Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: John Key(nesian)

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  • Emma Hart,

    "property torture porn" - wonder what the Yanks will do with that one..

    Soon it won't even get through in Australia.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I reckon some sort of insurance should be compulsory, with a levy to catch the no-fault element. Just like the British car insurance system in fact...

    The only problem there is trying get insurance of any kind. I had a minor conviction and had to resort to an insurance broker just to get contents insurance for our flat on the rough side of Brixton. Cue conversation:

    "So what do you do for a job?"

    "I'm a journalist."

    "What kind of journalist?"

    "A music journalist."

    "Oh ..."

    You tended to need an MI5 clearance to open a sodding bank account too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Struggling with the logic.. help... anyone?

    My point is that if people in NZ want (and can afford for the most part) a flash telly, and that makes people in China wealthier, so they can afford (for instance) our dairy products, then that's for the most part a Good Thing.

    As opposed to having a hugely inefficent television factory in Porirua or wherever (as I think was the approach under Muldoon and his predecessors).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    Utter rubbish. If you're negligent as a business, you face the very real risk of prosecution.

    It's not a very real risk. It's a fairly minor risk for the near misses and long-term impact. We have about 60 workplace deaths a year. How many get prosecuted?

    For any statutory regulatory system to function, the risk of prosecution for non-compliance has to be very real. And when we are talking about peoples health, it has to be very very real.

    Lets say I injure you in a car accident. A minor mistake on my part, but I'm at fault.

    Under the present system I'm charged with causing an accident and fined.

    Very unlikely. You'll probably get away with it, unless you've really drawn some serious blood. Of the 400+ deaths (let's not even go into the serious injuries) how many are prosecuted? And how many people notice those prosecutions? Don't you think there may be a small link with the fact that we have a road death rate twice as high as the UK?

    You might even be able to sue the government for the "give way to the right" rule, which LTNZ admit in published research causes around 40 deaths a year.

    In our system your victims niggling injury that they may live with for the rest of their life gets covered under ACC. You think "phew", and they have no alternative but to find an alternative approach to managing their life...

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Irvine,

    Hey Russell - wasn't it a bizzare moment on Saturday night when the kick off was held up a few seconds for TV to give the go-ahead.... and the music was Business Time? Weird.

    And - we were bloody lucky with the weather. Good thing I looked like a plonker in my special rain proof pants.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 242 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Soon it won't even get through in Australia.

    Oy, Tasmania... the place where all the jokes about the outcomes of inappropriate family bonding err on the side of generosity. But seriously, if I see another story in the Sunday Star Times where I'm expected to feel for people who can't afford to buy in Herne Bay I'm going off on someone Joker-style. I'm not only a wee bit short of sympathy, but have to wonder where the news value is.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    It's not a very real risk. It's a fairly minor risk for the near misses and long-term impact. We have about 60 workplace deaths a year. How many get prosecuted?

    Not enough. It was worse, it has got better, and still needs to go a long long way. Don't hold your breath if National get in though.

    In our system your victims niggling injury that they may live with for the rest of their life gets covered under ACC. You think "phew", and they have no alternative but to find an alternative approach to managing their life...

    And that's reason to improve the way the ACC treats victims, and change the "culture of denial". Unfortunately, the only party I've seen take this issue seriously has been the Maori Party.

    National's attitude to managing the ACC during the 1990s was even worse, and had a policy to clamp down on claimants institutionally. It's a mess that Labour haven't rectified.

    And the way to improve road safety is to improve road safety. Clearly the right to sue doesn't work for the United States, which has twice the per capita road toll of New Zealand.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The UK is a poor comparison, as they have a particularly low road accident rate, partly because it's hard to get out of second gear, and when they do, it's on a nice safe motorway.

    The USA, which has a full-on litigation culture, has a substantially higher road death rate than NZ.

    And there were 126 convictions for driving causing death in 1998, last figures I could find quickly. Given that more than half those killed in road accidents are driving the car and hence unavailable to charge, I'd suggest that most of those who kill someone *are* charged and convicted.

    Have you considered fact-based argument, Slarty?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Tracey's stats are online now.

    They speak of a superhuman performance by McCaw.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    They speak of a superhuman performance by McCaw.

    Which is great but we need to be able to win without him also (and need depth in behind him). The stats on lineouts are also fantastic reading - could it be that we've finally got a reliable lineout?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Sorry, I retract a statement. The US does not have twice the per capita road toll, but instead is approximately 50% higher. But the general point stands.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Since we're also talking rugby, I wonder if somebody could enlighten me on the following: some have said that the ABs were incorrectly awarded the lineout that lead to Woodcock's second try, since the Aussie fullback (was it the fullback) grabbed hold of the ball with a foot deliberately outside the line. But he didn't catch it on the full, the ball was on the ground - does that make any difference as far as the rule goes?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    They speak of a superhuman performance by McCaw.

