Fonterra too tough on minnows?

When the milk payout went down farmers expected Fonterra to shed any fat in its operation.

I don’t think this is what they were expecting:

Business owners have been left feeling bullied by Fonterra over changes they say mean cutting their prices and waiting longer to get paid.

A letter from Fonterra’s chief financial officer Lukas Paravicini was sent to contractors and suppliers around the country in October detailing the changes that were being made.

The vendors were asked to find efficiencies across their operations to reduce their prices by 10 percent and submit a proposal on how they would do so.

And, rather than sending payments on the 20th of the month following the invoice date, some contractors were told payments would now be sent 61 days after the end of the month of the invoice.

A number of contractors spoken to were infuriated by the changes, but too afraid to speak up and risk losing business.

Wanganui National Party MP Chester Borrows said he had been contacted by some contractors from the Taranaki region, but many were uneasy about commenting on the situation.

“I think it’s classic bully-boy tactics from a big company who is using the leverage of fear against its contractors to drive down the price and to obtain free credit,” Borrows said.

“I’m talking to one particular company that employs 90 people, Fonterra’s quite a big chunk of their work. If Fonterra decides to push them around like this then these guys are afraid that they’re not going to be able to pay their suppliers.”

Alterations to the payment of contractors is the latest in a number of changes by Fonterra, who have made more than 700 staff redundant since the middle of the year. . . 

One of the attractions of dairying, unlike most other types of farming, is that suppliers get regular monthly payments. Contractors, many of whom will be small businesses, would expect their bills to be paid each month too.

Asking suppliers to sharpen their pencils is normal business practice but expecting small businesses to effectively bank you is not.

Fonterra is New Zealand’s biggest business fish and it looks like it is being too tough on the minnows it contracts for goods and services.

 

179 Responses to Fonterra too tough on minnows?

  1. TraceyS says:

    Unilaterally changing the terms they will trade on does seem harsh. Only a big player, sure of the dependence of others, could get away with it.

    It also only helps cashflow for the first month as everything gets rolled out for an extra thirty days.

    In the end the bills still have to be be paid.

  2. TraceyS says:

    “Asking suppliers to sharpen their pencils is normal business practice…”

    Yes, but not always a positive effect. Just have to watch larger contractors screwing down their price in order to force out their smaller competition in an effort to increase others’ dependence on them.

    It’s not wise to support this in the long term. What goes around comes around as they say.

  3. JC says:

    Thats monopoly activity run by a company usually on the verge of going under or so dominant in the market and politically protectedit can get away with just about anything.

    The normal and healthy cure is to provide competition. Meantime a few questions need to be asked of the Comcom as to what it knew.

    JC

  4. Robert says:

    It could lend farmers 400 million at cheap rates but not pay it’s creditors.
    HMM ,well that’s a suspect behavoir if ever there was.

    they will lose out but of course all the highly paid who actually do nothing out in the real world will still collect their salaries. Did many of them take a hair cut of 10%?
    Typical bullying behavoir by desk jockeys. No idea at alla bout running a busines with their partners in business.

    Wouldn’t work for them eve if the were bloody desperate.

  5. Dave Kennedy says:

    Similar things have happened in Christchurch. I wonder if SMEs can have more protections against exploitation.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/71480160/Building-company-owes-us-400-000-creditors
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/better-business/10476522/Subcontractors-get-greater-security

    Nick Smith’s protections don’t appear to have made much of a difference.

  6. TraceyS says:

    “Nick Smith’s protections don’t appear to have made much of a difference.”

    So quick to criticise and as usual, Dave, you forget to do your (easy) homework…

    “Most of the Act, which amends the Construction Contracts Act 2002, will come into force on 1 December 2015, with some important parts coming into force on later dates in 2016 and 2017.”

    Check out today’s date…

    (Ref: https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/news-and-communications/latest-news/news/construction-contract-amendment-bill-passes)

  7. TraceyS says:

    Dave

    You would do better to stick to the topic rather than going looking for pot shots that aren’t relevant to the post only to trip yourself up.

    The above law changes won’t help the type of suppliers referred to in the post. They’re not designed to.

    “I wonder if SMEs can have more protections against exploitation.”

    You can wonder all you want. What solutions do you have?

  8. Dave Kennedy says:

    ” “I think it’s classic bully-boy tactics from a big company who is using the leverage of fear against its contractors to drive down the price and to obtain free credit,” Borrows said.”

    Tracey, my comment is directly related to the thread as it is about the protections being put in place for SMEs when they are contracted by bulling larger companies. This issue has been around for a while and must include tactics used by supermarkets too. Where virtual monopolies or duopolies exist many small businesses are trapped into business relationships where they have no choice but accept unreasonable treatment to survive.

    Perhaps there should be penalties or interest paid on delayed payments. It occurs if I don’t pay my rates etc why not for contractors?

    Let us hope that the other amendments help but considering the legislation that has been passed under urgency in the past why should contractors have to be pushed around for two years until protections come into force? Why are you saying that the terms of trade are too harsh in one breath and then saying that legislation will sort it out? Who is responsible for the regulatory controls that protect smaller businesses and why is it out of order for me to question inaction?

  9. Will Dwan says:

    One of the government’s responsibilities is to enforce contracts. You could argue that this falls within that definition. I would not want to see the state reduced to debt collector status though. But the councils’ penalty fees are as much an abuse of power as Fonterra’s actions.

    I remember when all those meat companies were going under – we were all worried about getting paid for our lambs and cattle. If a payment was just a day late rumours would start circling, no-one would dare supply that company. To this day, they all pay, scrupulously in two weeks. At least, that’s been my experience.

    I believe Fonterra was a big mistake, too big for a small country.

  10. farmerbraun says:

    Big boys do this stuff all the time.
    Both supermarket chains , whenever cash-flow is tight, regularly “lose” whole bundles of invoices, and request re-submission (after the due date), along with PODs to cause further delay, so that payment to suppliers can be delayed another month.
    We are talking tens of millions of dollars here.
    It has been going on forever and the Commerce Commission could not care less.
    Tens of thousands of dollars of unpaid invoices make a huge difference to the typical SME , but they are powerless.

  11. Will Dwan says:

    I have a friend who was a sign writer. His biggest client was Lion Breweries. He would wait for months to be paid. Meanwhile trying to pay employees. Gave up in the end, he is a house painter now, just working by himself. Says corporations made his job too difficult, and govt. regs made employing staff too much hassle and risk.

  12. Dave Kennedy says:

    It does seem that enforcing contracts is a key issue and the Commerce Commission may need more teeth and personnel to carry out their role more efficiently. We seem to be constantly losing the watchdogs that ensure necessary regulations and laws are being enforced. An employer cannot refuse to pay their workers, no business should get away with not paying contractors in a timely fashion if it is clear that they have the financial capacity to do so.

  13. Will says:

    I have one last point to make on this. Large companies are strongly advised to delay payments by their accountants and financial advisers. It is standard practice and saves significant sums. The decision to do it rests with the directors, but they are responsible to their shareholders. If I had power I would lean on the accountants.

  14. TraceyS says:

    “Perhaps there should be penalties or interest paid on delayed payments. It occurs if I don’t pay my rates etc why not for contractors?”

    There is nothing stopping there being penalties or interest incurred on delayed payments where these have been negotiated in advance between the parties.

    “Why are you saying that the terms of trade are too harsh in one breath and then saying that legislation will sort it out?”

    I did not say that the terms of trade were too harsh. I don’t think it is harsh to agree on extended terms. There have been many times where I’ve agreed to them and have also asked for them from others in business dealings. None of those situations would I class as “harsh”.

    What I did say was that “[u]nilaterally changing the terms they will trade on does seem harsh.”

    It’s the process which I suggested seemed unfair. The outcome can be fair. It depends on many other factors. There could be a quid pro quo that we don’t know about. Business exchanges, the best ones, are frequently not purely transactional. That’s the challenge for everyone who is in business; to build relationships that are something greater than a mere series of functional exchanges. Stronger businesses do this well. And they’re not only big businesses. There are strengths other than size. If we disregard these then we are just playing to the hand of the big boys.

    “…why is it out of order for me to question inaction?”

    It’s not. But you prejudged law changes that have barely passed; the most relevant (to your point) of which will not actually come into force some months. How can they possibly be expected to have made a difference yet?

    Farmerbraun says “It has been going on forever” and that is so right. It has. Nearly 50 years ago my Grandparents lost their building business after Pop built a house for a farmer friend and never got paid. That, coupled with the end of the major Waitaki hydro projects, was the end of them. They moved to Queenstown to work in the hotel industry with a car and two bucks to their names. But I’m glad they did or my mother would never have met my father!

  15. farmerbraun says:

    Countdown enforced unfair terms of trade on all suppliers some years ago.
    They did that by threatening to delist anyone who would not sign (I didn’t . . . probably the only NZ business to successfully hold out).
    Then immediately afterwards Foodstuffs threatened delisting for anyone who did not agree to identical terms.

    Commerce Commision stood by and did nothing.

  16. Paranormal says:

    DK – the Commerce Act doesn’t need strengthening it is already, in the words of one of my legal advisers, “a very draconian piece of legislation”. The wording of the legislation is such that pretty much any business practice can be against the law if the CC decide to interpret it that way.

    What needs to happen is the Commerce Commission has to stop being a political organisation, and actually focus on issues that matter. As a political organisation they have, just like other political organisations (eg. SFO), been looking for high profile scalps on the wall rather than actually doing things that matter – like the supermarket issue.

  17. TraceyS says:

    Good on you farmerbraun.

  18. Dave Kennedy says:

    Good points, Paranormal. Too many state services are now politicised and no longer provide the service they were set up to provide.

    More and more people are being forced into being self-employed and having to become contractors, many without the experience and knowledge to protect themselves from exploitation. The big players do this deliberately because rather than employ someone full-time as they once did they can effectively have them dependent on them for work but only need to call on them as needed. About 11% of people are now under-employed, which means they want more work but can’t get it.

    When unemployment was dropping, under-employment was growing. We now have over 100,000 people who are under-employed: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/68715831/Greens-Underemployment-creating-new-underclass

  19. Paranormal says:

    I have been a contractor previously (particularly during the 87 crash) as well as for the past five years and I love the freedom it gives. But DK, that is a different topic to this thread coupled with shameless link whoring.

  20. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, it isn’t link whoring at all because more people are forced to work as contractors (and absorb all their costs themselves) while they really only have a single employer. They actually can’t operate independently from their main source of income. It is not much different from a zero hour contract where you can’t work for anyone else and can only work the hours your given.

    If you have the freedom, as you obviously do, to trade more widely then you have a fighting chance. It isn’t so easy in Farmerbraun’s case when there is essentially a monopoly and you limited choices.

    Too many people forced to work as contractors struggle to be fully employed.

  21. farmerbraun says:

    But surely self- employment is the ultimate in business freedom . . . . I never wanted anything else.
    And while zero- hour contracts are obviously not on, we have found that part-time casual employment is a win- win situation.
    The critical clause in the employment contract is this:-
    “The hours of work are such as shall be agreed from time to time between the employer and the employee”.
    We can offer some work hours or not, and the worker can agree to work or not.
    Some of our workers have been with us for over 20 years.

  22. Paranormal says:

    You’re making assumptions again DK.

    And it is link whoring when you are linking to what is effectively a Green party opinion piece.

  23. Dave Kennedy says:

    Farmerbraun self-employment does have benefits, as you say, but many are being forced into being contract workers to save costs for a previous employer. Home carers are one example.

  24. farmerbraun says:

    ” forced into being contract workers to save costs for a previous employer. ”

    In other words the employer was paying for too much labour, and has reduced his labour force accordingly?

  25. Mr E says:

    People are “forced” into contracts…..? Yeah right.

    Ridiculous
    Rhetoric

  26. Dave Kennedy says:

    “In other words the employer was paying for too much labour, and has reduced his labour force accordingly?”

    This depends on where you stand with regards fairness. Many employers will reduce the wage bill as low as possible and there are situations like in home care where all workers are to all intents and purposes employees but are regarded as self-employed contractors. These workers cannot work for anyone else and are treated as employees in all respects except they get none of the protections of an employee like holidays and sickness pay, redundancy packages etc. They even have to cover much of their transport costs and don’t get paid for traveling between jobs. They can’t charge for their services and include their costs like a normal contractor and even have to pay for their first aid training and equipment.

    We have had this discussion before about the value of labour. I gather that many of you believe that employers should pay what they determine that they can afford and if people are prepared to work for that then that is acceptable and the market determines the value.

