Ugly costs ahead for ACC funders

October 11th, 2009 at 8:10 am by David Farrar

Grahame Armstrong in the SST looks at the bad news:

Cabinet will tomorrow approve a bailout plan that also aims to safeguard ’s financial future. The proposed changes will be open to public discussion for four to five weeks before makes recommendations to the government. …

Wage earners currently pay an ACC levy of 1.7% of what they earn, up to $110,000 (any income above that does not attract a levy). That is set to rise to 2.5%.

The Sunday Star-Times understands the ACC levy for a family earning $38,000 is likely to rise by $304 a year, plus an extra $52 to register the family car and 4c a litre more at the fuel pump.

If the government chooses not to increase the ACC petrol excise, which is now 9c a litre, the ACC component of registering a car, now $168, will go up even more – possibly by as much as $107.

Someone on the average wage of $45,000 will pay $360 more a year to ACC, plus the extra fuel and vehicle registration costs. The ACC levy for those on $65,000 will go up about $520 a year while those earning $85,000 will pay $680 more.

This is all because Labour kept adding on more and more entitlements, but didn’t fund them. It was fiscal folly. Don’t think this is just about the investment losses.

ACC chairman told the Star-Times ACC’s debt was worth about $3000 for every New Zealander, and it was going to take a “hard-nosed” approach – and possibly up to 10 years – to get it into a sustainable position. This would require “substantial” levy increases and legislative change to get people off the scheme and back to work quicker.

“In the last five years we’ve lost $9b. We need to act today because this liability is like a mortgage – if we don’t start paying it off tomorrow it gets bigger by $700 million-$800 million a year.”

Yes, the time has come to get the scheme under control. It really is about saving ACC, because if no changes were made the increased levy payments would be even more horrific.

ACC Minister said the choices for the government were “pretty ugly”.

“It is inevitable there will be levy increases,” he said. “The government’s preferred approach is to get savings out of ACC operationally and out of pulling back on some of the welfare-type entitlements … Without change, ACC is on course to go broke.

It has changed from a well intentioned scheme which provided support if you had an accident and were off work for a few weeks, to a massive extension of the welfare state.

Labour’s ACC spokesman said the situation was not as gloomy as the government was projecting. The ACC’s liabilities and costs were increasing but it was also the country’s biggest insurer, and the cost blow-out could not simply be blamed on poor management.

Oh yes we are going to believe Labour’s projections on this.

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72 Responses to “Ugly costs ahead for ACC funders”

  1. Manolo (13,327 comments) says:

    Another “Greek present” from socialist Labour.

    An ideal opportunity to overhaul ACC and open it up to competition. Wasn’t this what a previous National government did?
    The time has come for National to show some pro-business spirit and start differentiating itself from the previous socialist lot.

    I don’t have any faith in Nick Smith, ETS’s intellectual father, but surely someone in Cabinet must be capable of pushing for real ACC reform. It’s not too much to ask, is it?

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  2. CharlieBrown (889 comments) says:

    How ironic, this will put a huge dent to any tax decrease John Key brought in. Why can’t he cut spending somewhere else to fund this? Why can’t he cut entitlements right back? Why can’t he open ACC to competition?

    When National got elected they promised a whole bunch of tax decreases, they only introduced one decrease which has its net benefet reduced because of this. They deemed the further tax cuts he promised unaffordable, so he removed them. Yet he has only managed to cut back the increase in government spending that labour bought in by 0.3% (the last I heard).

    When will national voters wake up and smell the cheese, John Key is a traitor to traditional national party voters.

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  3. dimmocrazy (286 comments) says:

    Another fine opportunity to show some gonads and cut the fandangling government out of trying to do business. These sort of schemes have no place anywhere near politicians, who will always and ever try to use and rort anything that includes cashflows to either enrich themselves, their mates, or buy votes.

    An independent commission of inquiry (INDEPENDENT !!) is also necessary. Nick Smith the communist is not to be trusted anymore than Frau Klark on this one.

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  4. big bruv (13,217 comments) says:

    One mans “bail out” is another mans tax increase.

    Neville Key promised us tax cuts, instead we are now faced with having more money stolen from us to fund an organisation that is being systematically ripped off by so called medical professionals and assorted others.

    A real National government would see any increase as going against it’s beliefs and principals, a real conservative government would look at this as a once in a lifetime opportunity to break ACC down and start again, what a pity we do not have that government, what a pity we have a bunch of socialist wankers who are more concerned about staying in power than doing what is right.

    Never again do I want to hear another National party apologist or cheer leader talk about how Klark and Kullen “wasted” the last nine years, in eleven short months Neville Key and the rest of his socialist MP’s have passed up numerous chances to start on the long road to recovery, I would go as far as to suggest that in eleven months Key as “wasted” more chances than Klark and Kullen had in nine years.

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  5. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,790 comments) says:

    Well, it’s so nice to hear from the chest thumpers of the uber right who want everything done yesterday and who seem to be more interested in name calling than rational thought. One can almost see them swinging from one tree to the next.

    The report cites a raft of possibilities, none of which are yet in place so I suggest you save your spittle for later on. No doubt you will all make rational submissions during the ‘discussion’ period. When you do, you might consider the wisdom of desisting from use of terms such as ‘Neville Key’ or ‘wankers’ or ‘traitor’ or ‘communist.’ You might even have a chance of being listened to.

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  6. Michael E (274 comments) says:

    Memo to: Nick Smith

    If the choice you face is levying bigger costs to cover the extra ACC entitlement, then I want to be able to choose my accident insurer, and I’ll choose my entitlements and excess, just like I do with my house, contents and car insurance.

    Don’t worry about Labour complaining about it, you just need to remind them who it was that left you in this mess.

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  7. Inventory2 (10,092 comments) says:

    Did The Cook not feed you this morning Adolf? Fair enough though – and MichaelE – good, constructive suggestion.

