ACC to pay $20 million to Pike families

November 21st, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Audrey Young reports:

Mr English said that about $5 million had so far been paid by ACC to the families, on the same basis as any other family that suffers a workplace accident or death, and that the full support from ACC would amount to $20 million when paid.

This is why we have a no faults ACC system.

New Zealand Oil and Gas has already paid $25 million since the disaster for salaries, creditors and tunnel recovery. A resolution at its annual meeting in October to pay more was lost.

There are few companies that would voluntarily pay $25 million, when there was no legal reason for them to do so.

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44 Responses to “ACC to pay $20 million to Pike families”

  1. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    “This is why we have a no faults ACC system.”

    Except we don’t, see for example http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/9336589/Briscoes-fined-75k-for-customer-accident

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  2. thedavincimode (6,759 comments) says:

    Don’t forget the extra $3.4m from Cunny us.

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  3. ex-golfer (161 comments) says:

    Nice to see MSM finally showing how much the families will receive through the Governments statutory requirements.
    Now….how much was privately donated by people of NZ in various “sympathy” collections?

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  4. JC (956 comments) says:

    As at Feb 2011 the Pike River Coal Miners Trust had accepted over $7 million in donations and pledges.

    http://www.pikeriverdonations.org.nz/donation-update/

    JC

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  5. JC (956 comments) says:

    Oh, and NZ Oil and Gas donated $500,000 into the trust.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/pike-river-2010/62848/collection-for-nz-miners%27-families-at-welsh-test

    JC

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  6. Rich Prick (1,701 comments) says:

    Right, that should be the end of it then. And the last we see of or hear from Bernie Monk.

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  7. Ross Nixon (559 comments) says:

    I believe BNZ became the majority Pike River shareholder shortly (weeks to a few months) before the explosion. Where is their donation?

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  8. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    How much have the union(s) donated ?

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  9. ex-golfer (161 comments) says:

    I am starting to think that Bernie Monk and co may be rapidly losing the sympathy of many fair thinking New Zealanders

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  10. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    @Ross Nixon: so they bought in a few weeks before the problem, and presumably lost all their money, but they think they should be responsible for the accident? In that, in those few weeks, they should have done something? I don’t quite get that.

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  11. big bruv (13,888 comments) says:

    $20 million yet still Bernie Monks does nothing but moan.

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  12. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “There are few companies that would voluntarily pay $25 million, when there was no legal reason for them to do so.”

    Unless cunliffe phoned them. “you can do it the easy way or the hard way”
    “please great one, we will do it the easy way! 25 mill! thank you for your leniency”

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  13. Komata (1,191 comments) says:

    This of course now puts the leader of the NZ Labour party in an interesting position.

    Having opened his mouth in an attempt to win votes, (and danced on the dead while doing-so), he is now faced with an interesting statistic, namely that, eventually, due to the ‘no faults’ ACC system operating in New Zealand, the Pike River families will-have received $20 million.

    One wonders what Cunnliffe D. will now do, since if he follows through with his recent widely-publicised comments about ‘seeing the Pike River families fully compensated’ (despite the fact that they will have eventually received $20 million) he runs a certain risk of a reaction from a lot of Kiwi’s who are just a little-bit sick of the whole matter, and will probably say, enough is enough’.

    Perhaps it proves the accuracy of the old saw about opening mouth before engaging brain.

    It will be interesting to see how he tries to escape, and what excuses he will come up in the course of doing-so.

    Popcorn anyone?

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  14. Bill Ted (93 comments) says:

    The worst thing about these types of tragedies is that it’s inevitable some (not all) of the victims’ families decide they need to cash in financially. They claim no amount of money will bring their loved ones back and then get outraged when they don’t receive as much money as they think they should. Sadly, Bernie Monk has taken this path and you’re right, ex-golfer, he has well and truly exhausted the public’s sympathy. If anything, he’s tarnishing the names of those who died and that’s a shocker.

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  15. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    he runs a certain risk of a reaction from a lot of Kiwi’s who are just a little-bit sick of the whole matter

    Yeah it can get a little tiresome being reminded that 29 people died while working for a pernicious uncaring company.

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  16. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    It’s interesting what Mr Farrar conveniently failed to include from the article:

    “Under further questions from Mr Cunliffe, Mr English confirmed that fund managers at ACC and the Superannuation Fund were shareholders of New Zealand Oil and Gas, a large shareholder of Pike River Coal, and had voted against paying compensation to the Pike River families. … An order for $3.41 million in reparation to the victims’ families and two survivors was made in July by Judge Jane Farish who convicted Pike River Coal on health and safety charges.”

    So, in fact, a judge has ordered that the victims’ families be paid $3.41 million.