    Ruth Richardson made the decision that maintaining a level of 5% unemployment will keep the employment relationship in the employers favour and drive down wage costs. Many people now are expected to accept low wage jobs or have benefits removed so that we no longer have a true market. The wage levels are determined by employers and the minimum wage is now set at a level below a living wage. Working for Families is designed to top up incomes that families can’t survive on despite working full-time or holding down more than one job.

    I believe that someone who works a full week deserves to be paid at a level that they can live comfortably on (ie. cover all reasonable living costs like rent, food, transport costs, school costs, insurances etc, without stress).

    Currently the median weekly wage/salary is $882, an annual income of $45,800. The ‘living wage’ for a forty hour week would provide an annual income of $40,000. Given that around 11% of workers are under-employed (30 hours is considered full-time, so that despite their hourly rate their total income falls short), I would say that it would be reasonable to claim that around 50% of the workforce earn less than $40,000.

    The households that are struggling most are ones with young families when there is often only one income and for the 25% of sole parent households (over 80% are female) low waged jobs are common.

    I believe that an employer should not employ someone unless they can afford to pay a living wage. I also believe that wages should have a relationship with productivity and yet wage growth has fallen well behind increases in productivity for some time. This means the value of the work done by employees is increasing but it is not being shared with the workforce.

    The government is having to subsidise more and more of our workforce and working for families now costs the taxpayer over $4 billion a year. Almost 50% of workers got no pay increase over the past year. Rental costs increased by 33% in Auckland and outside Auckland there was a 9% increase in rental costs. Wages are not keeping up with living costs. Even professionals on reasonable incomes are struggling. http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/central-leader/74081699/primary-school-teachers-cant-afford-to-live-in-auckland

    People who work hard and provide good value to a business should be treated with dignity and respect, many employers do but a large number don’t.

  27. homepaddock says:

    ‘The households that are struggling most are ones with young families when there is often only one income . . .’

    These households will be getting Working for Families under which a household with two children pays no net tax until they earn more than $50,000.

    ‘I believe that an employer should not employ someone unless they can afford to pay a living wage.’

    There go a lot of part-time and foot-in-the-door jobs.

    Living wage for whom? Would a single person without children get the same as someone with a partner and family, or would people get higher or lower wages for doing the same work not because of what they do and how they do it but their family commitments?

    That gets back to WFF. I have reservations about it but it does mean single-income families are better off in work than on a benefit.

    You must know a different set of employers from me. In my experience people get regular wage increases even if they’re not more productive.

    The Auckland problem gets back to property prices. Should you pay a teacher there more than one somewhere else? That would only a fuel property inflation there.

  28. Paranormal says:

    “We have had this discussion before about the value of labour.” = and you continue to (wilfully?) ignore economics.

    “Ruth Richardson made the decision that maintaining a level of 5% unemployment will keep the employment relationship in the employers favour and drive down wage costs” more unsubstantiated leftist dogma.

    Fact of the matter is that employers struggle to find good employees. Generally when an employer finds a good employee they will look after them to ensure they stay as it is more expensive to keep turning over employees.

    Bad employers quickly run out of people who will work for them, ultimately costing the bad employer more. Sky City is a good example.

    Working for Welfare was a Liabour election bribe that the Greens supported through parliament. So why is it now so bad DK? Unusual for you to admit the Greens got it wrong.

  29. JC says:

    “Ruth Richardson made the decision that maintaining a level of 5% unemployment will keep the employment relationship in the employers favour and drive down wage costs” more unsubstantiated leftist dogma.”

    True. The staggering ignorance of mainstream economic theory and the opinion of organisations like the OECD is almost beyond belief.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_employment

    Similarly the concept of paying benefits rather than distorting the labour market to achieve an unrealistic 0% is well supported by economists and common sense.

    JC

  30. Dave Kennedy says:

    “There go a lot of part-time and foot-in-the-door jobs.”
    Ele even if they are part time jobs the hourly rate should still properly recognise the labour involved. Foot in the door jobs can still exist, as it isn’t an excuse for exploitation. As soon as the youth rate was introduced it was adopted by some supermarkets and experienced staff lost their jobs to students and school leavers.

    “In my experience people get regular wage increases even if they’re not more productive.”
    I’m sure you know some good employers, but over the past year almost 50% of workers got no increase at all.

    The sad thing is when you have over 6% unemployment many are forced to put up with poor pay and working conditions just to be employed. Market forces do not always operate fairly. When there is full employment recruitment and retention issues will lift pay and conditions as employers compete within a limited pool.

    Currently employers have a clear advantage with increased migration and 6% unemployment. The influx of foreign students has meant many workers are being paid for the hours they are allowed to work but are working much longer to retain a job at all. Many are only earning $2-3 an hour (this is even happening in Invercargill currently). http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10864809

    You are right about property prices in Auckland, if teachers are paid an extra allowance for living there (I taught in London and we had an extra payment called the London weighting) it would just support the current housing costs. Obviously something else is needed.

    “Fact of the matter is that employers struggle to find good employees.”
    Paranormal, I also find that there are a lot of employers who can’t find good employees for the wages they pay. Many are not prepared to invest in training and supporting their staff either. Ele is right that investing in staff and retaining them through good conditions and fair pay is cost effective. This is recognized by our spokesperson for SMEs http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2013/04/david-clendon-and-smart-business.html

  31. TraceyS says:

    “I would say that it would be reasonable to claim that around 50% of the workforce earn less than $40,000.”

    Actually 60% of people earn less than $40,000 per annum but this includes retired Superannuation recipients, single people on benefits, and people in the age group 15-19 years, most of whom have very limited incomes.

    It is not hard to find out what families earn. Table 9 of the New Zealand Income Survey: June 2015 Quarter shows that the median weekly income for a couple with two dependent children
    is $1,819 (around $94,600 pa). For a single parent with dependent child(ren) the median is $682 (or $35,400 pa) this will be so low because most, but not all, of these families survive mainly on a benefit. The other parent (most often the father) will contribute to child-rearing costs in many, but not all, situations. This contribution appears not to be counted in the statistics but that does not mean it doesn’t exist.

    I genuinely feel sorry for people whose relationships have failed after they have had children. They probably conceived the children at a better stage in their relationships when things looked stable and permanent. It’s even worse when one parent does a runner from their responsibility to fund the raising of their own children.

    But I don’t see how the State should be held to account for people choosing an irresponsible parenting partner or for unexpected things that go wrong in relationships. I do think that the State has a responsibility to educate young people on the reality of single parenthood and to deter them, as far as is possible, by providing the means to avoid unwanted pregnancy but also by not making it a tempting career alternative.

    On that, we are clearly on the right track:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/66157622/teenage-pregnancy-on-the-decline.html

    I agree with Ele about part-time and “foot-in-the-door jobs” being worth preserving. There will probably always be a need for them and there will no doubt always exist a percentage of low-paid jobs compared to other jobs. It’s a problem when people get stuck in them and can’t move on when they want and/or need to. But some also choose to stay for their own reasons like being able to knock off at the end of the day and not have work follow them home.

    Unscrupulous employers take advantage of those who have few choices, or are desperate, and turn that into their own opportunity rather than help the disadvantaged improve their prospects. There will always be some of them in society but they are few for the reasons Paranormal points out.

    One thing for sure is that you cannot simply look at some statistics on paper to quantify how much exploitation exists in our workforce.

  32. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, the median income is much lower when you include all sources but this conversation is mainly about working people which is why I used the wage and salary earners only. Interestingly more grandparents are the sole caregivers for children and their incomes will often not come from a working income.

    Thanks for the information on single parents if half of them earn less than $35,000 it is a real concern. Single parents make up 25% of families so 10s of thousands of children are struggling in very low income households.

    “But I don’t see how the State should be held to account for people choosing an irresponsible parenting partner”

    What a damning, judgemental statement. There are many reasons why people end up as sole carer including death of a spouse, mental health and many reasons for separation. I have family members and friends who have failed relationships and to condemn them for “choosing irresponsible parenting partners” is appalling as I bet few of them knowingly did any such thing.

    Often at the beginning of a relationship it is very hard to predict where it is going to end up. You really need to visit a women’s refuge and understand the wide variety of situations. Some people just need some support until they get on their feet again and few every remain dependent on the state for very long (this is a myth).

    Teacher aids and rest home nurses often love their jobs, why should they have to leave them to be paid a fair wage?

    I can find you heaps of examples of exploited workers, overall New Zealanders works longer hours than most other OECD countries and we have one of the higher percentages of working women too. At the same time we are considered a low wage economy amongst developed nations.

  33. TraceyS says:

    “to condemn them”

    Who did that? Not me. I said the State shouldn’t be held accountable for personal relationship choices.

    I stand by that. You can’t blame the State for the outcome of individual personal relationships. Accountability and responsibility go hand in glove. I don’t want the State in my marriage – no way!

    If my marriage ended my income would drop dramatically. You would probably try and blame that on the government but I wouldn’t.

    That’s why you’re with the left and I am right.

  34. Dave Kennedy says:

    I have no idea where you you get your interpretations from, Tracey. Where on earth do I blame the state for the outcomes of relationships…good grief.

    It makes sense to support struggling families until they can get back on their feet rather than see them living in garages, cars or on the streets. You may feel comfortable with children living in those circumstances, but I am not. Why should we allow children to have their future permanently damaged because of a lack of compassion. I just don’t understand your callous views, Tracey.

    What makes me angry is that many families being force to live in appalling conditions are employed but their wages aren’t enough to survive independently, that is unacceptable in a relatively wealthy country:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/289945/akl-kids-sleeping-in-cars-and-garages

  35. TraceyS says:

    Dave said:

    “I have family members and friends who have failed relationships and to condemn them for “choosing irresponsible parenting partners” is appalling as I bet few of them knowingly did any such thing.”

    I have not condemned your family members and friends for anything.

    “You may feel comfortable with children living in those circumstances, but I am not. Why should we allow children to have their future permanently damaged because of a lack of compassion. I just don’t understand your callous views, Tracey.”

    I do not feel comfortable about families living in garages, cars or on the streets. Those are not my views.

    In both of these quotes you have invented views and attributed them to me. That is grossly unfair.

    “I gather that many of you believe that employers should pay what they determine that they can afford and if people are prepared to work for that then that is acceptable and the market determines the value.”

    This is one assumption you manage to get basically right. I would add to that “within the law” (Minimum Wage Act, Employment Relations Act etc). Any manager who offered more than the organisation could afford to pay would be putting the whole entity at risk of failure. That means no jobs – usually.

    Wages certainly aren’t (in most cases) set by unions anymore and thank goodness. The old awards were as effective as any mechanism for keeping wages down for certain employees.

    You frequently raise the example of Teacher Aides’ pay. Why doesn’t the union bargain harder for them? Could it be that they come to collective agreement negotiations with a list of ‘wins’ they hope to achieve and Teacher Aide pay increases can be traded off in favour of something else which serves a majority of members rather than a minority? Or would you like us to believe that the bargaining processes is purer than that?

  36. Dave Kennedy says:

    “I do not feel comfortable about families living in garages, cars or on the streets. Those are not my views.”

    Tracey, you are an ardent supporter of the status quo and current policy. The tripling of the homeless in Auckland over the last 7 years is the result. Families with employed parents are homeless and around New Zealand working families are being forced to use food banks to survive. You blame the parents for not making good choices and claim that the Government should be responsible for those choices.

    You don’t understand that when there is a dramatic growth in the ‘working poor’ who have to have government support to buy food, it is not just bad budgeting or poor choices that is the problem. These families are not receiving the right support to enable them to become financially independent and poor policy settings have shifted money flows from our economic recovery away low income workers and into the pockets of the already affluent instead.

    The economy should work for all people who contribute to it, not the top 10% who already control 50% of our wealth. Forcing the lower 50% of income earners to share 5% (and diminishing) of our country’s wealth is unsustainable. All working New Zealanders should be able to live dignified lives in healthy homes and receive a living wage. I don’t understand why you would actively deny them that.

  37. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    You’re back to your ‘nasty politics’ tricks again.

    I am sure that nobody thinks that zero support of those in need is acceptable. That is your nasty assertion.

    It is a trick that you seem to pull out so readily. It is predictable, and boring.

    What is in discussion is the level of Government support. You think more is required. Others are doubting that.

    If you drop the nasty politics you might find you are able to better convey your points.

    Accusing people of views that they obviously don’t hold, won’t help your cause.

    I’d like to request that you drop this behaviour. It distracts from constructive discussion.

  38. TraceyS says:

    “You blame the parents for not making good choices and claim that the Government should be responsible for those choices.”

    What? Go back and re-read what I wrote. I can’t believe the Greens let you in charge of editing their newsletter!

    I said that the Government should NOT be held accountable for the personal relationship decisions of individuals or how they turn out. Perhaps it is you who thinks they should be? Maybe you’d care to describe how that would work eh? Come on Dave – let’s hear your solutions. When a couple with children splits the partner left with the kids is going to have their income halved or worse. The costs don’t halve. What is your policy to fix this?

