Why are the media picking on ACC?

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 20-Dec-2007 07:44

From reading the newspapers and listening to the radio today the latest beatup campaign launched by our media seems to be targeting ACC who have today announced increases in the levies paid for motor vehicle registration (approximately 25%) and fuel (2c per litre) to cover the increased costs of providing healthcare and rehabilitation to those people injured in motor vehicle accidents.

NZ is unique anywhere in the world in that everybody in this country has automatic no fault accident insurance no matter whay they're doing. If you have a car accident then ACC will pay the bulk of your costs. If you get in a fight when you're drunk and end up needing an ambulance and spending time in hospital you're also covered. Rather than needing to insure ourselves privately as is the case in every other country in the world we are lucky enough to have this accident insurance provided to us automatically.

So why pick on motorists?

The reality is that motor vehicle accidents are one of the biggest costs to ACC. If you look back 15 years ago our road toll was far greater because it was far more common to die in a motor vehicle accident. Due to increased safety features in late model vehicles it is now common to survive accidents that would have killed you in the past. The result is a significant increase in the costs of rehabilitation which in some cases can easily cost $10 million or more over the life of an individual if continual care is required. Cross subsidising care costs from other other parts of ACC simply isn't fair either, why should somebody who doesn't drive a car have to pay increased ACC levies?

Rather than trying to pick faults with ACC questions should really be asked about the future of ACC. Do we need automatic no fault accident cover for every individual in this country? Many would argue that we should have and that nothing should change. Should ACC be privatised again and competitors be allowed to provide policies to companies and individuals who may choose to take cover from another insurance company? There are plenty of things that should be discussed in an open forum rather than critisising ACC for doing nothing other than what they are tasked to do.

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sbiddle's profile

Steve Biddle
New Zealand

I'm an engineer who loves building solutions to solve problems. I'll also a co-founder of the TravelTalk.nz travel site. 

I also love sharing my views and analysis of the tech world on this blog, along with the odd story about aviation and the travel industry.

My interests and skillset include:

*VoIP (Voice over IP). I work with various brands of hardware and PBX's on a daily basis
  -Asterisk (incl PiaF, FreePBX, Elastix)

  -xDSL deployments

*Structured cabling
  -Home/office cabling
  -Phone & Data

*Computer networking
  -Mikrotik hardware
  -WAN/LAN solutions

*Wireless solutions
  -Motel/Hotel hotspot deployments
  -Outdoor wireless deployments, both small and large scale
  -Temporary wireless deployments
*CCTV solutions
  -Analogue and IP

I'm an #avgeek who loves to travel the world (preferably in seat 1A) and stay in nice hotels.

+My views do no represent my employer. I'm sure they'll be happy to give their own if you ask them.

You can contact me here or by email at stevenbiddle@gmail.com