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  8. gravedodger (1,509 comments) says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if someone from the MSM would challenge the wanker parker( with a small p to go with the rest of his miserable personna) for his supercilious political rejoinder to what IS A MASSIVE PROBLEM with the out of control extensions to what is an accident and the part he and his socialist mates whose only motovation was to present as big a vote gathering and retaining program to keep their feet and snouts in the trough at the further expense of productive wealth creators.

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  9. CharlieBrown (889 comments) says:

    Adolf Fiinkensein – Good point, I take back some (but not all) of what I said above re ACC and John Key, and will wait till the changes are announced.

    What I said re Key cancelling tax cuts… well that is true. Hence I really do feel he is a traitor. He doesn’t seem to have done one thing that is true to a center marginally right government. His policies are left of center, or center at best.

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  10. big bruv (13,217 comments) says:

    And quick as a flash the chief cheer leader Adolph comes rushing to defend the actions of “his teams” captain.

    Adolph does not seem to mind that Key and the Nat’s are Labour in drag, Adolph does not give a toss that we have gone from one bunch of socialist wankers to the next without skipping a beat, just as long as his team wins is all that seems to matter.

    Well you go on sticking your head in the sand Adolph, meanwhile there are some of us who quite rightly get highly pissed off at being lied too, some of us do not excuse being told one thing by Neville and voting for him based on those promises only to have those promises “gone by lunchtime”

    I despise socialists with a passion, however I grudgingly admire the way they stick to their beliefs and principals, having said that, there is one group of people who I detest even more and they are tribal voters.
    Tribal voters will excuse anything their team does just as long as it keeps the other team out of office, tribal voters are the reason this nation suffered under Muldoon and Clark, tribal voters are the reason we are rapidly becoming a third world nation yet tribal voters are blissfully unaware just how mind numbingly fucking stupid they are and how much damage they do.

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  11. CharlieBrown (889 comments) says:

    Everybody, what do you think is the likely path National is going to turn down for ACC? Based on his performance in government so far he is going to increase the levy and increase car registration. Privatising ACC or even opening ACC up to competition is too radical and will stir up the left, drastically reducing entitlements will not fly either.

    Perhaps if we are lucky he will borrow to pay for it and leave the problem for the next government to deal with it.

    The reason why people are getting so mad with key are below:
    * He promised tax cuts over many years, cancelled that as that was the pragmatic thing to do (I would have been OK with this given the current situation if he at least also cut back government spending a decent amount as well)
    * Promised to get rid of Maori seats
    * Reducing peoples freedoms (banning the best cold medication)
    * Increased Road user charges on small diesels

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  12. starboard (2,463 comments) says:

    ..the billion that cullen wasted on the train set could of been tossed into acc instead…stave off the wolfs for at least a fortnight…

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  13. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    ACC is simply an expensive proxy for IRD & MSD functions. If it were truely ‘insurance’ then, as MichaelE mentioned, I would be free to choose the levels, excesses and exclusions that suited me, from a range of providers.

    As a small business owner I will be hit from levy increases as an employer and employee. As a driver and the provider of a car for my wife, and another for my teenage kids to share it’s hurt gonna like hell.

    All this would be bearable if there was evidence of this government taking real, structural steps to reduce the bloated state.

    But they’re not, so it isn’t.

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  14. Lindsay (141 comments) says:

    Isn’t Adolf bailing out anyway?

    Charlie Brown, you aren’t trying hard enough. What about ignoring the anti-smacking referendum, calling WFF ‘socialism by stealth’ and then embracing it, vowing to keep the super qualifying age at 65 when other countries are raising it, supporting silly legislation like gang patch bans, telling the public they will have to bankroll the ETS, promising to toughen up on welfare (DPB, Sickness and Invalid benefits) and doing zilch.

    As DPF says ACC has grown into an extension of the welfare state. Taxpayer funded schemes only ever grow because they change people’s values over time. At the outset people have an ethic about only claiming when it is absolutely legitimate. But the more they see others claiming, and the more money they are asked to stump up, the more likely they are to claim themselves. Apart from Chilean type reforms or complete privatisation the only other answer is to limp on with ever increasing costs. It’s not sustainable.

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  15. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    More jobs gone, more businesses closed , more product made in China(no ACC.)
    BB I agree with you about the tribal nature of idiots. Its because they simply can’t think for themselves so they parrot the party line often enough to believe themselves. I have a tenant like that who is about to be evicted. Tells so many lies and is extremely good at it, but believes her own lies. Obviously at tribal voter(labour cause she is a solo mother on a benefit which pays her an accommodation allowance which she fails to pass on the her landlord and doesn’t pay her rent. Says it all really.

    All the ACC bills for next year are hitting businesses presently. One of ours is based on last years staffing levels of five., but we only have one now so there is some major adjustments in their accrual estimates that have yet to be bought to account. Another great loss next year.

    Open ACC up again so we can have some sunlight on the process.
    From my observation of a couple of claimants they are incompetent in their case management by thousands of dollars.

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  16. tvb (4,196 comments) says:

    This dreadful scheme is a fiscal timebomb. No one else has copied the thing. Get rid of it.

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  17. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    A friend of mine had bad teeth and paid a fortune to his local dentist to have them repaired.

    An acquaintance of mine got drunk one night, fell face first on the pavement and knocked out his front teeth. He had implants fitted under ACC.

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  18. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    BB, must be approaching the time when even DPF will begin to question the affiliation to tribal politics.

    Charlie Brown; This is par for the course standard National politics. Look back and see that the only Nat. MP to really make a difference was Bill Birch and even I didn’t like him much. Ruth (Mouth and Trousers) carried on a bit from Douglas but the only person to make a substantial change to both the politics and the fiscal future of NZ was Roger Douglass and friends.

    Labour is essentially corrupt and the Nats. consider themselves to be the natural entitled leaders and promote privilege.

    Think about who you vote for when you next get that opportunity.

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  19. Murray M (455 comments) says:

    I am so glad my country of residence for tax purposes is Australia.