    “All working New Zealanders should be able to live dignified lives in healthy homes and receive a living wage. I don’t understand why you would actively deny them that.”

    You must think that I am very powerful, Dave, LOL! The only people whom I am in a position to “actively deny” a decent wage and all that it brings are those within my immediate sphere of influence (eg. employees). None of them are denied this, never have been, and never will be. I like to see people doing well even if it means I’m doing a little less well. The rest of the population are well beyond my reach but I would help them directly if I could.

    You appear to think that policies can fix all that is broken. If you had ever experienced “broken”, as I have, you would realise how ridiculous that is.

  39. TraceyS says:

    I think, Mr E, there exists a stereotype within which women are expected to hold ‘softer’ views and express themselves accordingly. Any woman who expresses a more black-and-white view is fair game for being referred to as “callous”, for example, whereas a man expressing himself in exactly the same way may be considered forthright, or even blunt, but definitely not “callous”.

  40. Dave Kennedy says:

    “You blame the parents for not making good choices and claim that the Government should not be responsible for those choices.”

    My apologies, Tracey, i do need an editor as i am not so good at multi-tasking, I have added a crucial word to the quote above. The Government shouldn’t be responsible for the choices that people make, we are on the same page there. However the Government is largely responsible for the level and kind of support that families need to have to be independent and not reliant on the state for their survival.

    We need to establish a lower threshold that is sustainable where the bottom 25% of families have enough to live on. It is currently set too low and many are struggling, not just because of their own mistakes, but because there is no allowance for a margin of error to encompass the odd crisis. At the moment a broken down car, a redundancy , an injury or a period of ill health can tip a family into poverty and cause them to lose their home. This is far more common than it ever was.

    Your active denial is to accept that this Government can’t do any more and the current policy settings are enough.

    Your assumption that people knowingly choose irresponsible partners was hard for me to grasp. All people make bad choices and this isn’t restricted to the poor. It just so happens that when poor people make bad choices the impact is far greater. The discretionary spending for those with more money is obviously much greater and the odd mistake or over-spend in a supermarket in one week or more expensive social night out doesn’t mean that the family may have to go hungry the following week. A high proportion of families now have only around $50 dollars or less a week to spend on food and that depends on when rent or power bills were due. It is not unusual for responsible working families to sometimes have only $10 left for food for a week if they don’t want to have their power cut off or be evicted from their home.

    For instance this Government has known about the housing crisis for the entire 7 years of being in power and have only managed to build 500 low cost social houses in Auckland when 30,000 is needed. Child poverty has remained at around 25% and more working families are reliant on food banks to survive.

    Here is what the Salvation Army says about the worsening housing crisis: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/74149978/auckland-housing-crisis-makes-more-children-and-families-homeless–report

    The Government has a significant role to play and to deny that is only condemning a 1/4 of our children to lives where their real potential won’t be realised.

  41. Mr E says:

    Tracey,
    Perhaps. Speaking from my own point of view, I see many of your comments as very clever.

    I try to judge anyone’s comments for their merit, not the character behind. Of course there are exceptions. My judgemental hand can be forced when the comments frequently venture into the weird and wonderful.

    Thankfully you stick to clever, informed, witty, and considered, to name just a few adjectives.

  42. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    Is it a concern that the last time Fonterra was mentioned was 32 comments ago?

    32 out of 41.

    Do you think you could be off topic talking about the likes of Auckland Housing?

    Can you bring it back? I wonder.

  43. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, read the thread, started out as the treatment of smaller contractors by larger businesses, this led to a discussion on who are now deemed contractors, as this is a much wider term than before, and this moved in to a discussion on the value of labour.

    It has also been a discussion on who has a leadership role in ensuring contractors and workers are treated fairly and there is a consensus around the fact that the Commerce Commission is failing in its role.

    The leadership that comes from the Government of the day is crucial and we now have an environment where market forces dominate but this has become skewed to where the power largely rests with monopolies, duopolies, cartels and employment legislation that disempowers workers. SMEs struggle with few protections and ordinary workers have little representation or choices around employment. Only 20% of workers are members of a union or have the protection of a collective contract and most of those are in the public sector.

  44. Mr E says:

    This led to – this led to – off topic.

    Have your ever asked who led this to?

    Anyway,
    You seem to want every thing governed by our Government. I am not interested in a Government that controls every element of my life. I am interested in a Government that intervenes when appropriate, but otherwise lets the natural laws of society and market run their course.

    Fonterra is viewed as a very good employer by many. There is a downturn and they need to tighten their belt. It reasonable to ask its suppliers to also tighten their belts.

    Fonterra won’t want to lose good suppliers anymore than any other business. I expect a push back by suppliers will soften this approach.

    Fair not. The contractors are not hopeless and helpless. They are valuable and they know it.

    There is no need for Govt intervention. Market laws work just fine here.

  45. Mr E says:

    Fair not…..
    Funny

  46. Dave Kennedy says:

    MR E, with everything there needs to be a balance of regulation, intervention and market forces. For a small country it is very difficult to have true competitive markets operating and therefore there needs to be protections in place stop exploitation. That is the role of Government.

    The deaths in the Pike River Mine were a direct result of a weakening of regulation. The collapse of Solid Energy was in part because the Government encouraged borrowing and expansion when the demand for the resource was dropping (we have lost almost $1 billion because of it).

    Our power supply has been totally ruined by a poorly constructed market that has us paying well above the real costs of producing and transmitting the supply. Electricity is a key component of most industries and it is part of the supporting infrastructure of an economy. Our cheap electricity production should give us a competitive advantage over our trading partners and yet it has become a form of taxation and does the opposite.

    You also seem to be justifying delaying payments to contractors that was the beginning of this thread.

  47. farmerbraun says:

    Dave , it is Government “largesse”( at taxpayer expense) that is keeping Comalco operating , at least temporarily, and preventing the surplus of electricity in NZ from signalling to the market to lower power prices, right?

  48. farmerbraun says:

    “The contractors are not hopeless and helpless. ”
    But there is only one Fonterra because of a statute that bypasses competition laws.

    And when Synlait does something clever in distribution in China , and strips out some unnecessary costs , Fonterra cries foul.

    Laughable , . . . if it wasn’t so critical to the NZ economy.

  49. TraceyS says:

    Mr E yesterday at 2:35 pm:

    Thanks. Made my day.

  50. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    “for a small country it is very difficult to have true competitive markets operating”

    Nonsense.

    “therefore there needs to be protections in place stop exploitation. That is the role of Government.”

    And I am concerned that you see the Government as a handbrake. Not as a throttle.

    “The deaths in the Pike River Mine were a direct result of a weakening of regulation.”

    What? Regulation or lack there of cannot kill a person. I have never heard of a death notice that read “Died from Regulation”.
    Don’t be silly Dave. You are back to ridiculous rhetoric.

    “The collapse of Solid Energy was in part because the Government”.

    That is called the risk of investment. There is also a risk of doing nothing. In the case of Solid energy the risk did not pay off.

    “Our power supply has been totally ruined by a poorly constructed market ”

    Sigh – will the ridiculous rhetoric never end?

    You might want poor electricity companies. I don’t. We need them to have high returns to ensure they continue to invest in generation opportunities.

    Successful electricity firms is not a tax. It is an opportunity for the future. Any fruitful enterprise will invest and grow. I am excited about that prospect for electricity.

    “You also seem to be justifying delaying payments to contractors that was the beginning of this thread.”

    You are now doing to me what you did to Tracey. You are making stuff up and attributing it to me. I’d ask you to show me where I said any such thing- but I know you can’t and I get tired of asking you to prove your claims.

    What you seem to want is to spend the tax payers money on a problem that doesn’t exist. All that has happened has been a letter from Fonterra. There has not be a failure, yet you are leaping to burn money. Tax payers money. On a problem that doesn’t even exist. Another reason why the Greens are not fit to govern.

  51. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, properly funded mines inspectors, road rules and health and safety regulations actually do prevent deaths and injuries. The extent of any controls can be debated but there should be no debate about whether we should have them at all. Or are you saying we should?

    SME’s lack the resources of larger companies and there are many cases where individuals and smaller companies are bullied into submission because a larger institution has the resources to do as they wish. It even happens with public entities: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9554305/Mikes-ACC-justice-mission-accomplished

    Open markets do not operate with a foundation of fairness, it can be a dog eat dog environment and the biggest dogs generally win. Open markets tend not to recognise social injustices or environmental degradation. It is interesting that MBI is cutting back mediation services. More and more the level playing field is being tilted to serve the biggest players at the expense of the rest.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/74833090/three-regional-employment-mediation-centres-on-chopping-block

    “You might want poor electricity companies”
    No I want efficient companies that provide cost effective services, not bloated cash cows.

    “We need them to have high returns to ensure they continue to invest in generation opportunities.”
    But that isn’t just what they do, they pass on considerable amounts in dividends to the Government coffers and private investors.

    What i also want is commonsense to prevail and fair treatment for all. Your your loyal and determined defense of Fonterra in the past just demonstrated your blindness to the realities, Mr E. We definitely need real business heads that understand what sustainable economics means to turn around the mess we currently have. We are in a downward spiral unless we can get some sensible Greens elected in the next Government. 😉

  52. Dave Kennedy says:

    Sorry, end of first para: “Or are you saying we shouldn’t?”

  53. TraceyS says:

    Mr E at 9:05 am, well said – all of it.

    “…properly funded mines inspectors, road rules and health and safety regulations actually do prevent deaths and injuries.”

    How do they prevent deaths, Dave, directly I mean? Even if they could they are not able to supervise every situation, everywhere, and all the time. No number of inspectors, rules, court cases etc, can instill a sense of responsibility in the heart. These things promote a sense of responsibility for compliance but compliance doesn’t directly save lives either. It is very, very, foolish and risky to believe that it does.

    Taking responsibility for one’s own actions and the lives of others is what saves lives – as well as switching on your awareness and attuning it to the right things. If all of one’s efforts and focus are going into compliance then there is a tendency to, erroneously, believe that compliance will save you and others. The comfort which comes from feeling compliant can lead to people letting down their guard. Then accidents happen. That’s partly what happened at Pike River – the illusion of compliance.

    The biggest impact on workplace accidents comes from personal attitudes, both good, and bad. The big stick can make a difference in the short-term but sustainable change is totally reliant on change occurring at an intra-individual level. If only you and your crew understood that reality, in terms of climate change, you might actually effect some change in that area. It irritates me that you don’t. That’s why I am with the right; because the basis values of the right have a much greater chance of succeeding in the long term.

    Leftists like you are so keen, for political reasons, to disregard the right’s values of self-determination and in doing so handicap your change efforts. I find it really hard to understand how you can justify doing that. If people don’t take responsibility for health and safety at a personal level then there will definitely be more workplace deaths – no doubt about it. But you are happy to promote a false belief that the majority of the accountability lies at the feet of the regulators. And you dare to have the gall to call me an exploiter which you know is patently false allegation.

    “Open markets do not operate with a foundation of fairness, it can be a dog eat dog environment and the biggest dogs generally win.”

    That is obviously not true. I cannot think of a more open market than the one in which our business has operated in for several decades and we are small and successful. No protections at all other than those we created ourselves (namely goodwill). Under your theory, all small businesses are about to be eaten by a big dog, and there should be no examples of very strong and resilient small businesses with a long-term future ahead of them. There is so much evidence against that it’s not funny! Woof!

    “But that isn’t just what they do, they [power companies] pass on considerable amounts in dividends to the Government coffers and private investors.”

    They trade on the stock exchange which is non-discriminatory right? Anyone can buy shares within their means. Anyone. You have means. What’s stopping you investing to share some of those returns? Oh that’s right – it’s your own politics holding you back again!

    “We definitely need real business heads that understand what sustainable economics…”

    Evidently that won’t be you, Dave.

    “We are in a downward spiral unless we can get some sensible Greens elected in the next Government.”

    You
    must
    be
    joking!

    🙂

  54. Dave Kennedy says:

    Sorry Tracey, the evidence of what happens when you remove protections contradicts all that you say (Pike River). Your excessive faith in others to always do the right thing is naive and dangerous.

  55. farmerbraun says:

    “You
    must
    be
    joking!”

    But he did say sensible Greens Tracey 🙂

  56. farmerbraun says:

    Dave , what happens next is that contractors refuse to work for Fonterra without payment upfront , or they favour other clients over Fonterra.

    Enlightened self-interest , right?
    Fonterra will be the loser in the long run.

  57. Dave Kennedy says:

    Farmerbraun, I’m not sure what it is like where you are but contractors down here don’t have a lot of choices. I’m sure in the longer term you may be right but I am not into boom and bust economics, there are too many casualties and suicides as it is.