    Which is great but we need to be able to win without him also

    Here's a thought, how about rotating players in key positions?

    The stats on lineouts are also fantastic reading - could it be that we've finally got a reliable lineout?

    Please tell me Dingo Deans was coaching the AB lineouts in a previous incarnation...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Since we're also talking rugby, I wonder if somebody could enlighten me on the following: some have said that the ABs were incorrectly awarded the lineout that lead to Woodcock's second try, since the Aussie fullback (was it the fullback) grabbed hold of the ball with a foot deliberately outside the line. But he didn't catch it on the full, the ball was on the ground - does that make any difference as far as the rule goes?

    I thought the decision was wrong at the time, but that part of Law 19 is gloriously unclear:

    The ball is in touch if a player catches the ball and that player has a foot on the touchline or the ground beyond the touchline.

    If a player has one foot in the field of play and one foot in touch and holds the ball, the ball is in touch.

    The "ball still in motion" thing that everyone's been rabbiting on about doesn't feature at all in the wording. Is picking it up "catching", so long as the ball is moving? Or does "catch" mean what it says -- ie, on the full? And does that make a difference as to which side is deemed to have put the ball out??

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Is picking it up "catching", so long as the ball is moving? Or does "catch" mean what it says -- ie, on the full?

    That was my (very uneducated guess), which is why I asked.

    And does that make a difference as to which side is deemed to have put the ball out??

    It ought to. If the player catches the ball when it is deemed to be in touch, then he's not the one who put in touch. Although I agree it could be worded better.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    You tended to need an MI5 clearance to open a sodding bank account too.

    You still do, or did a couple of years ago when the parental units went to the UK with a view to migrating (they gave up after 18 months and came back). The step-paternal unit is a UK native, but after living in NZ for the last 20-something years he's obviously unworthy of the trust of the British banking system. Mum said it was an absolute horror trying to get a bank account opened, involving much filing of paperwork and presentation of multiple forms of photo ID.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Lets say I injure you in a car accident. A minor mistake on my part, but I'm at fault.

    Under the present system I'm charged with causing an accident and fined.

    Very unlikely. You'll probably get away with it, unless you've really drawn some serious blood. Of the 400+ deaths (let's not even go into the serious injuries) how many are prosecuted? And how many people notice those prosecutions?

    Actually, it's not at all "very unlikely". If the Police are notified (required by law in the event of injury), they will investigate and quite potentially prosecute. I had the misfortune to be collected by a car while riding through the Domain last October. I suffered muscular damage to my right shoulder, courtesy of being thrown off the bike and my arm flailing around as I landed on my backpack. Suspicion of a re-seated dislocation, ambulance called, quick trip up the road and around the corner, etc. I never did speak to a cop about it, but figured no blood, ACC covered the bus ride and treatment, she was absolutely mortified (couldn't even dial 111 on her phone), so no big deal.
    A few weeks later I got a phone call from a traffic officer at Greenlane, who'd tracked me down somehow using just my name and the fact that I lived in Remuera/Epsom. The driver had made a report, and he wanted to get my side of the story. As I recounted it, and based on what she'd told him, we established that it was entirely her fault. He said that he was quite prepared to open a prosecution for careless driving causing injury, but I prevailed upon him to just give her a warning as I didn't see the point in dragging her through the courts for something about which she had clearly felt completely awful. So prosecution for even fairly minor incidents is entirely possible, and seems to be the default position. Had I not been a fairly generous and forgiving soul, that would've been another conviction for the stats.

    As someone pointed out above, many drivers who kill kill themselves. A large percentage of fatal crashes are single-vehicle, single-occupant. Many of the others result in the death of the at-fault driver, making prosecution rather difficult. Prosecution is, similarly, rather difficult when the at-fault driver is in a coma or otherwise incapable of mounting a defence (such as being in a permanent vegetative state).
    Also, quite a few fatal crashes involve multiple deaths. The average is certainly greater than one death per fatal crash. If we call it 1.25 (because I simply cannot be bothered wading through the LTSA stats to find the real number), that means 338 (423/1.25=338.4) at-fault drivers. If 1/3 of them killed themselves or were otherwise rendered incapable of being prosecuted, that leaves 225 alive and prosecutable. In a handful of cases, prosecution isn't going to happen. A mechanical fault caused the crash, or something about the road, or a medical condition (that will result in revocation of licence). Of the rest, the SCU will almost always prosecute. Many drivers plead guilty at the earliest opportunity. I worked alongside Stu Kearns' SCU team several times while in the Fire Service, and he once said that they took great pride in the number of files that they prepared that resulted in guilty pleas once the defence lawyers saw the evidence. They're careful, and thorough, and every investigation is carried out as a homicide. That's part of the reason why it takes so long to re-open a road after a fatal crash.
    You really think the media's going to report a bunch of guilty pleas? Of course not. That's boring. They'd rather report on the defended hearings, which almost invariably result in a conviction. If the conviction rate from trials is nearly 100%, which it appears to be based on my recollection of reported trials, the number of guilty pleas will be many times higher. Defence lawyers don't usually advise their clients to go to a trial in which they're pretty much guaranteed to lose.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    That post got way longer than I anticipated, so I'll now deal to the abolition of ACC.