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  20. nickb (3,658 comments) says:

    FFS National.
    Putting Nick Smith in charge of anything is a sure recipe for disaster.

    This fucking ACC levy increase will more than likely eat up most of the tax cut we received this year, be prepared for car rego’s to go up to $400 etc.

    BB, agree with you re: tribal voters. Adolf you seem to be a bit blinded by your love of blue; apparently us naive JK believers voted for “change” and “a brighter future” (whatever that means) but all we are getting is more of the same. Surely you are a smart enough guy to realise this.

    And it is also time to stop blaming everything on Labour, sure they fucked up royally, but the Nats have had a year in power, more than enough time to start making big change. Come on JK, wheres that hidden agenda?

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  21. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    Not only a year in power but 9 LOOOOONG years in opposition to figure out what needed doing. Too many lame duck cabinet ministers I’m afraid. Time for some change.

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  22. nickb (3,658 comments) says:

    “Not only a year in power but 9 LOOOOONG years in opposition to figure out what needed doing. ”

    Haha, exactly Viking.
    Surely after 9 years in opposition, deep down you’d have some strong and fierce ideas on what needed changing from what the socialist basketcases had left us, and wouldn’t be prepared just to fly with the breezes of public opinion. Surely you’d make the hard decisions? Surely you wouldn’t be cautious so as to not frighten the horses, and just to be re-elected?

    Surely?

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  23. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    Isn’t Nick Smith a ginga or do I just need a new TV?

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  24. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Oh be done with the fucking thing and shut it down, cut our loses while we still can. Failing that they mos well raise the hammer and sickle and take all our wealth as this will be the only way they can keep this con on track.

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  25. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    A friend of mine had bad teeth and paid a fortune to his local dentist to have them repaired.

    4. There should be no dental habits and oral
    conditions that preclude the use of implants,
    such as:
    • poor oral hygiene habits
    • bruxism
    • severe ulceration or erosive lesions
    • temporomandibular joint disorder
    • history of facial fractures (which may preclude the placement
    of implants, at least in the immediate future).

    An acquaintance of mine got drunk one night, fell face first on the pavement and knocked out his front teeth. He had implants fitted under ACC.

    1. The oral condition at the time of injury should
    be good
    • Existing teeth should be in good order, in an otherwise
    healthy mouth.
    • Apart from the teeth missing as a result of injury, there
    should be no other edentulous spaces in a similar position
    and in the same arch as that of the proposed implant.
    • The periodontal status of the mouth should be generally
    healthy.
    • There should be no infections in the mouth that present a
    risk to implant survival.
    • The claimant has an auditable history of regular dental check
    ups, suggestive of the clients motivation to maintain their
    teeth.

    ACC Dental Implant
    Guidelines

    And;

    6. There should be no health or clinical
    contraindications that may compromise success
    • The general health of the claimant should be good.
    • The claimant should not be suffering from any of the
    following medical conditions:
    – severe systemic disease, including leukaemia and
    collagen disorders such as lupus erythematosis and
    scleroderma
    – insulin-dependent diabetes
    – chronic nephritis.
    • The claimant should not be undergoing any of the following
    treatment or:
    – long-term steroid therapy
    – radiation therapy to potential implant site
    – anticoagulants
    – haemodialysis
    – heart surgery (within last six months)
    – on medication that contra indicates implant success
    – be a smoker.

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  26. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,790 comments) says:

    Big Bruv, you can do what you like. No bugger will vote for you so the rest of the country will survive.

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  27. Manolo (13,327 comments) says:

    “Isn’t Adolf bailing out anyway?”

    Yes, he’ll be rooting for Kevin Rudd’s government, so similar to Key’s, from Adelaide in a not so distant future.

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  28. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    I don’t understand why, when National and ACT have the numbers, they simply don’t dismantle ACC like an old clock? Christ, it’s not often you have a majority under MMP; enough votes to do what you want.

    But alas, Nick Smith and the Tories just seem intent on tinkering around the edges AGAIN.

    And DPF, these comments are priceless:

    The time has come to get the scheme under control. It really is about saving ACC…

    It has changed from a well intentioned scheme which provided support if you had an accident and were off work for a few weeks, to a massive extension of the welfare state.

    Get the scheme under control? Saving ACC? Good intentions (as opposed to great incentives)?

    Of course it was always going to end up as a massive extension to the welfare state. That’s what “well intentioned” schemes do.

    You seem to be spending too much time on Great Barrier with the sandlewearers!

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  29. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    God that is a worry cha reading that list of diseases I seem to have most of them. Fortunately my huge consumption of spirituous liquor has kept the tooth decay under control so with any luck I should get a set of choppers on the state when the last rotten stumps fall out of my head. Thank God for socialism I say . :)

    And isn’t Nick a nice little boy then.

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  30. Kimble (4,375 comments) says:

    I am fucking sick and tired of people bleating about the canceled tax cuts. GROW THE FUCK UP! This isnt a fucking GAME! This is our countries future we are talking about.

    The economy and fiscal situation of the government was worse than expected, canceling the tax cuts was the right thing to do. Get the FUCK over it.

    What would you prefer? Would you prefer John Key acted like Helen Clark? That’s what you are asking for. Because you KNOW Clark and Cullen would have gone ahead with the tax cuts regardless of what was best for the country. THEY would do ANYTHING to hold onto power, even if it meant screwing over the country in the long run.

    Key and Co. did what was right, and you mouth breathing fucktards whining about losing a relatively small part of the tax cuts can go fuck yourselves, because I would much rather a leader that broke an election promise for the good of the nation than one who would do the opposite.

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  31. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    Kimble, I’d like to see a commitment to bring public spending under control. Not tinkering at the edges, but structural reform of our bloated state machine. Instead the taxpayer is – again – being told to brace him/herself for the brunt of the pain. Perhaps those bemoaning the cancellation of the cuts would be silent or even supportive if they saw the government making the tough decisions.

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  32. Elijah Lineberry (306 comments) says:

    Kimble, the reason the fiscal situation is so bad is because the National party are spending too much money.