  58. farmerbraun says:

    Well all I can say is that , to my way of thinking , creative destruction is an essential feature of efficient markets.
    Government attempts to interfere and prevent this invariably result in more catastrophic booms and busts.
    Watch this space ; pigeons are returning to roost after government interventions to “kick the can down the road ” , post the 2008 GFC.

  59. TraceyS says:

    “Your excessive faith in others to always do the right thing is naive and dangerous.”

    Excessive faith? I don’t have excessive faith, Dave, and I am not naive or dangerous. That’s just another one of your false little assertions – designed to put me down because I argue with logic and reason, things you say you value, but actually despise unless the argument is going your way.

    It was difficult to find the mining fatality stats as they are located in different places, so I have collated them for you, at some effort. My sources are listed below.

    What does the picture tell you? To me it says there was a downward trend from 1980 which would have continued if it were not for one tragedy in one mine. However, even with the inclusion of Pike River, the trend is still flat for the past 35 years.

    I ask you this: In what year did the deregulation that you lament come into play?

    Data Sources:

    http://www.resourcesandenergy.nsw.gov.au/miners-and-explorers/safety-and-health/incidents/international-mining-fatality-review

    http://www.business.govt.nz/worksafe/research/health-and-safety-data/workplace-fatalities-by-industry

  60. TraceyS says:

    If one just looks at 1980 to 1990 (pre-HSE Act 1992) – yes there was a sharp decline but it was from an appallingly high level.

    From 1992 onward the trend continues until this year which has had five fatalities so far in mining. At least three of these occurred in quarries, one (most recent) in a Southland alluvial gold mine, and I am unsure of the fifth.

    Most, if not all of these, occurred within businesses that didn’t have the correctly qualified personnel (a legal requirement).

    Despite what people think of large businesses, when it comes to mines, they are probably safer places to work. There are small-business exceptions of course.

  61. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, you have done so much work on putting together this information for me but unfortunately the graphs mean nothing if you haven’t factored in the actual numbers employed in the industry. I think you will find that since 1980 there has been a substantial decline in those employed. I suggest that you also need to read ‘Tragedy at Pike River Mine” and properly understand what deregulation caused. You also need to read about the recent quarry death.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11462535

  62. TraceyS says:

    I don’t have those figures, but I do have these ones:

    Total mining production –
    1980: 29,589,851 tonnes. Deaths: 9
    2014: 52,234,973 tonnes. Deaths: 0

    Source: http://www.nzpam.govt.nz/cms/investors/our-resource-potential/minerals/sector-snapshot

    Advances in technology can reduce the numbers employed whilst simultaneously boosting production but it doesn’t remove the fact that mining is a risky occupation and always will be no matter how many ‘paper’ solutions are put in place.

    “You also need to read about the recent quarry death.”

    I guess you might be referring to the statement contained in your link which reads:

    “The experienced quarry worker lamented the relaxing of the industry’s regulations.

    As quarry manager in the past, he needed to be licensed and to carry out twice weekly site safety checks.

    “But the government did away with all that. They’ve got slack on the rules and it’s basically become self-governed. It’s not good enough.”

    That’s not correct. The Government never did away with the requirement for quarry managers to be qualified.

    For real insight into the Waikari quarry death listen to the following from 1:10 onwards. The response from the Hurunui District Council is truly appalling…

    “…it never checked Mr Taylor’s credentials, rather took his word for it because the Council is not an expert in safety.”

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/body-of-crushed-digger-driver-recovered-6335676.html

    I can tell you that it is not necessary to be an “expert in safety” to check someone’s qualifications. If the HDC wasn’t capable of doing that it had no business owning a quarry. Owners hold a prime position in term of health and safety because they have the power to initiate the appropriate clauses in lease agreements to end an unsafe operation on their land.

    But they didn’t even check. Any idiot could see that that quarry wasn’t safe. No need to be an expert but experts are not hard to find anyway. Councils are not usually averse to contracting them when necessary.

    So why didn’t they? Surely they understood that they cannot contract out responsibility for health and safety – or not.

    It seems to me that HDC and Mr Taylor are they key parties who could have prevented Mr Taylor’s death. Would you like to debate otherwise?

  63. TraceyS says:

    On 7 December, at the start of this thread, I asked Dave:

    “What solutions do you have?

    Look at the huge diversion he created, and worst of all, still no sign of any solutions.

  64. farmerbraun says:

    But, but , but Tracey , the solution (which is rejected by the majority at every government election) is implicit in most everything that Dave proffers here.
    He does not have to say it because we already know this to be a recipe for reduced freedom to act in one’s enlightened self-interest.

    The “solution” is always , that is . . . . ALWAYS . . . . G & T.

    (Hint ; it is not gin and tonic)

  65. farmerbraun says:

    As an example we could do no better than to look at the two – week Paris junket of the likes of the Cindy Baxters of this world.

    “Really what they want is personal power, glory and money. They also like invitations to hot dinner parties and two week long junkets every year.
    Who wouldn’t?
    And getting that out of COP21 at Paris is a very different goal to reducing global atmospheric carbon dioxide or actually changing the temperature, which are both incidental, an accidental kind of collateral damage to achieve the primary goal.

    The top Green permitted solutions to the climate problems are always the ones that increase dependency on big-government — like inefficient renewable energy, government funded research, carbon taxes and fake markets that are government run.”

    QED

  66. farmerbraun says:

    CRAP21.
    They’ve done it!

    A legal/voluntary agreement to do approximately nothing, and to commit very little money (which will never be paid anyway).

    Climate alarmist fail.
    Yes!

    “Some aspects of the agreement will be legally binding, such as submitting an emissions reduction target and the regular review of that goal.
    However, the targets set by nations will not be binding under the deal struck in Paris.”

  67. Name Withheld says:

    Put in perspective FB
    As A.R.M. Jones puts it:

    40,000 people fly to Paris, drink Moet, eat duck a l’orange, and “pledge” to control the temperature of a 12,742km diameter sphere of molten and solid rock, water and gas weighing 5.972 × 10^24kg, spinning on its wobbling axis at 1,600kmh and circling through space at 30km per second around a 5,778 degrees Kelvin,1,392,000 km. diameter nuclear fusion ball of hydrogen and helium.

  68. farmerbraun says:

    The number one thing to always do when in Paris, is to avoid stepping in the dog shit.

  69. farmerbraun says:

    Somehow I find the empty promises that have emerged from this fortnight of posturing to be quite satisfying.
    What did any rational person expect, after all?

  70. Dave Kennedy says:

    I just listened to an interesting interview with Jenny Shipley on National Radio and it was interesting to note the same convictions being expressed by her that is being expressed here. The claim that the economy comes before people and how sometimes people have to make do with less for the sake of the economy. This belief goes hand in hand with the need to support the business people who provide the jobs and keep the economy going, less taxes imposed on businesses and business owners will lead to a greater investment in jobs. This is actually economic nonsense as all it causes is a shift of the countries wealth up to small percentage of New Zealanders and monopolies who actually only operate in their own interests and that of their shareholders. We have also had a shift away from business investment into wealth creation and this has lead to an over heated property market and people looking for capital gain rather focussing on productive industry.

    It is actually a huge economic cost to the state to have such a huge proportion of the population taking more out the economy while contributing little to it. As a lower percentage of people earn enough to pay a reasonable amount of tax and as the higher income earners pay increasingly less, there is less money to spend on essential services, yet more people making demands on it. In the last year of the Labour Government the total earned from tax revenue was $44 billion, three years later it dropped to $33 billion and the a huge amount of borrowing was need to keep services operating. This wasn’t just due to the GFC but in the first year of National’s tax cuts it lost almost $3 billion in tax revenue. It was supposed to be tax neutral through an increase in GST, but this didn’t happen.

    One of the biggest drains on state funds is superannuation. Strangely we invest more in our elderly and they get the equivalent of a universal basic income (UBI), while our young and unemployed get very little. A single retired person, no matter what their circumstances are receive $374 per week while a young job seeker receives $210 (both amounts after tax). In 2013-14 we spent almost $11 billion on superannuation and only $4.3 billion on all other benefits. Our elderly are amongst the wealthiest in the OECD and at the same time we have the 2nd worst levels of child health and safety. http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/69348442/new-zealand-superannuation-the-facts-and-the-fiction

    The leap in the levels of child poverty occurred in the early 90s under Ruth Richardson and Jenny Shipley and the following Labour Government did little to change this. Children brought up in poor homes that are poorly maintained and insulated, and in families with limited discretionary income, are not likely to be well qualified and many will need state support for the rest of their lives. If we want a vibrant, strong economy we need lots of well qualified, innovative and motivated people and yet we have a growing group of working poor stuck in low waged jobs with little future. Family violence is rife.

    Building a strong and resilient economy needs investment and the right incentives and this government has sat on its hands as our housing stock has degraded, those in need of education support have not received it, most young families are struggling. More money goes to our elderly than our young and the wealthiest New Zealanders have never had it better.

    Supporting a culture of individualism and greed, closed minded thinking and climate change denial will not serve the next generations well.

    “Any idiot could see that that quarry wasn’t safe.”

    Tracey it is a pity that they didn’t employ some idiot to check it out and stop an unnecessary death.

  71. Name Withheld says:

    Strangely we invest more in our elderly and they get the equivalent of a universal basic income (UBI), while our young and unemployed get very little. A single retired person, no matter what their circumstances are receive $374 per week while a young job seeker receives $210

    Are you really that thick that you need to use the word “Strangely”
    to describe this.
    Has it not occurred to your tiny thought process that the retiree has probably paid tax for about 40 years, including a super contribution while the young job seeker has contributed …what?

    And this incoherent frothing coming from one who probably has the benefit of either a State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme or a Teachers Retirement Savings Scheme in addition to Government Super.
    You’re not thinking of becoming a spokesman for this issue, are you?

  72. Dave Kennedy says:

    NW, sadly I do get your thinking, which is sadly not rational.

    Since Muldoon wiped the scheme that would have provided an investment pool to cover the cost of superannuation it now has to be covered by the general tax take which is dependent on current income earners.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10465138

    Too many baby boomers have not invested enough themselves for their retirement and will be dependent on the coming generations to provide the taxes to support them. We need to build the earning capacity of our youth to grow a stronger economy that will better support growing numbers of retirees.

    “…the young job seeker has contributed …what?”

    Exactly, we are dependent on these young people for our future, we desperately need to invest in them so that they contribute to the economy and our not a drain on it. You appear to be blaming our youth for their lack of success, but surely we have a responsibility to help them find their feet like we used to with many apprenticeships etc. Instead we have huge youth unemployment (almost 25% of Maori youth are not in employment, training or education) and one of the highest youth suicide rates in the OECD.

    I will be comfortable in my retirement because I have invested in a superannuation scheme for over 35 years. If Rob Muldoon hadn’t made a cheap political stand then everyone would have had the benefit of something similar.

    NW, you really don’t have any understanding of sustainable economics…”the retiree has probably paid tax for about 40 years”…yes they have, but where did their tax go over that time?

  73. Name Withheld says:

    I will be comfortable in my retirement because I have invested in a superannuation scheme for over 35 years.

    Errr….No..
    That is not entirely true is it.
    Lets try….
    “I will be comfortable in my retirement because of the generous subsidy of my employer, the taxpayer.”

  74. Dave Kennedy says:

    Think again NW, I contribute to a sizable fund which is invested wisely and at the point of payout the actual level of government support is a fraction of what it currently is for most people…and I pay taxes while I am working as well. According to you people deserve superannuation if they have paid tax only.

    It does appear that you do not understand the importance of savings an investment. This Government has borrowed $50 billion and it’s level of investment into things that will produce a sizable return in the future is very limited. They are actually selling off assets that were providing useful dividends just to provide some short term cash, how dumb is that?

    One of the biggest new spends from the National Government is in the Roads of National Significance. The $12 billion being spent on these roads defies reason when most do not pass any basic cost/benefit analysis and the PPP being used to build Transmission Gully is going to be a huge future cost to tax payers:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/128683/transmission-gully-taxpayer-cost-'trebles'-under-ppp

    This Government claims to be economically trustworthy but in actual fact they are just big borrowers, dodgy spenders and poor managers. We desperately need more Greens in Government who have business experience and understand what investing in the future and sustainability really means. Our future isn’t coal, oil and milk powder and a low waged economy.

    More than half of the current Green line up have managed a business or had a business background. Our current leaders are a past commercial lawyer and a businessman who once worked for Price Waterhouse Coopers as a business consultant in Europe. The Green party is tech savvy, embraces innovation and financially we are smart operators. We raised more money than Labour in the last election with few major donors. At the end of the election we had no debt and are not trapped into having to owe big donors favours.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11406705

    I would be interested to see the fiscal evidence of your claims as it is clearly spin with little real economic understanding.

