Nick Smith: Replacing ACC board is not a step towards privatisation
31st Mar 09, 9:12pm
Hon David Parker: Does the Minister agree that replacing more than half of the ACC board, including Ross Wilson and Wayne Butson, will make it easier for the Government to reduce the scope of accident compensation cover and to privatise the earners account, which currently covers all workplace accidents? Hon Dr NICK SMITH: No, it will enable us to ensure that the board members will have the top-flight governance skills that are needed to run a very large organisation and to provide New Zealanders with 24/7 care but, at the same time, ensure that the levies are affordable for ordinary New Zealanders. Michael Woodhouse: What reports has the Minister received on briefings and timeliness of responses? Hon Dr NICK SMITH: I was amused to note that the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party said there were some 600 briefings. In fact, there was one. I note that an important briefing was provided on 14 August last year, noting a requirement for $1.56 billion. The matter was not included in the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update because Treasury officials said it was not being considered by Ministers. The billion-dollar question is why a problem of that size was not being considered by Ministers.