    Stop spending so much and the books balance, stop spending even more and we can have massive tax cuts.

    There is nothing ‘intrinsic’ about the need for any Government programme, nothing which cannot be very simply abolished to save money.

    http://www.nightcitytrader.blogspot.com

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  33. nickb (3,658 comments) says:

    Kimble I would rather John Key cut taxes AND cut spending on the thousands of useless commissions, regulations, SOE’s, civil servants, spin doctors etc that are paid for DIRECTLY OUT OF MY TAXES.

    From the tone of your comment I can only presume you have never been involved in any productive role in society, probably some “policy analyst” who if we had a real nats governmnet, would have been sacked already.

    Please don’t be so sanctimonious in the future, you clearly have no idea how much our small businesses, self employed etc are hurting under the thumb of a massive out-of-control governmnet. Grow a fucking brain, you are as bad as all the assorted cheerleaders out there.

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  34. Kimble (4,375 comments) says:

    “And it is also time to stop blaming everything on Labour, sure they fucked up royally, but the Nats have had a year in power, more than enough time to start making big change”

    And SHIT like this is just infantile. National didnt win the election by appealing to National voters. They won by taking votes off Labour. When Labour tried to demonise Key and said that National would strip the public service bare Key did the right thing and said there wouldnt be massive changes in their first term. Its still the first term.

    If National had come in and made huge changes, they would have lost the next election, its as simple as that.

    It is as if thats what some of you idiots actually want! You prefer being in opposition. Because then you get to whine about everything? Is that it?

    Did you actually think National was going to win the election and immediately turn around and privatise ACC? Are you thick?

    It was never going to happen. National said it wasnt going to happen. It hasnt happened. Why are you surprised? Why are you still complaining they havent done it yet?

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  35. Elijah Lineberry (306 comments) says:

    I would rather National loses the next election if they will not cut spending or taxes when in Government.

    A brief spell in Government (taking ‘thinking people’ for granted) followed by another 9 years in opposition (wondering where they went wrong) would serve them right!

    http://www.nightcitytrader.blogspot.com

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  36. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    “There is nothing ‘intrinsic’ about the need for any Government programme, nothing which cannot be very simply abolished to save money.”

    You overlook the ‘intrinsic’ need to regain the treasury benches once lost young Elijah. All belief and high principle are subservient to that need. Witness the dillemma our present leader faces having promised the world to the voters to get there.

    I find it interesting that the first promise to get the boot was the one that made we (his supporters) vote for him, namely tax cuts. Seems that he takes us for granted and continues to woo the losers of society by perpetuating Auntys failed policies.

    He treads dangerous ground IMHO maybe Sir Bob has read it right re the next election.

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  37. Kimble (4,375 comments) says:

    “From the tone of your comment I can only presume you have never been involved in any productive role in society, probably some “policy analyst” who if we had a real nats governmnet, would have been sacked already.”

    Fuck off and die of aids nickb. You dont know sht, i have never worked for the government and I have never even claimed a benefit. I HAVE worked in a small business, several in fact, and have had to deal with ACC in every single one of them.
    From your tone I presume you dont have two working brain cells to rub together.

    Elijah, no the reason the fiscal situation is so bad is because Labour spent too much and to win the election National had to agree not to cut that spending. And while there may be few things Governments can provide better than the private sector it is definitely not true that it is simple to abolish them.

    “I would rather National loses the next election if they will not cut spending or taxes when in Government.”

    Then you are an idiot and a traitor to the side of the political spectrum you say you believe in.

    gooner, I would like to see that too. But I dont think it is something that can be sold to New Zealanders at the moment. I want to see the average New Zealander be skeptical about goverment spending, but after a decade of it being their bread and butter it is unlikely to happen. This National government needs to be in power for a decade or more, for the sake of the country. If Labour get in too soon they will inevitably unwind the good deeds already done and fuck us all over once again.

    If National make huge changes, they will be out the door very quickly and that does no one except Labour and their union puppet masters any good.

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  38. CharlieBrown (889 comments) says:

    Kimble – I am fucking sick and tired of people bleating about the canceled tax cuts. GROW THE FUCK UP! This isnt a fucking GAME! This is our countries future we are talking about.

    What other measures did Key take to fix up the fiscal situation? What other areas did he cut back on? When the only real cost saving measures was to cancel tax cuts after government spending had effectively doubled over 9 years people get pissed. As I said before, alot of people that are pissed with him now would have felt alot more pragmatic about it had he also cut other areas of spending that needed it!

    Key promised tax cuts over several years as well as promising not to privatise anything or cut welfare spending, yet the only one of those three promises he chose to break was the tax cuts. Key isn’t being pragmatic, he is taking the easy way out.

    And Kimble, its nice to see you have such an extensive vocabulary, you really highlight the versatility of the word “Fuck”, it makes your points seem so much more intelligent than the rest.

    Lindsay – another point i forgot was the banning of pseudoephedrine. A very effective solution to stopping p use (hehe yeah right).

    Viking – I disagree, I thought Richardson would have been great if she had more chances and that Bill Birch (one of the muldoon worshipers I think) was almost like key… do nothing. It would have been interesting to see Shipley last longer, wasn’t she the one who opened up ACC to competition?

    I hope I’m wrong but I don’t see Key taking any brave measures with this ACC problem. I would love to see it stripped bare to only cover whats needed, and open it up to individual underwriting like any other insurance. At the moment, ACC is more of a “Stupidity” insurance.

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  39. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    Then again of course NZ is a nation of losers, whingers and bludgers so Johnny may have read us right after all.

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  40. Elijah Lineberry (306 comments) says:

    Johnboy and Kimble – you chappies are both correct about having to engage in pragmatism to win a General Election, and that the National party did so last year.

    I prefer to ‘trust the people’ to support low taxes over high, limited Government over big, more freedom over less and that you do not need to bribe people to win a General Election.