  75. TraceyS says:

    Dave at 11.42am: Still no solutions from you, only moaning.

  76. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, you do need to accept that solutions are needed but there are many in our policy documents, here are some:
    https://home.greens.org.nz/policysummary/sustainable-business-policy-summary

  77. Mr E says:

    It is entertaining watching Dave make claims that Fonterra needs Govt intervention to make things fair.

    Then he uses H&S as an example.

    I find that funny because Health and safety regulations support big industry. Big industry can handle H&S management easier than small business.

    But the Greens seem to forget these issues. They appear to want regulation which needs regulation.

    It all sounds like tax tax tax…. For no apparent reason. But that is the Greens isn’t it?

  78. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oh dear Mr E, you do like inventing stuff. I only referred to H&S legislation as an example of w

    When it comes to Fonterra particularly there are issues with competition:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11480653

    The Greens also voiced concerns about Fonterra being forced to supply milk to overseas companies that seemed ludicrous too:
    https://home.greens.org.nz/newsletters/economy-e-news/applying-national-interest-test-milk

    Just any regulation isn’t what is needed, and National does seem to pass legislation that needs revision later.

  79. Dave Kennedy says:

    oops…”I only referred to H&S legislation as an example of why some legislation rather than none at all is necessary.”

  80. Mr E says:

    Dave

    “When it comes to Fonterra particularly there are issues with competition”

    What are those issues?

    Your own link suggest competition is very very good.

    “Fonterra currently has an 86 per cent share of the nation’s milk pool, down from 96 per cent when it was set up in 2001.”

    (it = DIRA)

    “The Greens also voiced concerns about Fonterra being forced to supply milk to overseas companies”

    The Greens voice concerns about all sorts if issues that aren’t real. Fonterra is not forced to supply milk to overseas companies. It supplies milk to NZ companies.

    Another one of your wrong moments… Will they never end?

    ”I only referred to H&S legislation as an example of why some legislation rather than none at all is necessary.”

    Which really was stupid wasnt it? Nobody has argued that the government should never regulate, so the point is invalid. I suspect this constant raising of invalid points is politicking.

    In this case you simply reminded readers that regulation can hurt small businesses. Kinda opposite to the point you are trying to make about regulation and competition.

  81. TraceyS says:

    Mr E

    “I find that funny because Health and safety regulations support big industry. Big industry can handle H&S management easier than small business.”

    You are correct that it is easier for bigger businesses. But small businesses don’t need excuses made for them, especially when things go wrong, for example; the regulator should have employed more inspectors to check quarries and deal to them. That seems to be what Dave is saying with “…it is a pity that they didn’t employ some idiot to check it out and stop an unnecessary death.” I am assuming by “they” he means the regulator.

    If more inspectors were employed then there is a possibility that one would have visited the site in time to stop the accident. But there were two other parties much closer to the action who were taking income, presumably regularly, who could also have shut down (or improved) the operation. These parties are the landowner and the leasee. How can anyone discount these glaring responsibilities in order to score political points?

    I find that immoral.

  82. TraceyS says:

    Dave

    You have evaded every one of my questions and then tell me to accept that the solutions to health and safety (and other issues) are embedded in Green Party policy?

    No thanks. The leap of faith required is far too wide and the result of my hazard assessment suggests that the risks aren’t worth taking. I can avoid the potential for a nasty accident by not attempting the leap. That’s the responsible approach.

    You completely missed the point anyway. When I asked for your solutions, I wanted to hear solutions from you, not from your party. Or is the party you and you the party?

  83. Mr E says:

    Tracey,
    “You are correct that it is easier for bigger businesses. But small businesses don’t need excuses made for them, especially when things go wrong”

    I agree.
    I have been told by a boss in Worksafe, small producers are the worst. And I tend to agree based on my experience. Often lifestylers purchase retired vehicles from farms. Things like brakes, lights etc, that are there for safety are poorly maintained. Helmets are common place on most farms now days. Yet I would say they are a rarity on lifestyle farms.

    It is the corporates and large enterprise that Dave seems to target. I think if Dave really cared about H&S he should be aiming at small enterprise. Of course he doesn’t.

  84. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E some of the companies Fonterra supplies for the domestic market have largely overseas owners. I’m not sure where you get your information from regarding competition in the milk market, most evidence says otherwise and so do many of the commenters here.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11480653

  85. Mr E says:

    “Mr E some of the companies Fonterra supplies for the domestic market have largely overseas owners”

    So you were wrong then… Good good.

    “I’m not sure where you get your information from regarding competition in the milk market,”

    Ahh – as I said – your link.

    Honestly Dave. I know it is Monday, but sharpen up.

  86. Paranormal says:

    Gold Mr E, pure comedy gold.

  87. Mr E says:

    Paranormal,
    Thanks, I am pleased you enjoy.

  88. TraceyS says:

    Mr E, I would welcome a visit from WorkSafe to any of the multiple workplaces we own and/or manage. But the fact is that if WorkSafe was to visit every small site in the country on a regular basis then they would need many thousands of inspectors. Our tiny business alone is so diverse and spread out that it would take several days to get around every site if a thorough audit was to be done on every one.

    I don’t see that this is ever going to happen. So there is no denying the need to develop and affirm the value of self-determination along with its partners; self-analysis and self-responsibility. Regulation will never be a substitute for it. Regulation is the nudge and the stick. The bit in the middle is where the real gains are made – or not.

    On that point, you said; “I have been told by a boss in Worksafe, small producers are the worst. And I tend to agree based on my experience”. There is a sea-change going on which is great to witness and be part of.

    With the right tools and the right focus, small businesses can be just as safe as bigger ones. Provided they make the attitudinal changes necessary. This is by far and away the hardest bit. I speak from experience.

  89. TraceyS says:

    ”I only referred to H&S legislation as an example of why some legislation rather than none at all is necessary.”

    I laughed. No one here has ever argued for lawlessness.

    Isn’t it funny how extremists react as though everyone else must be extreme too?

  90. Mr E says:

    Tracey,

    “With the right tools and the right focus, small businesses can be just as safe as bigger ones. ”

    If not safer.

    “Provided they make the attitudinal changes necessary. This is by far and away the hardest bit. I speak from experience.”

    Completely agree.

    I know there are people who are trying to lead by example. I was raised by safety concious parents. As a result I am very aware of safety in everything I do. I am fluent in Health and Safety documentation.

    As and example if I pick up a spanner, I wear goggles and gloves. Although you would not know it to look at me or hear my long list of stitches and broken bones.

    Part of the issue with regulation is people stop talking about incidents they have. And therefore others do not learn to avoid the same mistake.

    I know a company who rewards their staff (or at least used to) for being injury free. If one person had an injury, the whole lot lose their monthly bonuses. Unsurprisingly – many people were having mysterious accidents at home.

    The truth is people find ways around regulation and regulation in itself can cause issues.

    I think it is education that makes the best progress. I speak from experience.

  91. Dave Kennedy says:

    “So you were wrong then…”
    Not at all, I feel it is inappropriate for Fonterra to supply milk to overseas owned companies supplying the domestic market, it has and is happening as I stated. Nice try!

    My link also supported the fact that there is no real competition in the domestic milk market, it has be re regulated to make any competition at all. I’m not sure what article you read to assume otherwise.

    “Regulation is the nudge and the stick”
    No it isn’t Tracey, it provides the bottom line and the assurance it is happening. Some employers will need a sledge hammer to understand what their requirements are and that is why we need regulation. There is an element that will never get it without rigid requirements, the good employers just need an occasional reminder.

    “I think it is education that makes the best progress.”

    You obviously haven’t experienced a range of employers, education only works for those who want to do the right thing.

  92. Paranormal says:

    DK – Synlait has 7 (of 14) New Zealand shareholders. Are you suggesting this company should not be able to access milk supply in NZ?

    BTW your politics are showing “You obviously haven’t experienced a range of employers..” In reality you clearly haven’t experienced a range of employers, relying instead on Green agitprop.

  93. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, I wasn’t thinking especially of Synlait, but 50% overseas ownership does provide a dilemma. I actually wonder if Fonterra should be supplying any competitors. Perhaps there should just be a greater ability for farmers to leave Fonterra and supply to competitors. Bulk commodity markets are not as attractive any longer.

    “In reality you clearly haven’t experienced a range of employers’
    In my capacity as a member of the CTU i am aware of employer practices that would make your hair stand on end 😉

    For every amazing employer (and i do know a few of those) there are some pretty appalling ones. Many are large employers like Talleys

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/6485210/Talleys-at-centre-of-strike-wave

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1508/S00037/talleys-affco-workers-to-strike.htm

  94. TraceyS says:

    “Part of the issue with regulation is people stop talking about incidents they have. And therefore others do not learn to avoid the same mistake.”

    They do talk, in hushed tones, maybe not publicly so much. Some do. A recent accident in North Otago created much discussion. Very much. It is a great privilege to be within hearing distance.

    “I know a company who rewards their staff (or at least used to) for being injury free. If one person had an injury, the whole lot lose their monthly bonuses. Unsurprisingly – many people were having mysterious accidents at home.”

    Incentives must be used with care. I heard that Pike River employees risked losing payments of many thousand per month each if targets were not met. This led to covering up red flags by many complicit parties. Recipe for disaster. Obviously.

    My second cousin died there. My thesis research was on this exact topic. But I could not continue partly because of the health and safety changes which came out of Pike Rover and the extra workload this has created for our small business. I’m not bitter about this circularity though. Actually I am full of enthusiasm for the changes. I’ve wanted them for 20-odd years. Life finds a place for us all.

    “The truth is people find ways around regulation and regulation in itself can cause issues.”

    Yes. Even at the quasi-regulatory level of Best Practices Guidelines. Best practice can introduce new hazards, eg. bars on machinery windows to prevent external object intrusion introduce a new visual hazard not present prior to the bars existing. It is never ending. Regulation cannot deal with this dynamism adequately. It is on paper, inherently two-dimensional, and reactive. People are dynamic. Faulted, but dynamic nonetheless.

    Those, like Dave, who see us plebs as mindless automatons marching to the beat of the regulatory drum will never, ever, get this.

    “I think it is education that makes the best progress. I speak from experience.”

    Peer pressure, peer support, encouragement, healthy competition, no-nonsense help, fellowship, goodwill. All are important in addition to education.

    We need a wave not a sledgehammer.

  95. TraceyS says:

    Dave says:

    “[Regulation]…provides the bottom line and the assurance it is happening.”

    Questions for you, Dave:

    What is “it” exactly? (definition please)

    What is the “bottom line” that legislation should provide – zero deaths? Bottom lines are usually defined in terms of absolutes, such as the minimum wage expressed as an hourly rate. So what is the bottom line regulation should provide in terms of health and safety?

    “Some employers will need a sledge hammer to understand what their requirements are…”

    What exactly are “their requirements” Dave? The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 requires that everything “reasonably practicable” be done to ensure health and safety. You’re talking about taking a sledgehammer to the meeting (or not) of requirements which are evolving and endless. The sledgehammer approach is fine by me as long as the regulation tells me exactly what to do. If I pay lower than minimum wage then I deserve/expect to be hammered. But H&S law doesn’t tell you exactly what “reasonably practicable” is. Do you think that it should?

    “There is an element that will never get it without rigid requirements, the good employers just need an occasional reminder.”

    But the rogues often get away with things because of the way the system works. Ever noticed how WorkSafe always seems to win a case against an employer? What happens to all the unwinnable cases? Don’t hear about those do we.

    The fact is the sledgehammer comes down hard on those where there is reliable evidence available that will stand up in court. Nothing to do with this good / bad employer distinction.

  96. TraceyS says:

    …and still no solutions from Dave.

  97. Dave Kennedy says:

    “and still no solutions from Dave.”

    I guess it depends if you read my links or answers, Tracey 😉

  98. TraceyS says:

    Come on Dave, summarise them in bullet point format if you will, short and sweet. Blind us with your guiding light…

  99. JC says:

    If you are really serious about health and safety then you get rid of ACC. It encourages risk taking and shields bad operators from full consequences.

    In the short time we had private insurance in 1999 my company premiums went down several thousand dollars but some large crews with poor records were faced with $50,000 premiums.

    I think ACC costs us productivity as well. Its cheaper to use manpower working flat out rather than a machine which while expensive can be a lot safer and more productive in the end. The true cost of killing or permanently injuring a man might be $1 million dollars but ACC settles for a fine and a minimum payout to families ruined by tragedy.

    ACC is a hindrance to creating larger entities with economies of scale, better H&S training and and value chains because it helps keep small entities going because the labour is cheap and the tax payer picks up the true cost of injury and death.

