Radio NZ did an interview with a Dave Wooley on ACC this morning. I suspect they are going to interview a disgruntled person a day. Now I think it is fine to interview disgruntled people with ACC, but media should be balanced, and actually ask questions, not just allow one side of the story – especially as ACC can not talk about individual cases in the media generally.
Mr Wooley had a work related accident in 2006 and has just gone off ACC compensation. Radio NZ said his family of six now live off his wife’s salary of $26,000. For a start this is clearly false. They would get WFF of $363 a week (net) on top of that, plus possible accommodation allowance.
They also reported he gets $23 a week benefit and claims that half of that is $11.50 a week to live on. Radio NZ reported this as fact, and never asked him about WFF.
Not only did Radio NZ fail to ask about WFF, and allowed the repeated assertion of a family of six surviving on $26,000 a year, they did not ask a single question about why he was no longer getting ACC. No question about what the medical assessor determined. No question on what the independent review by Disputes Resolution Service found. No question about anything – just allowed him to say whatever he likes unchallenged.
I have said that some parts of the ACC culture do need changing, and they do. But this does not mean you accept without challenge every claim by every individual who thinks they should receive ACC support. That is not journalism. Next time I hope Radio NZ at least attempt to ask pertinent questions.