    If you need to con people, and continue to con them once elected, then perhaps that is the wrong direction to be going in; solving the problems of ACC could be done at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning if they really wanted to.

    http://www.nightcitytrader.blogspot.com

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  41. Kimble (4,375 comments) says:

    CharlieBrown why are you being so dense?

    When you have to choose between established welfare spending and established state ownership on the one hand, and potential tax cuts on the other, which is the easiest to change?

    And of course, the fact that National had to woo a NZ public drunk of Labour’s largess means that the promises to them are more valuable than those to their own supporters, ldo.

    You call it the easy way out. I call it thinking long-term. It doesnt do us any good to have Labour back in a couple of years. Stop whining about how hard living in the real world is.

    Are the rest of the tax cuts (dont forget how small those subsequent cuts were) worth losing the next election?

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  42. Kimble (4,375 comments) says:

    “I prefer to ‘trust the people’ to support low taxes over high, limited Government over big, more freedom over less and that you do not need to bribe people to win a General Election.”

    9 years of a Labour government and the perpetual popularity of Helen Clark as PM serves to show how misplaced your trust is.

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  43. Kimble (4,375 comments) says:

    “solving the problems of ACC could be done at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning if they really wanted to.”

    Stop living in a fantasy world. ACC cannot be fixed over night. And even if it could, the costs of fixing it in the long term would outweigh the benefits.

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  44. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    True Kimble but I really am just getting fucking tired of living in a bloody country that is moulded in the likness of the Helen’s of this world.

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  45. CharlieBrown (889 comments) says:

    Kimble… 1.5 billion dollars of spending on fibre to the home is a luxury that we don’t need. The potential cost of not cutting income tax’s to something more equitable could be very high.

    Key has to make some brave decisions, and the sooner the better. What difference does it make if he cuts welfare spending now or in 6 years? Its going to be as unpopular then as it is now.

    If Key wants to make a positive difference, he has to make some unpopular decisions. History shows that the public understand some of these unpopular decisions. Remember, the mother of all budgets was delivered at the beginning of the last national government! Roger Douglas didn’t lose labour an election, and a good deal of his changes last till this very day.

    I get the feeling that Key is more concerned at being a 9 year pm than actually making a positive difference. I would rather see a 1 term national government that makes some real difference than a 3 term do nothing government. In fact, he has thrown away the perfect environment to make some of these harsh decisions, people are still tired of labour, even if key sold nz rail, privatised ACC, kept tax cuts, I doubt it would have effected the next election.

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  46. Whafe (652 comments) says:

    I am still flabbergasted over this ACC BS, over 4 Billion in the red….. It is time ACC had an overhaul. Enough is enough….

    Kimble, you make some good points, we need a marathon from National, not a 100M sprint…

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  47. nickb (3,658 comments) says:

    “Did you actually think National was going to win the election and immediately turn around and privatise ACC? Are you thick?”

    You seem to be one of those people that think we should still cheer for National just because they are not “the enemy”. I am most certainly not a National supporter anymore, not after their last year, and am quite apolitical in the sense of following a political party. I just want the government out of my life.

    I for one, am sick of gutless politicians, sick of bludgers that think I should pay for other people’s healthcare, children, benefits etc. I am sick of corrupt politicians, I am sick of having my and my hard working families’ taxes taken off them to pay for fucking useless government trinkets, comnmissions, and quangoes.

    But most of all Kimble, I am sick of gutless apologists like you, apologising for big-government nanny statists. At least with Labour they admitted being big-government fanatics. I can’t see any difference between Labour and National at this point in time.

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  48. Manolo (13,327 comments) says:

    Political pragmatism aside, the point to consider is how ineffective the current National Party government has been to cut expenditure, let alone show mettle. They’ve pandered to the Maori Party so often, and will continue to do so as long the “coalition” continues.

    From that perspective and up to this moment there is NO the difference between Labour and National.

    So far, John Key appears to be a timid leader, reluctant to make the hard calls required on ETS, ACC. These two are good examples of indecisiveness, when he’s simply passed the buck to the incompetent Nick Smith.

    Kimble, please stop apologising for Key’s government shortcomings and lack of principles.

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  49. nickb (3,658 comments) says:

    Exactly Manolo.
    I am amazed to see people out and about who praise John Key for things they would have moaned about if Helen and Sullen had done it.

    National is going down the same socialist, big spending, high taxation path as Labour took us, with a few tweaks and a bit of tinkering here and there. In the main it is the same old story.

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  50. Pete George (22,754 comments) says:

    Nick, National has always been quite right-centrist. Anyone thinking that as soon as National got elected they would lurch the country to the far right were wishful thinking. There were clear signals that there would be a moderate start to their time in government. Good government is like making good cheese, it takes time and care.

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  51. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    Still lets face it. They may be bloody boring and socialists in drag but they sure beat the Helen and Micky show.

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  52. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    No good making good cheese if we are all either dead or left home and gone to Australia. Add some sort of CGT and or land tax, more high interest rates from bunter Bollard and there’s no reason to stay.
    What bothers me is that these guys don’t seem to know or have learn’ t anything from history. History shows that the best way to raise our GDP and enliven our business and stop people investing in tax minimization is to lower taxes.
    Worked before and will work again if only they had the balls to try. But Billy Double Dipton is ok so never mind the rest of us. eh.

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  53. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    Kimble said:

    gooner, I would like to see that too. But I dont think it is something that can be sold to New Zealanders at the moment. I want to see the average New Zealander be skeptical about goverment spending, but after a decade of it being their bread and butter it is unlikely to happen. This National government needs to be in power for a decade or more, for the sake of the country. If Labour get in too soon they will inevitably unwind the good deeds already done and fuck us all over once again.

    As much as I don’t like to admit it, you’re right Kimble. I’m man enough to accept that. I just need a good friggin grizzle every now and again and Kiwiblog seems the perfect place for it.

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  54. kisekiman (224 comments) says:

    Trouble is the milk’s gone bad. ACC is a millstone around the country’s collective neck. The Nats need to show some gumption and deal to it.