    ACC is also political.. one of its biggest elements today is non work related sexual abuse and mental illness claims.. thats money and resources taken away from injured workers.

    ACC is grossly unfair.. a sexually abused person can look forward to a higher standard of living and all expenses paid compared to the person struck down with eg, a neurological disease. Ten years ago the Australia MS Society showed a lifetime cost of $1 million for an incapacitated MS sufferer.. similar research in NZ suggests the same order of costs but all the patient gets is a sickness benefit and little else. Families mostly bear the bulk of the costs of housing, food and 24 hour care.

    Finally, we often skite about our no fault ACC but how come we are the only Western country which has it? It can’t be that great if no one else sees its benefits. IMO its a scheme that penalises the safety conscious and helps keep the ratbags in business.

    JC

  100. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    Lets compare statements:
    1 “The Greens also voiced concerns about Fonterra being forced to supply milk to overseas companies”

    2 “Not at all, I feel it is inappropriate for Fonterra to supply milk to overseas owned companies supplying the domestic market

    Can you see where you have gone wrong?

    Given that you are now turning the issue into an ownership issue, you must now feel divisive against pretty much all of NZ agriculture and business. Most businesses require bank support. Most of our banks are foreign ones. Under your objection business would not exist in NZ. Actually neither would home ownership. It seems the Greens want NZ to go broke by objecting to foreign investment.

    Or are you just saving your hate for the Dairy industry?

  101. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, one would have thought that with home ownership declining rapidly, Australian banks sucking record profits out of us and more and more foreign owned business owning plant and property in New Zealand that you would be concerned. There is a big difference between foreign investment and foreign takeover. I wonder if there is a correlation between increasing foreign ownership and the increase in child poverty announced today.

    We are becoming more and more a low waged economy with our income mainly derived from commodity exports. I have been working a lot with local businessmen and city councillors recently in trying to re-establish Invercargill’s public Art Gallery (you may have seen interviews and articles in the Southland Times in reference to this). Per head of capita the Southland region produces more export income than most (12% from 3% of pop) but you wouldn’t think so given the median incomes. Ordinary retail businesses are struggling and shops are closing everywhere.

    The Prime Minister just got a 3.11% increase in pay (almost 50% of workers have had no increase) which amounted to $13,000 added to his annual income. The Government generously gave beneficiaries $25 a week or $1,300 a year.

    Growing inequality and growing child poverty and an economy in a downward spiral and big business screwing small businesses (the original topic), things aren’t looking good.

    It is especially bad when JC reckons rape victims don’t deserve the same support as any other sufferer of a traumatic injury. The point of ACC was to provide support for those suffering from injury so that they can be fully active in society and the economy again. Someone who has suffered a brutal rape may end up needing long term state support and this doesn’t show compassion or any economic sense.

  102. Paranormal says:

    Lets look at some of those comments shall we DK?

    “home ownership declining rapidly” From Stats NZ quick stats in the seven year period from 2006 to 2013 there was a drop in owner occupied homes of 2.1%. Is this another DK furphy? Certainly looks like it, particularly when you consider the GFC occurred during that period. http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2013-census/profile-and-summary-reports/quickstats-about-housing.aspx

    “correlation [blah blah blah] and the increase in child poverty announced today” So child poverty ™ (whatever that might be) increased in 2011 and is now back down to 2007 levels but is being sold as an increase. You go for it DK, but it just smacks of more political greenwash. No wonder the Greens et al on the left are not taken seriously.

    Eyeore Kennedy when it comes to ACC you are falling into the trap of all short sighted politicians everywhere. You can make ACC pay for anything you want, but it has to be funded from somewhere. Have a look at the serious mismanagement of ACC funds by Liarbour politicans over the years, particularly the 70’s to understand the bigger picture. This is the main reason ACC as a government owned insurer needs to be dismantled and placed back in the private sector – essentially to stop ignorant venal politicians like you meddling with it. The long term implications of todays feelgood policy changes can significantly impact on NZ’s future balance sheet.

    You are the one complaining about poverty, yet it is your policy prescription that will make us an even worse nation of debtors.

  103. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    So it appears you are against foreign investment.

    That attitude pretty much throws NZ under a bus.

    NZ constantly invests in its own growth. And it uses foreign money to do so. Your monetary policy of zero foreign money would put NZ back into the dark ages. That is what you want, isnt it?

    “I wonder if there is a correlation between increasing foreign ownership and the increase in child poverty announced today.”

    You are shedding the blame of child poverty on Foreigners? Goodness!

    You really are reinforcing my growing view that the Greens are not fit to govern.

    “I have been working a lot with local businessmen and city councillors recently in trying to re-establish Invercargill’s public Art Gallery”

    Southland’s economy relies on Agriculture. You have a view that most farmers are animal abusers, staff abusers, and ignorant of sustainable practices. You also dislike their use of foreign money, wondering if it is to blame for child poverty.

    And you are trying to negotiate support with those claims in the background. I wish you all the best.

  104. Paranormal says:

    DK at 12.15 – how can we take you seriously when you fail to read your own links. No wonder there may be some confusion as to what your solutions may look like.

    Traceys’s request for a clear response from you is overly reasonable…

  105. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, dishonesty comes just so naturally to you. I would love you to find any quote where it states I am against foreign investment 😉

    I am against foreign ownership of our property and key industries. You seem happy to lose sovereignty of our economy and resources, but I take a different view.

    Paranormal, you are blinded by the spin. I had to put Sarah Dowie right about ACC too. Good grief!

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/opinion/70871817/Govt-did-ACC-no-favours-letter

  106. Mr E says:

    ” I would love you to find any quote where it states I am against foreign investment”

    Very well:
    “Australian banks sucking record profits out of us” …..”that you would be concerned.”

    Speaking of dishonesty:
    “You seem happy to lose sovereignty of our economy and resources.”

  107. Paranormal says:

    DK you really have no idea and are, yet again, guilty of assuming too much and knowing too little. For example can you make any comment regarding discounted reserving for long tail claims?

    I have been involved with ACC, as well as the private insurers that took on the privatisation, in an indepth way that you would be completely unaware of. I know quite a bit about ACC and insurance of long tail claims.

    You are the one peddling spin.

  108. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E and Paranormal, is that really the best you can do?

    New Zealand’s ACC system leads the world, privatising it would be hugely detrimental. You are right Paranormal I am completely unaware of the advantages to workers and the economy of a privatised accident compensation system, the only gains would be to the the profits of insurers. You will have to provide evidence of where it is working elsewhere in the world.

    http://www.acc.co.nz/about-acc/overview-of-acc/introduction-to-acc/aba00004

  109. Mr E says:

    “Mr E and Paranormal, is that really the best you can do?”

    What have we established?
    Competition for farm gate milk is very healthy
    There is no evidence that Fonterra, needs further regulation.
    Much of the regulation that Dave is discussing favours big enterprise and hurts small enterprise.
    Dave appears to dislike foreign investment.

    I am satisfied with what I have achieved Dave. Thanks.

  110. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I seriously worry about your comprehension skills, they seem to be hugely influenced by your fanatical agenda. Repeating a lie won’t make it true and it is interesting that when I look back at past discussions history has proved me right (and my sources, as they are not actually just my ideas) time and time again.

    You are nothing but hot air and no substance as was proven with that sad little Fed Farmers fiasco. Bullying and lies are tactics that generally get exposed and fail in the end but I don’t think you have any other approaches 😉

  111. Paranormal says:

    I don’t normally engage with your ignorance DK, but ACC is one area your leftist ideology completely fails you. You would rather spin than accept very clear evidence from our own experience in privatising ACC in 2000.

    The evidence is clear that private Insurers brought innovation and best practice to the market. For example at that time your supposed ‘world leading system’ only provided case management and a return to work plan after a worker had been off work for 2 to 3 weeks. By that time it was too late for best outcomes for the worker. They had mentally and physically atrophied so that any return to work would be delayed. Best practice brought in by private insurers was for immediate case management and a return to work plan. ACC learned a lot from the privatisation. They still have a lot to learn.

    Liarbour also lied about ‘loss leading’ pricing. All absolute lies. The insurers involved were going to have to reduce renewal premiums in future years as they had been successful in effective claims management. I worked with three of the participants in the market including the government provider of last resort.

    Note JC’s comments above. The incentives involved in real risk rating would have driven H&S practices as much if not more than regulation.

    Your blinkered thinking also doesn’t understand that ACC is just another insurer, a big bureaucratic, inefficient government owned monopoly – with all that implies.

    New Zealand ACC privatisation benefited everyone, particularly the workers who finally got best service when injured. That you don’t want the best outcomes for workers says much about your ideology trumping actually caring for the workers.

  112. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, evidence please, and why hasn’t National re-introduced private coverage again? 😉

  113. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    You make claims of bullying and lies. I’d ask for evidence, but I’ve done that over and over in the past and you are always found wanting.

    That really is the conclusion of this thread. Many have asked you questions regarding your views and you have largely ignored them, rather than actively engaging. To me it seems you are left wanting.

    No surprises.

  114. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, my views are well expressed and cause ongoing angst. I also supply more links to evidence than the rest of you put together. It isn’t just me you are arguing against but all the others where I source my information.

    I wonder who you will blame for the latest child poverty statistics, the parents, the opposition, false data?
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2015/12/our-children-our-future-nationals.html

  115. JC says:

    “New Zealand’s ACC system leads the world”

    (Translation) no other developed country has it.

    Its so good rich countries aren’t interested in it and poorer countries run a mile from it.

    Its so good we have one of the worst accident and injury rates in the world.

    Its so good the OECD and a couple of international studies have panned it.

    Its so good that workplace accidents whilst high aren’t increasing, road accidents have fallen dramatically but accidents in “home and other” have skyrocketed.. and we dont know why.’Whatever we are about 9 times more likely to die by accident at home than at work.

    In fact its so good we cannot understand we have such a poor accident and injury rate after 40 odd years.

    Its so good that we were on par with other countries like Oz and US in 2000 but have fallen way behind them since then.

    Its so good that if a thug beats you into permanent and full paralysis you won’t get much change from ACC but if you suffer a mental complaint from a non injurious rape you will be in clover.

    Its so good that if you contract a neurological disease like MS and slowly become paralyzed all you will get is a sickness benefit and your family will pick up the tab.

    Its so good that even the thug that half kills you will get free treatment for his broken hand. You the victim gets the brushoff for your ongoing trauma.

    Its a shabby bit of politicised legislation which is totally at variance with the original Woodhouse report that insisted all injuries and *sickness* should receive the same approach to compensation. Now its a haven for experienced bludgers and an al cheapo scheme to pay for death and very serious injury.

    JC

  116. Mr E says:

    “my views are well expressed and cause ongoing angst”

    You are judging your own views? Giving yourself praise? That really says it all doesn’t it?

    You provide links. Many of them, but usually they don’t support your views. If they did you would copy out the exert that supports your view. But you don’t, I guess because you can’t. There is the odd exception, like when you link to your own blog. But often it seems to me like you haven’t read the links you post.

    As for your child poverty comment, that is way off topic. Way way off topic. But nice try at a distraction.

  117. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Its so good that if a thug beats you into permanent and full paralysis you won’t get much change from ACC but if you suffer a mental complaint from a non injurious rape you will be in clover.”
    JC, your ignorance drips from every word here, do you actually know anyone who has experienced a brutal rape?

    Mr E, I note that most commenters agreed that greater protections were needed for contractors and that the Commerce Commission was effectively a wet bus ticket. I totally agree with those views but then was attacked for expressing the same. It does appear that there is a certain amount of self interest coming through and a lack of empathy for others who may also need support.

    Contractors shouldn’t be treated badly apparently, but for workers rape victims and children, more support and spending isn’t necessary 😉

  118. Mr E says:

    I totally agree with those views but then was attacked for expressing the same.”

    First of all your views were not the same.

    Secondly you were not attacked.

    If you can’t handle people disagreeing with you, perhaps you shouldn’t be a politician?

  119. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, if I couldn’t handle name calling and abuse I wouldn’t comment here 😉

  120. JC says:

    “JC, your ignorance drips from every word here, do you actually know anyone who has experienced a brutal rape?”

    First off I have done two posts on ACC and have been very careful not to slag off any person.. I’ve stuck strictly to my argument. However your response has been to insult me personally for my comments. On that basis can we now agree that your farce about being the good guy attacked by evil is well and truly exposed.. you are simply an unpleasant troll who attacks anyone who doesn’t share your minority views.

    Second.. above I was very precise in my definition of a physical attack creating permanent and full paralysis and a rape at the lower end of the scale where there were minor injuries. I noted the disparity in treatment of the two events.

