-related injuries, 30 accidents each relating to Christmas presents and Christmas lights and six ham-related injuries.

Ham-related injuries?

ACC spokeswoman Stephanie Melville said it was easy for people to get carried away at Christmas parades. With hordes of families, excited kids and lots of activity and merriment, it was easy for folk to be distracted by all the festive fun.

Read more »


Is public consultation broken?


As we’ve seen with the Flag, public consultation is a tricky beast.  And one that appears to be easily captured by social media and of course the Media Party.

Should we really be running government policy based on how many “likes” something gets?   Read more »

The unintended consequences of laws

Karl du Fresne writes about the unintended consequences of laws…designed to do one thing but condition citizens in other ways.

A letter in last week’s Listener magazine offered an interesting slant on the workplace safety debate.
The writer was a New Zealand geologist who had worked in Australia. He had gone there convinced, as most of us probably are, of the virtues of our no-fault accident compensation system.

He thought ACC was clearly superior to the Australian alternative, where people injured in workplace mishaps (or in car accidents, or even as the result of a fall on a slippery supermarket floor) can sue for damages.
That used to be the way in New Zealand too. Personal injury cases were a profitable area of practice for lawyers until the well dried up with the introduction of the accident compensation scheme in 1974.

Under ACC, the state picked up the tab for all work and non-work injuries, regardless of who (if anyone) was to blame.
At first it seemed a bizarre notion that a burglar who accidentally slashed his arm while breaking into a house should be entitled, courtesy of his law-abiding fellow-citizens, to free medical treatment and weekly earnings while he recovered to steal again.

But we put those misgivings aside because the new regime seemed preferable to one where compensation hinged on being able to prove negligence, which involved hiring a lawyer.
In hindsight, ACC can be seen as the high-water mark of socialism – or, if you like, collectivism – in New Zealand.    Read more »


So farms don’t have to conform to health and safety reforms, but the local Placemakers does

There are indeed industry specific holes that need plugging up.  Too many people die in forestry for example.  

But this copy/paste from Australian legislation has only been able to survive around the cabinet table by leaving a huge back door for farmers.  

The whole job remains a botch up, and Michael Woodhouse will be remembered for this fondly as the idiot who brought RMA style legislation to work safety.

More than 50 industries have been identified by the Government as high-risk, meaning they will be not exempt from some requirements under the Health and Safety Reform law, even if they have fewer than 20 employees.

Industries include forestry and logging, road freight transport, coal mining, hunting and trapping, fishing, electricity transmission, horse and dog racing as well as any industry deemed to have potential for catastrophic risk in the event of accident such as oil and gas extraction and petroleum refining.

But most types of farming will be able to claim an exemption, a move slammed by Labour leader Andrew Little.

Read more »

CTU loses one of its cash cows

For a long time the CTU and also Business NZ have been tucking the taxpayer for millions via a rort with ACC.

All of that has come to an end however with the government deciding that the millions poured into their coffers isn’t worth it.

Naturally the CTU is crying a river of tears.

As the government attempts to water down core provisions in its new health and safety law, funding to support high risk industry health and safety representative is also about to end.

The CTU has today announced that its Health and Safety Representative Training programme, supported by ACC since 2003, will be ending in its current form this November.

Business New Zealand and private provider Impac Services are also affected by ACC’s decision.

ACC has supported this training since 2003, and over 33,000 Health and Safety Reps have been upskilled by the CTU in this period.   Read more »

Labour: Government wastes $3m

How desperate are Labour to get the Chinese Bashing off the front page?

Labour has accused the Government of making a “fundamental mistake” over its new $3 million ACC vehicle rating system.

The new risk-rating ACC regime means owners of cars considered safer will pay less in the ACC levy portion of their vehicle registration.

Some owners of older cars could pay up to $158.46 annually – 52 per cent more than the $104.09 they would have paid without the differentiated system

But the rollout has been dogged by a technical botch-up, which saw the agency refund nearly 9000 motorists after a computer glitch meant they were overcharged for the risk-rating component of their registration.