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  55. Kimble (4,375 comments) says:

    Thanks Gooner.

    Anyone who follows what I have been saying for years ought to know that I am not a leftie, or a fan of big government, and I am certainly not simply an apologist for my “team”. I am a rational adult who can put off gratification now for greater gain later, and that is what dealing with ACC rather than abolishing it, tolerating large government spending, and foregoing some small tax cuts actually is.

    Most people here are just screaming in the wilderness. Oh WHY cant the world be how I want it to be?

    Don’t you lot think that if it was easy to do, ACC would be gone by now? If it would have no ramifications that taxes would have been cut back to the minimum, or that all the needless spending would have been shut off? Do you think National and Key are really just communists in disguise? Grow up. National is governing good enough at the moment, and they do not have enough political capital stored to get most of what they want approved by New Zealand.

    Thats something you lot have to learn, not many in this country can appreciate the benefit of small government. Most of them have grown up at a time in which the government was ever present in their lives. Most other New Zealanders see a problem and think that the government should do something about it.

    National may have won the election, but that doesn’t mean the Right has won the hearts and minds of all New Zealanders. I doubt it would even be half. It certainly doesnt mean that most people would agree with a small government agenda.

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  56. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    If Stiansny was put in charge of NZ do you think he would sit on his thumbs waiting for a nice day to fix the bloody mess. Not likely.

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  57. Manolo (13,327 comments) says:

    “..National is governing good enough at the moment,..”
    I disagree. Obviously, your expectations are quite different from mine.

    If Key’s timidity is what you call “good” government, God save NZ from the a bad one.

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  58. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    Kimble – I’ve been following your comments for a few years and today’s salvo just seemed a little hyperventilated by comparison with 99.9% of your other comments.

    I agree about the Nats need to build political capital, but also feel they’re moving too far to the left to achieve that. He’s what I think may be going on.

    Key figures that any policy move to the right at the moment will cost two ‘at risk’ National voters, and every move the left may gain two ‘at risk’ voters from the left, and loose another grumpy rightie to the right ie to Act . In other words his theoretical mandate gets stronger.

    If this is the game plan then IMO the risks here are that (a) then economy could move beyond salvage while this capital building is going on, and (b) if there are too many Nat voter demonstrably moving to Act the National-but-swinging voters could move back to Labour to ‘balance’ this move right. In that case there’d no increased mandate but an economy that in ready for the knacker’s yard.

    So the challenge is to balance the need to keep the economy from completely tanking, while simultaneously building the political capital needed to initiate and see though the structural changes that NZ so desperately needs.

    Obviously this is all hypothesis, but if there’s any truth in it I suggest that Key is tending too much towards building political capital and not enough towards keeping the economy away from the knacker’s yard.

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  59. Kimble (4,375 comments) says:

    Like I said getstaffed, I am sick of people moaning about the tax cuts as if they were sacrosanct. People have lost perspective on how large those canceled tax cuts were and are way overstating their importance. They are like children moaning that their pocket money has been reduced and while ignoring that it was cut because their dad got laid off.

    I agree, the more centrist National looks the better they will do in the next election. It is what worked for Labour. Remember how centrist (relatively) they looked back then? National has to do the same. Labour got their foot in the door, then over the next decade managed to move the country more to the left but making everyone a beneficiary. It took an almighty big stuff up for them to lose their grip on power.

    I disagree that there is much National can do to stop our economy tanking if it is going to tank. I am skeptical about any governments ability to direct the economy so political capital is much more important in my calculus. The best a government can do is get out of the way, but that doesnt mean they have to move as soon as possible. Slow and steady is how you boil the frog in this case.

    I dont have much of a problem with the current level of spending as I think it will at least move in the right direction. It might not come down in absolute terms, but it’s growth should slow down and give the rest of the country an opportunity to catch up. It is a lot easier to say no to new spending than it is to cut spending already in place. This is one of the reasons I think a decade of National governments is needed.

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  60. Kimble (4,375 comments) says:

    Manolo, I said good enough. Sure I want to see all the ideas that I think would improve NZ put into action, but unlike you lot of simpering twits I am willing to acknowledge that not everything can be done in the first term, or that it would be good if it was.

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  61. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    Apart from devising new ways to tax us,ETS,CGT LandTax, etc and removing more of our rights, cold pills,smacking, ignoring 87% of voters etc etc, what have they actually done that stands out. Oh yeh, he has visited with the worlds biggest socialist and looked stupid on yanky TV, smiles a lot which is nice but we are still getting poorer by the day.
    You call that progress.

    Kimble anyone can settle for mediocrity. Lets have some inspiration. What little was there before the election has dissappeared as the public servants and the low quality time serving politicians have slid back into the same old trough. A trough is a coffin with no ends in it. Do you want us all to get in with you?

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  62. Pete George (22,754 comments) says:

    Kimble I think you are sounding far to realistic for here.

    Viking, it’s not a matter of settling for mediocrity. You can’t expect a party out of government for nine years to come in and fix everything straight away. It’s not about fixing anyway, it’s about trying to move things in the right direction without overstepping, it’s easy to be caught out by unintended consequences.

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  63. big bruv (13,217 comments) says:

    Kimble

    I did not pick you for a cheer leader, I have read what you have to say about the ACC “bail out” (excuse to raise tax’s) and to be honest I am stunned.

    You seem happy to keep Labour’s level of spending, you are happy to see an increase in tax’s and it seems you are happy with the continuation of Labour’s abuse of our social welfare budget.

    The obvious question must be this, why the hell did you not vote for Helen Clark?

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  64. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    Pete George. Yes it is and the Nats always have. Not known for change, thats always been Labours task. Unfortunately this time it was the Feminist version based on the communist doctrine.

    More pressure is required to sprinkle sunlight onto their perks and rorts and make life a lot less comfortable and much more accountable.

