What others have been saying
"Privatising ACC would be mad. It would result in lesser service for everybody. Private insurance companies operate to make profits and introducing this compulsion into the existing system would outweigh easily promised efficiencies and innovations."
Editorial, Southland Times 23 December 2010
“Employers argue that they need the competitive financial incentives of an insurance contract to reduce the incidence of deaths and injuries at work. So they’re admitting that they aren’t already making every effort to protect workers’ lives and personal safety. It reflects poorly upon them as managers, and not on the ACC system.”
Dr Grant Duncan, senior lecturer in public policy at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Massey University. Press release 22 December.
"All this talk of liabilities being blown out is complete nonsense. It's ill-founded and smacks of scare-mongering, which, given the current economic picture is the last thing people need to be told. ...on paper the losses have ballooned when in reality there's nothing wrong with it.”
Jonathan Eriksen, Managing Director, Eriksen & Associates (international actuarial and strategic investment consultancy), Dominion Post, March 12, 2009
“For the Government to wrap legitimate concerns about slippage in ACC's performance in a whole lot of shrill scaremongering and scapegoating is gratuitous. …ACC is a civilised and cost-effective approach to dealing with the injured. Why undermine confidence in the scheme, unless you plan to undermine the scheme itself?”
Brian Fallow, Economics Editor, NZ Herald, March 12, 2009
“The government can only be taking its extreme line on ACC because it's panicking or politicking. If it is the latter, it must have its sights set on sharply cutting ACC's services.”
Rod Oram, Sunday Star-Times, March 15, 2009
"It's been tried once before, in 1999, when the ACC was privatised in relation to work-related claims...in the time that [ACC was privatised] there was a great amount of competition between insurance companies to buy business. We saw what happened in Australia when the same sort of thing happened. In the early 1980s, there were two insurance companies...which were competing heavily for worker’s compensation premiums. They cut their premiums and they got into competition with each other until eventually they both went broke, and left the Victorian state government to pick up the pieces.”
Don Rennie, ACC Committee, NZ Law Society, TVNZ Breakfast, July,3 2008.
Professor Bruce Arroll, head of general practice at Auckland University, said the privatised system was "a nightmare". Patients never knew which company they were with and there was a lot of duplicated paperwork. "From a GP point of view it was very inefficient, and I think one of the things about the system is its efficiency, really."
Bruce Arroll, head of general practice, University of Auckland, NZ Herald, Oct 24, 2008
Employers were keen on competition at the "tail end", giving them the ability to choose private providers to manage their employees' rehabilitation. But they were not keen on private insurers. "The research really doesn't indicate that it's the best option. You might get some wins in the first couple of years as everyone's scrambling for your premium dollar." That was seen in the late 1990s, he said. "But we were quite sure that year two, year three, those premiums would increase just to cover those costs again."
Paul Jarvie, occupational safety and health manager, EMA (Northern), NZ Herald, Oct 24, 2008