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  17. Rich Prick (1,701 comments) says:

    By a defendant that has no money. Good luck with enforcing that.

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  18. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Yes, Rich Prick, like a lot of commenters here, you’d prefer if the victims’ families took legal action to recover what’s rightfully theirs. Lawyers would welcome that.

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  19. Rich Prick (1,701 comments) says:

    Who are they going to pin Pike River’s conviction on ross69? They next person they see in the street? I had no idea criminal convictions were transferable.

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  20. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    The Herald is critical of Key:

    “At one time, John Key’s political antenna would have ensured the families of the men killed in the Pike River mining tragedy received compensation. Legal niceties would have been put to one side and the Prime Minister would have responded in a way that he sensed most New Zealanders would see as fair and just. In this case, at least, that instinct has deserted him and into the void has stepped the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. … The extent of Mr Key’s disconnection has been underlined by Labour Minister Simon Bridges’ revelations about the Cabinet discussion on the compensation issue. It had been brief and the moral argument for a payout had not even been raised, he said.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11160272

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  21. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    “There is a precedent in the $2.6 million paid by the government to the families of the 14 victims of the 1995 Cave Creek tragedy. In that instance, the Conservation Department took responsibility even though it was never prosecuted for its negligence, and its minister, Denis Marshall, resigned. Some of the parallels with Pike River are striking.”

    So, a prosecution isn’t even necessary for politicians to be able to do the right thing. At least voters know where they stand with this govt.

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  22. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    @ross69: I think you’re talking to yourself here. Nobody is denying that Pike Coal should pay the damages awarded. They appear to be bankrupt though. The thing you’re chasing is that someone other than Pike Coal should pay those damages. I’m not sure what your basis is for that, nor how that’s Key’s problem. The $20m already paid by the govt is a lot, NZers have donated $7m, and some of the companies that owned Pike have donated a chunk of money.

    Could you perhaps explain the amount that you think that should be paid so as to be “fair”? Do you have a number in mind, or is it just “more than they have already gotten”?

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  23. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    “So, in fact, a judge has ordered that the victims’ families be paid $3.41 million.”

    Again giving the lie to “no fault” ACC. It’s double jeopardy for the employer.

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  24. beautox (422 comments) says:

    @ross69 Bullshit. You can point to all sorts of parallels, but the fact is that Pike River was an industrial accident in a private company, not an accident in a public park, overseen by the government.

    Are you seriously suggesting that the govt should be responsible for every industrial accident? Even though ACC and others have already paid up $20million.

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  25. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Another editorial writer criticises the govt over it’s shameful decision not to pay compo.

    “Yes, the Government must be careful not to set a precedent; we can’t have it liable for every workplace casualty at a company it has a financial stake in. But we would also like to think that systematic failures on the part of the Government do not contribute to a workplace catastrophe on a regular basis.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/opinion/9425276/Compensation-when-its-due

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  26. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    It’s double jeopardy for the employer.

    Only for bad employers. As John Key would probably say: “Good employers have nothing to worry about.”

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  27. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    I’m not sure what your basis is for that, nor how that’s Key’s problem.

    Try reading before commenting. You’d obviously prefer it if the victims’ families were forced into taking legal action.

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  28. Rich Prick (1,701 comments) says:

    What ross69 and some in the media are actually arguing for is the socialisation of reparation orders following the criminal conviction of a respondent that can’t pay. Why just Pike River’s sentence? Because it had lots of media attention?

    What of burglarly victims who can’t get a cent from the reparation order against the offender, should those orders be socialised too at the expense of the taxpayer? Or is that just too bad because a burglarly isn’t sexy enough for a load of media attention?

    Socialists always run into these sorts of problems when they “feel” something ought to be done. They ought to think a little, rather than “feel” their way through an issue.

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  29. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Why is this not headlines in print, radio, and Tv. Are we being starved of facts in total by the left-wing journos? It sure is time there was something done about the irresponsible editorial bias in our so-called media. The public are being starved of facts and fed propaganda, by these Labour/Green supporting a/holes.

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  30. radvad (765 comments) says:

    I got sick of Bernie Monk a long time ago. Anyone would think this was the only tragedy ever the way he carries on.

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  31. Komata (1,191 comments) says:

    Ross69

    Re Your response to my post, specifically the statement: ‘Yeah it can get a little tiresome being reminded that 29 people died while working for a pernicious uncaring company’.

    Can you justify your statement please?

    Thanks

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  32. wikiriwhis business (3,998 comments) says:

    ‘I believe BNZ became the majority Pike River shareholder shortly (weeks to a few months) before the explosion. Where is their donation?’