    It would take a special kind of human like yourself to assert the beaten person paralysed for life should not also get the much better treatment given the rape victim. That you can only feel sympathy for the woman who was raped, ie, the person who offers the most political advantage to you, and not the other is one reason why the Greens are at 8%.. there is something wrong with you.

    And yes, I do know something about rape.. an acquaintance is one of the two women in the town who collects the physical personal evidence from the victim that the police require for all such crime.. she can tell some grim stories.
    For myself I can tell even grimmer stories about about the devastation caused by neurological disease.

    JC

  121. Dave Kennedy says:

    JC, you are dancing on a pin, neurological diseases don’t necessarily have the outcomes you described later and rape can have a range of physical and psychological effects. To dismiss rape so emphatically as you did was unacceptable.

    The purpose of ACC was to ensure that injuries do not end up permanently removing an individual from the work force and becoming a long term cost to the state. It also speeds up the process of recovery and avoids costly legal battles.

    The problem with private insurers is that they are profit focussed, not recovery focussed and like any insurer, will refuse a payout if it can be avoided. They may indeed be cheaper initially but the costs of not getting someone back working will fall on the state.

    When National falsely claimed that ACC was in crisis because of the dip in the investment earnings (due to the GFC, and was quickly recovered) they refused paying out for rape and paid bonuses to staff who refused cover, especially for long term claimants, this was not a cost saving. I know of numerous people aged over fifty who were told that their injury was due to age degeneration and rather than getting treatment and returning to the workforce they ended up costing us all as long term sickness beneficiaries.

  122. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    “The problem with private insurers is that they are profit focussed”

    Nasty slurs seem to roll off your tongue so easily.

  123. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, you are truly unbelievable, calling businesses profit focused is a ‘nasty slur’? Good grief!

  124. Mr E says:

    Perhaps that is it. You don’t seem to realise that accusing people of being more concerned about money than welfare is nasty.

    You seem to think such things are kind and polite, and consequently you don’t need to justify the remarks.

    Have you asked any insurance businesses for support for your Art museum? Or would you tell them to put their profits back to their clients?

  125. Gravedodger says:

    Its as if one tries to retrieve a bottle of single malt after it slips out of the hand onto a gravel road and smashes, sad but utterly impossible.

  126. JC says:

    “JC, you are dancing on a pin, neurological diseases don’t necessarily have the outcomes you described later”

    Except they nearly always create a physical barrier to full enjoyment of life and are mostly incurable. A billion people worldwide are affected. The mental effects can be horrendous and permanent and along with the physical effects can cause permanent social isolation.

    “and rape can have a range of physical and psychological effects.”

    Except physically victims can get better.. usually within days. The mental effects may or may not persist or be a barrier to future enjoyment of life. Fortunately for the victims of rape they can have generous access to psychiatric services.

    “To dismiss rape so emphatically as you did was unacceptable.”

    I didn’t. I put it in context with other more serious and permanent diseases and how the rape victim gets a better deal.

    However, I understand why you have to downrate neurological disease and severe beatings causing paralysis and call me ignorant.. they and me pose a threat.. a weakening of the politically very useful rape victim and associated industry.

    Without rape, sexual abuse, poverty and racism as your main political weapons you are vastly reduced. You can open, continue and close any argument by branding any debater against you as a sinner against your mantra.

    You can and nearly always will sidetrack any conversation into one or more of these subjects so you can accuse people as uncaring and worse.. its what floats your boat.

    JC

  127. Dave Kennedy says:

    JC, this debate will never get anywhere while you are attempt to catagorise different injuries in simplistic terms and rank them in order of priority. I am not prepared to do that as most injuries are on a continuum of severity and each individual case should be taken on its merits.

    Lots of people fall through the gaps under ACC currently and some conditions may well get better support than others but to compare one condition or traumatic injury with another in such a simplistic way and claim one is less than the other is naive in the extreme.

    “You don’t seem to realise that accusing people of being more concerned about money than welfare is nasty.”

    But I didn’t Mr E and this is where your dishonesty is exposed. My claim is that businesses generally exist to make a profit, talk to any company director about what the bottom line of their business is and they will openly state it is to produce a good financial return on what is invested and strong dividends to share holders.

    http://www.smallbusinessnewz.com/making-profitability-a-priority-in-business-2010-02

    Insurance companies are businesses.

  128. TraceyS says:

    “Mr E, you are truly unbelievable, calling businesses profit focused is a ‘nasty slur’? Good grief!”

    I agree that calling a business “profit focused” is not a nasty slur, Dave, it’s a compliment!

    But to say that being profit focused is a “problem”…now that is a nasty slur.

    And that is what you did except that rather than say it is “a” problem, you said it was “the” problem.

    Saying that a profit focus is the problem with private insurers is equivalent to saying that private insurers shouldn’t exist at all. This is because private insurers could not exist without a profit focus.

    To remind you:

    “The problem with private insurers is that they are profit focussed (sic).”

    🙂

  129. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, it is only a problem if business is given key responsibility in a sector that should be service focussed. Then it is a real problem for those expecting to have their needs met appropriately, decisions on their treatment will be in relation to immediate financial constraints and not the long term needs of the person. That is why ACC was set up in the way it was. Read the history!

  130. TraceyS says:

    Let me see if I have this straight…

    Profit focus will always be a problem where it must co-exist with service focus?

    Therefore a successful, profitable, private service sector (in theory) should not exist.

  131. TraceyS says:

    Correction:

    Profit focus will always be the problem where it must co-exist with service focus.

    (the problem will never be with the service focus will it? oh no, no!)

  132. Paranormal says:

    Carry on with the ideology DK – yet again you’re absolutely wrong.

    Someone with your access to the parliamentary library has no excuse for this level of misinformation around ACC. Have you actually done the research or are you, yet again, relying on your ideology to guide you?

    Do your research and then come back and discuss ACC honestly.

    Here’s a starter for you from NZ Society of Actuaries:
    “The view of the author is that the privatisation process delivered benefits to:
    • ACC by creating a more efficient and focused organisation,
    • the overall scheme by properly defining the entitlements,
    • insurers who made profits from the experience,
    • employers by reducing premium rates,
    • employees overall through improved rehabilitation and reduction in injury rates.”

  133. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Profit focus will always be the problem where it must co-exist with service focus.”
    Yes, especially with regards to areas where the extent of a service will be compromised by the need to make a profit. Social housing, education and health are all provided in a more cost effective way when managed by the state. This can easily be proven when comparing systems internationally, comparing the US health care system with New Zealand’s is a good example. Our ACC system, despite the damage done to it by National, is still envied globally.

    Paranormal, the view of the author is a private interest one and I would love you to produce evidence that the private sector will provide employees an “improved rehabilitaion and reduction in injury rates”. Highly unlikely. It is your ideology that is an issue here and no one has explained why National hasn’t tried to privatise ACC again, if it is such a no brainer that would have implemented it immediately 😉

  134. TraceyS says:

    I asked:

    “Profit focus will always be the problem where it must co-exist with service focus.”

    Dave replied:

    “Yes, especially with regards to areas where the extent of a service will be compromised by the need to make a profit.”

    I deduct that you don’t agree with primary health care being delivered through private General Practices then?

    Regarding ACC, they contract out some services (eg. rehab) to private businesses I think. We recently had an employee make a claim for an accident at home and the company who contacted us regarding rehabilitation, I’m pretty sure, was a private business.

  135. JC says:

    “JC, this debate will never get anywhere while you are attempt to catagorise different injuries in simplistic terms and rank them in order of priority.”

    So, according to that ideology rape is a more severe problem than murder, catastrophic health problems, any other crime or mental illness not borne out of rape?

    JC

  136. Dave Kennedy says:

    “I deduct that you don’t agree with primary health care being delivered through private General Practices then?”

    My wife is a GP here but in England GP visits are free and GPs are part of the NHS. Many poor delay going to a doctor here because of the cost (despite subsidies) and often once they finally front up their condition can be terminal. Our hospital emergency departments are now stretched because of this and many doctors now refuse to do after hours as well (they charge heaps for this). For patients the service from state funded GPs is much better.

    JC, don’t be daft, a murdered person won’t be asking for ACC support. I totally agree with you that death is more catastrophic than rape. 😛

  137. TraceyS says:

    Dave, the following article describes the same kind of practices in the NHS as you criticised in relation to ACC.

    This shows that all systems are flawed and have to deal with resource constraints.

    The reality, and the reason, why these things occur is that resources are limited.

  138. Dave Kennedy says:

    I don’t doubt what you linked to, Tracey, we have similar problems in NZ when colonoscopies have been discouraged to save costs. For all that our systems are far and above more equitable than the US which is largely privatised.

  139. TraceyS says:

    No one here appears to be suggesting privatising the whole health system. But there is a valid argument for some level of privatisation – for many reasons. Minimising system inflexibility is but one.

  140. JC says:

    “I totally agree with you that death is more catastrophic than rape. :-P”

    But not the others I mentioned?

    JC

  141. TraceyS says:

    If I could pick one area where I’d like to see some private competition it would be some local government services. Take processing of a resource consent aplication.

    When someone calls a council to see if they can build a house on their land it is common to hear that they get told different things by different people. Someone I know was told not to bother applying for a resource consent because they probably wouldn’t succeed. Another person later applied for a consent in a close by location and succeeded. Presumably that party received a different welcome. Why the inconsistency?

    Well one reason might be that there is no direct and immediate gain from the staff member’s point of view in return for taking on more work. No impelling motive to encourage people. Another application, when the department is already very busy with existing applications, is just more work! It is easy to discourage people in order to control the workload.

    With a profit motive the inquiry, and the patronage, would never be turned away.

  142. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, I’m going to let you into a little secret… there are a lot of people who just like to do a good job without needing financial incentives. That is why teachers and principals rejected the idea of a massive increases for the leadership roles proposed by Parata. They wanted the money to be spent on special needs and professional development instead. Perhaps a poorly performing consents department is because they are poorly led, poorly trained and even actually over worked.

    JC, give up, you are just digging an even bigger hole for yourself.

  143. Name Withheld says:

    JC, give up, you are just digging an even bigger hole for yourself.
    Thus spake the troll from the depths of his personal abyss.
    Unbelievable.

  144. JC says:

    NW,

    Note he didn’t answer the question.. again. That almost certainly means he does indeed rank those things.. in order of political advantage.

    JC

  145. Paranormal says:

    DK at 4.40pm, yes I can understand you wouldn’t go with the findings of independent analytical research from the NZ Society of Actuaries 2002 conference. It’s clearly not politically correct or ideologically driven. You really need to do some research so you can at least have some meaningful input.

  146. TraceyS says:

    A profit focus doesn’t have to mean profit at all costs and I think that there are few businesses around like that. Private businesses need to have a profit focus to survive and are well aware (as are their employees) of the realities if they don’t. Whereas in the example I gave (@7.30pm) there is no such survival motive, or if there is, it is very weak.

    There is a kind of ‘profit’ motive in schools I think. Parents usually have a choice of schools and if teachers do a poor job then students (and subsequently income to the school) can be lost. That would mean fewer teachers because although the school doesn’t have a profit focus it is still intent on breaking even or creating a small surplus to carry forward rather than a loss. So there is competition, and there is a survival motive.

    Not so with councils because people cannot choose to use an alternative council if they don’t like the service provided at their nearest one. You will note that in my comment (@7.30pm) I did not say that competition, which would introduce a profit (or surplus) focus, had to come from private businesses.

  147. Dave Kennedy says:

    NW, JC, Para, Actually the most telling question was mine. If one Government introduces something new, and it works, the following Government generally continues it. National introduced private ACC providers, the following Labour Government got rid of them and National has been back in power for over 7 years and they have not brought them back…I wonder why?

    The rape comments were unforgivable and If the best you can do in support of your argument is refer to a 13 year old piece of research from a NZ Society of Actuaries conference (that you can’t even link to) then your credibility is in a downward spiral.

  148. Name Withheld says:

    the following Government generally continues it.

    What!
    You are becoming incoherent again.
    Try and get more sleep Mr Kennedy.
    Continually crouching over you monitor at five past one in the morning is just not healthy.

  149. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, I do not know one school that operates because they worry about losing money if they don’t do a good job. Most worry about doing the best job for their children.

    The only thing that is a worry, in relation to money, that I am aware of is that some schools try to turn away children with high needs because they realise the drain on resources that they cause. In the US many Charter schools get rid of any children who are high needs and poor performers because they will lower their achievement figures that make them attractive to parents.

