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Dr Cullen Playing Politics

16 February 2000 6 pages


The Insurance Council has dismissed Dr Michael Cullen’s claims that it is not willing to participate in planning for a future accident insurance regime.

“What the Government has been asking for is the help and expertise of private insurers to assist ACC in designing a second rate option to replace the current scheme that is delivering more benefits to employees,” says Mr Chris Ryan, Chief Executive of the Insurance Council.

On 17 December 1999 the Insurance Council wrote to Dr Cullen, Minister for Accident Insurance, specifically asking for a joint working party to develop options for a complete accident insurance scheme that would deliver greater workplace safety to New Zealanders.

Dr Cullen refused this offer point blank, presumably because he only wanted to talk about the sort of scheme the Government wants rather than what is best for New Zealand.

The Chief Executive of ACC, at Dr Cullen’s direction, then invited the Council to participate in discussions - not about what is best for New Zealand, but what might fit with the ACC’s proposed Accredited Employers’ Programme.

“We are being asked to help an organisation that is being set up by Government to replace us in the Accident Insurance market. It would be no surprise to anyone that we refused,” says Mr Ryan.

“We have refused to engage with ACC at this time although we have indicated that we may enter discussions if, but not before the current legislation before Parliament is passed.

“In addition, the current legislation is almost totally silent on the Accredited Employers’ Programme. Our suggestion to Government is that they undertake a proper public consultation which would include the circulation of a draft framework of the AEP,” says Mr Ryan.


For further information: Chris Ryan
Chief Executive
Insurance Council of New Zealand
Tel: 025 441 767

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