    Being used to pay fines for gross over charging hehe

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  33. Akld Commercial Lawyer (165 comments) says:

    Um, quickly, the BNZ shareholding is a new one – they don’t show up in the table of substantial security holders I have seen. In any event, the banks all run nominee accounts for customers. From memory, the BNZ one is BNZ Investment Services Nominees Ltd.

    Typically, the beneficial holder will be a customer or customers (not the bank). That beneficial holder will be more likely to have made any donation in their own name – as did one international insurer I am aware of that had no exposure to Pike River. Instead, they have done business in NZ over some years and wanted to make a donation. They also made a donation to the mayoral relief fund in Chch on a similar basis.

    And as I posted yesterday, from what I have heard from Nic Davidson QC, I don’t think the trail of litigation is over yet. And from where I sit, Cave Creek is not a shabby analogy. Yes, there were others in the chain of causation, as the Commission reported identified, but it may well need the Courts to determine the extent of their culpability and liability. And I think we should be relaxed about these matters needing to be tested in Court, the issues are far from clear-cut and (before I get a of course a lawyer would say that) that ultimately is why we have a judicial system and an independent judiciary.

    If they succeed, the claimants stand to get a costs award.

    Better a process that tests the evidence than the sort of political posturing masquerading as a morality lesson seen in the MSM in recent days. Surely one benchmark must be, if all you have to support your cause is John Armstrong in the Herald – then you must be on shaky ground.

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  34. RRM (9,919 comments) says:

    Yeah it can get a little tiresome being reminded that 29 people died while working for a pernicious uncaring company

    I would have more sympathy if the calls were for that duplicitous little prick Whittal to be extradited to face a firing squad, rather than calls for the taxpayer to stump up a whole lot of “high-profile tragedy” extra compensation money on top of what victims of any other industrial “accident” would receive..

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  35. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    extra compensation money

    What are you referring to? We’re talking about what a judge – not a politician – decided the victims’ families were entitled to. Susan Couch received 300k from Corrections while victims of the Cave Creek disaster received 2.6 million from the govt.

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  36. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    Susan Couch received 300k from Corrections while victims of the Cave Creek disaster received 2.6 million from the govt

    And the famililes here are getting $20 million. What’s your point (assuming you have one)?

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  37. Komata (1,191 comments) says:

    Ross69

    Glad to see that you have returned to the fray.

    Can you please justify the statement you made in response to my post: ‘Yeah it can get a little tiresome being reminded that 29 people died while working for a pernicious uncaring company’.

    Thanks

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  38. Rich Prick (1,701 comments) says:

    Fuck ross, are you wilfully stupid. A criminal sentence (which includes reparation) does not vest in taxpayers just because an offender can’t pay. I’ll give you the benefit of doubt and assume you have confused the criminal culpability of an offender not connected to the Crown with a proximate civil liability possibly attaching to the Crown. But no doubt won’t get that so long as you remain stuck on being guided by your feelings rather than logical thought.

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  39. Rich Prick (1,701 comments) says:

    Just another point in this ongoing spectical of media-driven national self-fladulation, Bernie Monk and the “families” do need to disclose how much they’ve received from life insurance policies too, just before we as taxpayers are expected to open our wallets to appease your now, tiresome, losses. If they had standard policies for the industry, the “families” would have received sums that would make lotto winners feel short changed. Bernie, I’d love to hear from you once more, but just on that point.

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  40. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    tiresome, losses

    Yeah those bloody inconsiderate workers…

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  41. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    And the famililes here are getting $20 million…

    So, a few extra court-ordered dollars shouldn’t be a problem…especially since a precedent has already been set with Cave Creek and Susan Couch et al. What’s the problem?

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  42. flipper (4,060 comments) says:

    A always rossie69 talks shit.

    Go and put your head from whence it came – Cun*liffe';ds fundamental. orafice3.

    Shitheads, both.

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  43. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    So, a few extra court-ordered dollars shouldn’t be a problem…

    Thanks for confirming what I & others suspected: whatever amount the families receive, you would just say it should be more, for political reasons. Yes that’s very sensible and mature isn’t it.

    especially since a precedent has already been set with Cave Creek and Susan Couch et al. What’s the problem?

    A precedent that a court order made against a private company for its failings should be paid by the taxpayer? That would be a new precedent ross69 – one for more corporate cronyism and Govt bailing out of big business.

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  44. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    The pathetic deputy editor of the “Manawatu Standard” has just maligned Government and JK for dodging their obligations with compensation. These are the types of publications where any advertisers supporting them should be boycotted. We don’t need this type of dishonest propaganda being publicised by media controlled by lefties that make Sue Bradford appear a Tory.

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