    This article describes the dilemma: http://ny.chalkbeat.org/2015/09/28/for-charter-schools-serving-overage-or-homeless-students-typical-metrics-dont-add-up/#.VnHO_cB96hc

  150. Dave Kennedy says:

    NW, read it again, it makes perfect sense and my unanswered question is the most telling…why hasn’t this Government reintroduced private providers for ACC cover if it is such a good idea? 😉

  151. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    “I’m going to let you into a little secret… there are a lot of people who just like to do a good job without needing financial incentives. ”

    The private sector is loaded with individuals just like that. That is why your false dichotomy of private insurers being “profit focused, not recovery focused” is not real and I think just nasty.

    Many people within the service sector whether it be private or public know that sustainable profits do not exist without a strong support focus. It is therefore ridiculous to claim that private insurers don’t focus on recovery.

    JC do you have ‘return to work stats? I would suspect that private insurance would be much my sooner. My own experience has found private to provide rapid diagnosis, surgery, and return to work rates with cancer.

    Infact in my own experience, I have found service delivery from private insurers to be much much higher (by a country mile) than ACC.

    I know you hold teachers in high regard. Largely speaking so do I. But I also hold many in the private sector in equal high regard, and and suggest there is no difference in their moralistic approach.

  152. JC says:

    “why hasn’t this Government reintroduced private providers for ACC cover if it is such a good idea? ;-)”

    You already answered this question, ie Labour would simply change it back as they did previously. They have always been rock solid on this.

    And you have weaseled out on my question for the third or fourth time. Which proves my point.. you only have empathy for rape and no other unfortunates because you think rape gives you a political advantage.

    JC

  153. JC says:

    “JC do you have ‘return to work stats?”

    No. But my experience mirrors yours. You are normally diagnosed, operated on and back to work in several weeks.. depending on the type of surgery of course.

    Another thing to note is health charities in NZ are private organisations mostly staffed and run by volunteers, they employ field workers and many carers and you’d get a flea in your ear if you waltzed in there and accused them of caring for sick people just for profit.

    There are hundreds of charities like this throughout NZ which are privately run (and Maori do more than their fair share of volunteering).. its a huge insult from DK and totally unjust to accuse them of just working for profits.

    JC

  154. Paranormal says:

    Tracy I think you will find that all ACC’s elective surgery is done through the private sector.

  155. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, there is nothing nasty about my claim, businesses can only operate if they are profitable and they would be stupid if they didn’t. Government departments or state services do not have that same criteria. DoC or CYFs will never recover their costs in income or expect to make a profit as the services they provide have a wider value that we all benefit from that can’t be accounted for on a balance sheet. The purpose of ACC was to reduce expensive legal costs and to speed up recovery from accidents so that people can contribute quickly to society again rather than being an ongoing cost.

    Of course businesses can be community and environmentally minded and the Richardson Group that I am currently working with are a good example of a community minded business.

    “You already answered this question, ie Labour would simply change it back as they did previously.”

    Not if it proved useful and cost effective, look at political history.

    I find debating which injury or illness is worse than another distasteful and unhelpful, especially in relation to rape.

  156. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    I disagree
    Profit driven and Recovery driven are not mutually exclusive terms. When it comes to the service industry, sustainable profits require high service delivery. They are mutually inclusive.

    I think you are wrong about ACC’s purpose. ACCs purpose is to ensure all people can recover within reasonable time frames. We know that all people cannot be relied on to establish the means to ensure their own recovery. ACC ensures that means occurs.

    ACC does not exist to ensure speedy recovery or quality of service.

    My experience with ACC found it not easy to identity full entitlements. My experience with ACC found identical injuries were not consistently supported. Consequently I tend to see ACC as a minimalist.

    Conversely I see private insurers as competitive, service focused, recovery focused.

    I have a lot of experience underpinning my views.Your rhetoric will not change that.

    A little political history for you.
    In July 1999 a law change allowed private insurers to provide workplace insurance. In April 2000 this was repealed by Labour.

    When labour came into power in 1999 it never gave privatisation a chance to prove itself useful. JC is correct. Check your political history Dave.

  157. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, the culture of ACC was degraded in recent years when staff were actually incentivised to remove people from support and medical people were employed to over rule the decisions of their colleagues.

    We have to agree to disagree about what really motivates insurers and I’m sure many Christchurch people would support my views. It is more than rhetoric and isn’t just my view:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/8053446/Taking-on-the-insurance-titans

    National tends to be driven more by ideology than evidence and Labour would have ended the the private involvement because it didn’t stack up when the Woodhouse Commission set it up. The same is happening with Charter Schools, there is a high failure rate and the latest closure is a $4 million experimental cost.

  158. TraceyS says:

    “Tracey, I do not know one school that operates because they worry about losing money if they don’t do a good job. Most worry about doing the best job for their children.”

    Of course they don’t operate “because” they worry about losing money. I never said that.

    They are concerned with doing the best for children but they do worry about losing students. One consequence of not doing, or being perceived as not doing, the best for children (compared to other schools) is losing students to the competition.

    A falling roll is one of the three red flags which the Ministry acknowledge as a risk factor for schools in successfully managing their finances. Good financial management is a must in any organisation, profit-making or not.

    Take an area where there is an overall decline in enrollments, say, Dunedin (but there are other examples). The schools which are competitive and perceived to be the better ones either stay the same or get bigger. Without ongoing growth in the population other schools correspondingly retrench.

    You can’t tell me that this is easy and that staff and boards don’t worry about losing kids. They do. It is far easier to manage growth than it is to manage decline. Once again, I speak from experience. But ask anyone who has experience with both up and down times.

    There is definitely a sense of competition and a survival motive in education circles. Within reason, I think that this is a good thing.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/341260/schools-baulk-roll-issue

    Kiwiblog wrote “let students decide”. I agree. Anything else will have a plethora of negative consequences for the kids.

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2015/05/let_students_decide.html

  159. JC says:

    “I find debating which injury or illness is worse than another distasteful and unhelpful, especially in relation to rape.”

    Of course you do.. because you see no political advantage in empathy for any other form of injury or disease people suffer and the discrepancy in funding. You are following what for you is the profit motive.

    JC

  160. Dave Kennedy says:

    “There is definitely a sense of competition and a survival motive in education circles. Within reason, I think that this is a good thing.”

    Tracey, the Minister of Education and and the profession don’t believe that competition in the way you describe is a good idea. Good ideas that should be shared won’t be in a competitive environment and not all children have the luxury of shifting to another school, especially in rural environments. All schools should be good schools. Collaboration within schools and between schools creates a more consistent and higher performing system as a whole.

    JC, it is you who is attempting to rank injuries, there is nothing political in stating that each individual claim should be regarded on it’s level of disability, whether it be physical or psychological. As I said before just stop digging holes, your argument just doesn’t make logical sense.

  161. Paranormal says:

    So DK you rate National exactly the same as yourself and the Greens – ideologically rather than evidence driven. The evidence is there if you choose to see it that privatisation was good for workers and all involved.

    As for Christchurch EQ claims, another area I have been deeply involved with, what is the underlying issue? Yet again it is a government monopoly insurer -EQC getting in the way of efficient and effective claims settlement.

  162. Name Withheld says:

    stop digging holes, your argument just doesn’t make logical sense.

    Is there an echo in here?
    Oh yes of course it is 14 minutes past midnight.
    Try re-reading it in the cold light of day, makes perfect sense then.

  163. JC says:

    “JC, it is you who is attempting to rank injuries,”

    Of course I do.. it would be stupidity beyond belief to equate a broken finger with total paralysis.

    “there is nothing political in stating that each individual claim should be regarded on it’s level of disability”

    Provided that rape injury tops the list.. according to you. Anyway you are now agreeing with me.. that (apart from rape) each claim should be assessed on the level of disability. Having accepted that you should also argue that the funding source should be the same for all, ie, all under ACC or all under some other such as the sickness benefit.

    I might add that in 1988 the Law Commission chaired by Sir Owen Woodhouse recommended sickness and accidents should both be covered under ACC, the Labour Govt agreed and made that recommendation law.
    However in the 90s employers rightly pointed out that expecting them to cover non work related injuries such as disease was a breech of natural justice. The Govt agreed and took the sickness provision out.

    My argument is that sickness should rightly fall under the “no fault” element of ACC or other organisation and be treated the same as a work accident in terms of compensation.

    JC

  164. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    The link you provided may no comparison between private and public insurers.

    This conversation seems another one of those where you make claims and post links that don’t support said claims.

    Then you make claims that National is not evidence based.

    Great entertainment. Have you ever thought about trying your hand as a stand up comic?

  165. Dave Kennedy says:

    JC, stop hole digging, you didn’t use a broken finger in your analogy, you referred to rape as a minor injury. Even with a broken finger the consequences can differ depending on the person. Imagine the situation if they were the principle violinist in the NZSO… If they had a back injury there is a chance they could still play, but not with a broken finger 😉 It is clear that attempting to compare injuries based on broad assumptions is nonense.

    Mr E, you are welcome to present the evidence that National based their private model on. I believe it was similar to the evidence that Gerry Brownlee used to establish the RoNs and Parata used for National Standards (after repeated requests nothing has been produced). Good luck with that 😉

  166. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    “Mr E, you are welcome to present the evidence that National based their private model on.”

    Can’t defend my claims that you don’t have evidence? Rather you prefer to sling mud elsewhere?

    Pre
    dict
    able

  167. JC says:

    “JC, stop hole digging, you didn’t use a broken finger in your analogy, you referred to rape as a minor injury.”

    Did I really? I had a check and I can’t find any such thing.

    Please quote where I said rape is a minor injury.

    JC

  168. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Please quote where I said rape is a minor injury.”

    JC, Good point, I concede on that, in retrospect I have come on a little strong, however my view still stands that you cannot simply catagorise injuries on face value as the ramifications of an injury on someone can vary greatly. Using rape to make a point was stepping into dangerous territory.

    Someone who is paralyzed may still lead a positive fulfilling life (I know many who fit this) and a rape victim may never recover to lead a fulfilled happy life.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/2611310/Boys-home-violence-abuse-greatest-shame

  169. JC says:

    “Using rape to make a point was stepping into dangerous territory.”

    Dangerous to whom or what?

    If we can’t discuss it, challenge it, praise some aspect of it then we don’t have a democracy and we are governed by lawless mobs who determine what we are allowed to talk about and we perpetuate injustice to those whose disease or injury doesn’t make “sexy” media copy.

    Look about you.. the more rape and sexual abuse is publicised and elevated in seriousness the more we get of it, the tougher 4km limit on driving and alcohol testing has increased road deaths in the last two holiday seasons, more punitive tax laws have created much more tax avoidance, the more publicity you give free meals and Christmas presents the more people turn up for them, the easier you make the life of solo parents the more you get of them.

    People aren’t stupid.. solo mums look at the incentives for them between work and a benefit the more rational they become and opt for the benefit and the punters paying for it rationally oppose it. You open ACC to compensation for mental illness and the organisation is overwhelmed with claims that go back decades because people act rationally to take advantage of freebies.

    If there’s one constant in all this freebie mentality its universality and how the middle class and up with no problems very quickly capture it to the detriment of the people who need it most.

    I don’t know what the whole answer is to reduce our rape, sexual abuse and negligence stats but clearly those stats show we are losing the battle and elevating their status above other crimes.. some of which are more serious.. hasn’t worked because we aren’t sufficiently serious enough about some of the contributing factors. For example we know that burglary is strongly correlated with later serious sex offences yet we don’t treat burglary with any real venom.

    I strongly suspect that much serious crime is simply the culmination of a lot of minor crime but I’m buggered if I know how to best use that knowledge.

    JC

  170. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Look about you.. the more rape and sexual abuse is publicised and elevated in seriousness the more we get of it”
    What!!!!!!???
    Good grief… that really takes the biscuit. 😛

  171. JC says:

    “What!!!!!!???
    Good grief… that really takes the biscuit. :-”

    So, are you saying we are getting less rape and sexual abuse?

    JC

  172. Dave Kennedy says:

    JC, the most incredible thing about this conversation is that you are actually serious when making your comments. I find this is becoming too distasteful to engage with any further 😛

  173. JC says:

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

    Somewhere old Mahatma will be grinning as you flounce off wrapping your tattered robe of sanctimony around your head to ward off the chill winds of reality.

    JC

  174. Name Withheld says:

    …..And under that tattered robe you will find the tightly bunched, slightly damp knickers of a leftist trying to come to terms with an unpleasant truth.
    Victimhood knows no bounds.

  175. TraceyS says:

    Keep you head on, Dave! All JC did was make an observation. He didn’t claim that publicity causes people to commit rape.

    If he had meant that then he surely wouldn’t have written “I don’t know what the whole answer is to reduce our rape, sexual abuse and negligence stats…”.

    What I take from JC’s other observations is that becoming hardened to a life of crime through a series of minor offences over time leads to people committing much worse crimes like rape and sexual abuse.

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