ACC has also had to reclassify 22 vehicles, which were incorrectly grouped and therefore charging a higher levy.

“Basically, what the minister’s managed to do is make a decision that’s cost at least $3m to implement for very little benefit, and in fact, a lot of confusion for motorists,” Labour’s ACC spokeswoman Sue Moroney said.

Yep.  That desperate.   I mean, John Key is wasting the blunt end of ten times that amount on a charm campaign to change the country’s flag.   Read more »


Sensible safety-based policy

Sue Moroney’s only achievement in parliament is to increase the majority of every National MP she has stood against. It’s called the Moroney Effect.

She is a graceless person and stupid to boot.

Her latest outburst is against ACC changes which see levy rebates for cars with higher safety ratings. ACC is all about safety and so this seems a sensible course of action.

Labour is accusing the Government of rewarding those with “flash” cars at the expense of older and poorer owners, with ACC levies tied to vehicles safety ratings.

The new risk-rating ACC regime, which kicks in next month, means some owners of older cars will pay $158.46 annually – 52 per cent more than the $104.09 they would have paid without the differentiated system

Labour ACC spokeswoman Sue Moroney said more than a million owners would pay more than necessary.

“This penalises, for no proven reason, superannuitants, young people and those on modest incomes. Those with the oldest cars will collectively pay $41 million more in ACC levies, while those who can afford the latest model cars pay $41m less.

ACC Minister Nikki Kaye said the purpose was to improve safety and the regime gave incentives to have safer vehicles.   Read more »


I wonder what the ACC statistics are for sex related injuries?

VICE reports on how to avoid breaking your dick having sex.

A group of Brazilian doctors recently published a paper in the academic journal Advances in Urology identifying “woman-on-top” (aka cowgirl) as the most dangerous sex position in terms of the sheer number of dicks broken mid-fuck. Analyzing data from three accident and emergency units in the Brazilian city of Campinas over the past 13 years for clear cases of penile fractures (in which the ligament in the penis either tears or overextends, often with a loud, painful crack), the doctors determined that half of all such fractures came when women rode men, with 29 percent resulting from over-vigorous doggy-style and 21 percent resulting from missionary sex.

Those who made it through the wince-inducing study may have tried to take comfort in the fact that sex-related injuries are rare. As it turns out, that’s not entirely true. Urologists at the University of Washington Medical School alone say they see at least one or two penile fractures a month. More generally, a British study found that up to five percent of the workforce takes time off for expressly sex-related injuries every year. And although there’s a great deal of under-reporting, self-treating, or misreporting of sex-related injuries, most estimates say that up to one-third of adults will suffer some kind of injury during or directly from the dirty deed—often without realizing the pain they’re in until the morning after, thanks to our lovely, sexed-up endorphins.

Many of these injuries could happen outside of carnal embrace: carpet burns, pulled muscles, sprains, and the like. But many more are fairly serious, associated with specific sexual scenarios, and utterly avoidable with the proper precautions.

Read more »


Bill English has given up on the surplus

Bill was hanging on to obscene levels of wealth in the ACC accounts just to make the books look better, but he must have finally realised it makes no difference.

The Government is signalling across the board cuts to ACC levies including a big drop in the motor vehicle levy that could see it fall to $120 a year next year.

ACC Minister Nikki Kaye said levy cuts would amount to about $375 million in 2016/17 and $120m in 2017/18.

“These indicative levy cuts represent a total saving for New Zealanders of around $500m, and will be spread across the motor vehicle, work and earners accounts,” Kaye said.

The move comes after criticism of the Government for not cutting as far last year as officials had recommended.

Kaye said the cuts in the upcoming Budget were based on current financial projections and a funding direction which saw all the accounts heading towards a solvency band of between 100 and 110 per cent . Read more »