I wonder who paid for this policy which is curiously hidden on the National Party’s website with no link from the front page:
The National Party is committed to the principles of competition and choice as the appropriate means of ensuring efficiency of ACC provision…
Among the allegations of NZ First and United Future being involved in “policy for money” deals, I think it is important not to overlook the National Party.
According to Nicky Hager in The Hollow Men (p 246):
… a senior National Party figure provided details of various National Party funders and stated that the largest single election donation, believed to be well over $1million, had come from the Insurance Council and was given to National because the party was known to be intending, if elected, to privatise the Accident Compensation Commission (sic).
National’s policy, according to Hager, was announced after a series of meetings between senior National politicians and Steven Cosgrove and Ross Chapman of QBE Insurance and Insurance Council CEO Chris Ryan. I wonder what they were discussing, and whether the money followed the policy or the policy followed the money.
Of course the donation, if it did occur, remains hidden behind National’s shadowy Trusts.
Money for policy is about as corrupt as it gets, and Russel Norman is quite right to be calling for a Commission of Inquiry. But it should not be restricted just to the current allegations surrounding New Zealand First. The financial dealings of all parties should be opened up to scrutiny.
Meanwhile, New Zealanders have a clear choice on ACC – Keep it public and improve it, which the Greens support, or hand it over to Australian-owned insurance companies under National.