    And just to prove my point about them here is an article written by Nick the Hopeless. Problem for him is that he wrote it a long while back and is following the script stolen from the socialists right down to the last detail. (I have already posted this in General debate but read it again.)

    If Nick Smith had been describing his emissions trading scheme he would have been spot on!

    Quote:
    Nelson/Marlborough Farming Column – December 2005
    Nick Smith
    Friday, 25 November 2005

    The appetite of Dr Cullen and this Government for more taxes is legendary, 43 new and increased levies and taxes have been introduced. The latest is the carbon tax. It will add 6c per litre to the price of petrol, 7c per litre to diesel, 6% to all power bills and put the price of coal and gas up by 9%.

    This week National launches the axecarbontax.co.nz campaign. The new finely balanced Parliament gives us the opportunity to send the carbon tax the way of the fart tax.

    The madness of the Government’s new carbon tax is that New Zealanders will be the only people in the world paying it. It will drive up the costs of living and undermine the competitiveness of New Zealand business for negligible environmental gain.

    Labour Ministers may take pride in being toasted at International Climate conferences for being so bold and brave, but there is no justification for New Zealand going out in the cold by itself on this issue.

    New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions made up only 0.4% of the global total and on a per capita basis our emissions are half those of countries like Australia and the United States. We are the only Southern Hemisphere country with binding legal obligations under Kyoto and giants like China and India have got off scot free.

    The carbon tax will cost the Nelson and Marlborough regions $25 million a year. We are particularly hard hit because industries like fishing, farming and forestry are big fuel consumers. The tax is particularly insulting to the forestry sector and those farmers who have woodlots because the Government has taken the carbon credits for themselves. Only a Labour Government would have the audacity to impose a carbon credit on the forester for his diesel use but steal the carbon credits from his growing forest.

    A further concern of the carbon tax is its impact on inflation, interest rates and the exchange rate. It will add to the costs of fuel and power and these flow right through the economy to basics like food. This puts pressure on inflation, which in turn drives up interest rates and the kiwi dollar. The Government’s carbon tax is a classic example of the way the Government is making things tougher for the productive exporting sector. It just makes their policies of 2006 being the ‘Year of Exports’ an exercise in shallow spin.

    It is also interesting to note who gets exempted from the carbon tax. Big industries like Colmalco, New Zealand Steel and Golden Bay Cement have the option of Negotiated Greenhouse Agreements (NGA’s). These are being done on the basis that such big players would relocate if imposed with the carbon tax. The flaw is that many small and medium businesses face exactly the same competition but just get dumped with the cost.

    These agreements also drag New Zealand back into the Muldoonist era of industries pleading special cases to Ministers and mates rates for those who cuddle (or at least don’t criticise) the Government.

    The worst aspect of the carbon tax is that it will not make one iota of difference to New Zealand’s emissions. We know from previous occasions when Labour raised the petrol tax that 6c per litre extra will not reduce consumption. Even Treasury’s briefing papers to the incoming Government conceded it would have a negligible effect. The only conclusion is that the carbon tax actually has nothing to do with Kyoto or climate change but is just an excuse for Dr Cullen to get his fingers deeper into the pockets of New Zealanders.

    National believes, with public support, we can defeat this new tax. ACT, United and NZ First all campaigned against it during the Election. Labour and the Greens do not have the numbers. The Maori Party may determine its fate. In Parliament however, the fart tax was killed off by people power and the carbon tax could fall the same way.

    The Nelson and Marlborough economies are struggling. The last thing we need is another $25 million being sucked out with this new tax. If you would like to assist the ‘axecarbontax’ petition and campaign, contact my office. We need to bury this lemon.

    Thankyou NZCPD.com

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  65. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    Viking2 – That’s a great find. I wonder how Nick Smith would respond to targeted questions about how he moved from that position to becoming the ETS cheerleader?

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  66. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    Get someone to ask the question in the house.

    Don’t thank me Muriel Newman was the finder/publisher at NZCPD.com

    This today from the newest news site in the country.
    http://www.sunlive.co.nz/9364a1.page
    Privately owned newspaper and now up to the minute newsite.

    Natural Born Rulers
    09 Oct 2009

    According to their website the National Party of New Zealand says, “The National Party was founded on principles of individual responsibility, private enterprise, and reward for individual effort. These principles are the only sure path to a society of personal freedom and rising standards of living for all.”

    Geez, if I’d known that I’d have voted for them. Actually, I’ve always known that the Nats have claimed to believe in the aforementioned principles; in fact once upon a time (my first vote as I recall) I did vote for them, just because of that. Early on in my voting career I began to see them demonstrate the opposite principles – especially when in power I might add: more regulation, increasing taxes, more interference, less freedom, more government, anyway you get the picture. So I began to wonder, why do they claim one thing but do another. Over time I simply stopped voting as I couldn’t countenance voting for something I hated simply because I hated the other choice too. My enemies’ enemy is not my friend!
    I’ve spoken to many National Party supporters – in my home, at parties, at social & and political gatherings and I can’t help but see similarities in them all.
    They include: A smugness that belies their intellectual vigour; an acute aversion to admitting their beloved National Party compromise their principles regularly; a distaste of the Labour Party, but not knowing why; none can point to a single term of a National government that didn’t leave us with a much bigger government than what we started with; and evasion, evasion, evasion. Oh yes, and they all seem to be white people with “manageable haircuts”, but I digress. It doesn’t seem to matter to these sops what National does or doesn’t stand for; it only seems to matter that the National Party is in power.
    So why is this important? “Surely you’re opposed to socialism?” I hear you ask. Well yes – I most emphatically am, but unfortunately the National Party is not an antidote; it is a major part of the problem – it is a friend of socialism, it aids socialism with its constant giving in to it and adoption of its ideas . The fight against socialism is a life and death struggle, any compromise only makes the socialist job easier. National Socialists – as I call them these days – always swim where the votes are; that’s why they look like the Labour Party in drag; if you want them to swim the way of protecting the right to private enterprise, private property, low taxation, less regulation, privatisation, and an overall much smaller government; then you must stop voting for them as they are. Until the day comes that they rediscover their stated constitutional principles, and stick to them proudly, then socialism and all its human misery will triumph – don’t be an accessory!