    A month ago, in yet another bicycle accident, I had my front wheel slip into a drain with the result being me doing a superman act over the handlebars before dislocating my shoulder. Courtesy of ACC, I was transported to hospital, dosed up on painkillers, x-rayed, shoulder reduced, x-rayed again, had my chin stitched up, and given a follow-up visit to an orthopaedic surgeon 10 days later, all for free. I'll ignore the exorbitant cost of my post-discharge tramadol prescription.
    If I was in the US and self-insuring I'd have faced an invoice for the emergency treatment that came in well over a grand, probably more like two or three. There was entonox, oxygen, tramadol, morphine, fentanyl, medazolam, plus the x-rays, the sutures, the time of the house officer, the consultant who was required during the conscious sedation administered while they did the reduction, and the radiologist and radiographer. Toss in two ambulance officers and the ambulance ride and it was a pretty expensive morning. As a student, even though I work part-time I don't have a huge income. My disposable income for pretty much an entire year would've been blown on that one accident.
    If I had medical insurance, the premiums would probably be setting me back $50/month. I'm in good health, but I also commute by bicycle and that makes me a risk. I've been involved in a crash before (see above), and that makes me even riskier. $50/month is a fair chunk of my disposable income. Affordable, but not in any way inexpensive. Oh, and that's based on what medical insurance costs at present, not what it would cost if we went into a situation like the US where it's not really optional and the lack of choice means premiums are much, much higher.
    The other side of medical insurance is the potential for it to be voided. What if the carrier decided that I was being reckless by not getting off my bike while going past a sunk grate? It wouldn't be unheard-of for cover to be denied for something like that. So then I'd be back with a large bill, still paying premiums, and up the creek. I could sue the council, because if the grate hadn't been sunk into the road surface I could've gone over it instead of having to try to go around it (which was why my wheel was able to slip in). But me vs the Auckland City Council? Sounds like a Tui billboard.

    Instead we have this great system where part of my wages are taken away and I get fully covered for what was an entirely legitimate accident. I don't have to worry about how I'll pay for it all, and I don't have to see a lawyer to go and chase the council. I don't have to worry about going broke trying to pay for physio. It's all covered, and I can get on with my physical recovery instead of concerning myself with financial recovery.

    So, to your "abolish ACC" nonsense, I say screw you and your lawyer-loving, wannabe-Yank ideas.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    You can also add to that "what if" scenario the possibility that the whole thing could be tied up in the courts, drag on for years, and end with a decision that would apportion blame, leaving a diminished payout which might then be further substantially diminished by legal fees. That routinely happened here before ACC and was a significant factor in the thinking that brought the no-fault system into being.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I'll go one beyond retaining ACC - extend it to cover all disability regardless of how it arised.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Arises. Curses to the person who put the "s" key next to the "d" key..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I will claim no knowledge of FHP, but I'm pretty sure I have to eat food and have to pay for it!

    Now wait just a minute, you fellas. I think our need to deal with menstruation is not like food or shelter. It's basically a medical expense, which should be subsidised through the public health system like so many other medical expenses. Why doesn't it cost 3 dollars for a bazillion tampons - just like our common-or-garden drug prescriptions? And why do you think thousands of women just have to eat this ridiculously overpriced expense merely because we have ladybits? That's inequitable, and I protest! Strenuously!

    (Hee. This thread is weird as hell. When rugby rules, Tampax and ACC statistics collide!)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Good point, David. There are some horror stories on OverLawyered about lawyers taking their cut. Or for something closer to home, check out this one from Aus. The only people who win under an at-fault system are lawyers.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    (!)

    I'm not sure about that sarcasm tag. It looks like an upside-down vagina to me.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    When rugby rules, Tampax and ACC statistics collide!

    Sounds like a reality tv show..

    looks like an upside-down vagina

    Your comment is at least consistent with Danielle's characterisation of this thread. And you'll have to take up that choice of character with the Deaf community. I'm sure they'd laugh, especially if they've never noticed.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

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