    If the “conservatives” do not stand for capitalism, they stand for and are nothing; they have no goal, no direction, no political principles, no social ideals, no intellectual values and no leadership to offer anyone.
    Yet capitalism is what the “conservatives” dare not advocate or defend. They are paralyzed by the profound conflict between capitalism and the moral code which dominates our culture: the morality of altruism. Capitalism and altruism are incompatible; they are philosophical opposites; they cannot co-exist in the same man or in the same society.
    Ayn Rand

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  67. Manolo (13,327 comments) says:

    “..unlike you lot of simpering twits I am willing to acknowledge that not everything can be done in the first term..”

    I know very well a full government’s agenda cannot be implemented over three years. However, and almost a third into its term, the National Party should’ve already started signalling its intention to move away from Labour’s socialistic path. So far it has not moved an inch towards that goal.

    ACC and ETS are the best examples of areas in urgent need of action and decision-making. What does Key’s government choose to do? 1) It has agreed to continue with the status-quo in one case (i.e., raise levies); and 2) It has decided to pass legislation that could erode our competitive edge for the sake of being the first country to do it.

    Key and Smith must know full well their ETS could cause great damage to NZ’s economy, and they are taking a huge gamble.

    Corrective action on those two fronts would be a good start. So far, Key and his team have failed miserably.

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  68. Whafe (652 comments) says:

    As I have said many times, Key cant carry on being all things to all people…. Wouldnt life be grand if we could be all things to all people… It is BS, it aint going to happen…

    For me what is hard when you boil it down is this. We can have a referendum and get say 86% etc (smacking, longer prison sentences etc etc) and the politicians of which we voted still think that 86% of NZ’ers dont know what they are talking about…

    This just leaves me well with a head like fruit salad…..

    Basically the vast majority of NZ’ers obviously really dont give a flying fuck what happens to their country..

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  69. Murray M (455 comments) says:

    Kimble correct me if I am wrong but the jist of your comments seems to be that concentrating on winning the next election is more important for John Key than actually putting what’s wrong with NZ right. He has millions in the bank, it’s not like he needs a job. If the productive members of NZ have to forego tax cuts, why shouldn’t the beneficiaries, the bludging, the malingering, the baby machines, the whinging Maoris, … also make a sacrifice.

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  70. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    Appears the Nats. are confortable in bed with the Lefty environmentalists. No doubt Smith is right in their.

    Gary Taylor: Housing initiative covers the bases
    4:00AM Monday Oct 12, 2009

    Two recent events are good for the environment.

    The first is the launch ceremony for the Hobsonville Point development. Hobsonville Point is the creation of a new community of 3000 dwellings on the former Hobsonville air base.

    It is a public-private partnership between the Hobsonville Land Company, a subsidiary of Housing New Zealand, and an Australian listed company, AVJennings.

    It is a greenfields development that when completed will be a small town the size of Devonport with a population of around 10,000. It is located within the Auckland metropolitan urban limits on the shores of the Upper Waitemata Harbour.

    It is a project that started under Labour, was reviewed by National and is now strongly supported by Housing Minister Phil Heatley.

    He turned the first sod with a 13-tonne digger and enjoyed it.

    It’s a development with some leading edge environmental elements.

    Houses will be properly insulated and solar oriented. There will be solar or heat pump hot water in every dwelling and they will be future-proofed for solar electricity when it becomes affordable. Every home will have a rainwater tank for grey water use. There will be a fast ferry link with downtown Auckland and good local bus connections. The village is designed for walking and cycling.

    The development will also have world-class telecommunications. In a joint venture with Vector, Hobsonville Point will have ultra-fast, fibre-optic broadband connections for homes, schools, and commercial premises. It will create 2000 jobs within the site including a signature boat-building industry, the result of a partnership with Waitakere City Council.

    Hobsonville Point will put into practice in Auckland many of the theories about best practice urban development. The first stage of the project is due for completion in 2011.

    The second event was the National Party’s Bluegreens forum in Taupo. This ginger group was formed in 1998 and now embraces 18 members of National’s caucus.

    It brings together progressive National Party members united in their interest in sustainable development.

    A number of environmental groups participated in the forum and there was constructive and open engagement on the big environmental challenges facing New Zealand including economic development, climate change, freshwater and co-governance arrangements with iwi.

    The Bluegreens is an interesting and worthwhile initiative.

    It has been embraced by many younger MPs and is clearly influential with some ministers but there is room for its influence to grow.

    * Gary Taylor is the chairman of the Environmental Defence Society http://www.eds.org.nz and a director of the Hobsonville Land Company.

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  71. aardvark (417 comments) says:

    If you want to know why ACC is really bleeding like a stuck pig, I can tell you (or you can check out my blog today).

    It’s got far less to do with what they’re paying out than the inefficiencies within the ACC bureaucracy I think.

    Besides, how can they really be spending too much when they told my wife and I to go to WINZ to get the money we need to obtain treatment for a case of medical misadventure that resulted in her incurring brain damage during an operation for another accident.

    ACC won’t pay a bean until we can prove to them that it wasn’t just coincidence that a blood clot and collapsed lung that occurred on the operating table was the cause of her hypoxia-induced brain damage.

    We’re supposed to pay for neurologists, MRI scans and all the other costs ($ thousands) and only once all that data is in will they *consider* a case for compensation.

    We don’t have the money — we had to cancel her neurologist appointment this morning.

    So much for NZ’s first-class health-care system and no-fault accident compensation system.

    Politicians are playing politics with people’s lives and it sucks.

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  72. Jared (4 comments) says:

    Given that alcohol use and abuse contributes both direclty and indirectly to a large amount of accidents. Why not introduce an ACC levy on alcohol? If there is already one, just increase it.

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