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THE WELLINGTONIAN, APRIL 5, 2012
0800 4 ASNIP
WELLINGTON VASECTOMY CLINIC
Dr Shane Dunphy
Dr Jim Aubrey
17 Adelaide Rd, Wellington T: 04 384 5275
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The scandal behind the scandal
Few people would have
predicted the Accident
would be engulfed by a scandal
over the security of emails related
to its core business, or by the ACC
Minister offering assistance to a
party insider seeking compen-
More glaring problems exist.
For years, the nitpicking way
that the ACC commonly responds
to many victims of accidents has
been controversial -- not to men-
tion the way it routinely argues
that the incapacity in question
was really caused by an under-
lying process of ageing and
degeneration, and was not by the
accident mentioned in the claim.
Miserliness is not the source of
ACC s current troubles, though.
Instead, the scandal hogging
the headlines last week concerned
who had leaked an email and who
had instigated a meeting last
December related to the leaking of
confidential information about
There was speculation about
who stood to benefit from this
lapse of security.
With each passing day, this
convoluted tale became murkier.
One of the conspiracy theories
hinted at by Labour MPs Trevor
Mallard and Andrew Little has
resulted in both MPs and Radio
New Zealand being threatened by
ACC Minister Judith Collins with
legal action for defamation.
Meanwhile, there must be
hundreds of ACC claimants
around the country wondering
why the media has never shown
anything like the same
investigative zeal in pursuing the
grievances they have felt about
their treatment by ACC.
Very few ACC claimants, it
seems safe to suppose, are in the
same circumstances as Bronwyn
Pullar, the woman at the centre of
the current furore.
She has reportedly received a
$1 million insurance payout and
was seeking an ACC benefit as
well, as her compensation for the
one bicycle accident.
Even though Ms Pullar may
have genuine grievances and valid
entitlements, she seems an
unusual case to be awakening the
media s sudden concern about
whether ACC is functioning
Of course, the current scandal,
while highly diverting as political
drama, has little to do with the
day-to-day workings of a state
organisation whose decisions
impinge on the lives of thousands
of citizens in need.
Clearly, ACC today is not the
same kind of organisation -- and is
not following through on the same
trade-offs -- as that envisaged by
Sir Owen Woodhouse in the early
1970s, and for which the public
gave away its right to sue for
The public continues to be
short-changed by ACC, and the
main reason that failure has not
erupted into political scandal
before is that both major parties
have supported the quiet erosion
of the scheme s original vision.
At the very least, the current
scandal suggests that ACC
victims who have powerful friends
-- and politically embarrassing
information in their hands -- will
get sensitive treatment and pri-
vate meetings with top officials.
We should all be so lucky.
Ultimately, the furore may
reveal further evidence of the
workings of political privilege, and
more heads may roll.
That will matter to the public
only if it results in behavioural
change at ACC.
Long ago, we gave away our
right to sue when harmed in
accidents, in return for fair,
readily available, compensation.
The fact that successive
governments have got away with
welshing on that deal is the real
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At a council public meeting I
attended, a statement was made
that the so-called hubs, or
shelters, will be paid for by
Wellington City Council.
When I questioned WCC
engineers, they were unaware of
No consultation on the design
and placement of these structures
has occurred, yet they will be the
key to the success of the changes.
As Strathmore Park residents
will be greatly affected, it is
incomprehensible that the
regional council did not organise a
public meeting in the eastern
Why was the consultation
period limited to a mere six
weeks? Why the rush? It s taken
me six weeks to come to terms
with the reality of the situation,
let alone its impact. STAN ANDIS
Council at odds
Like many, I attended one of the
meetings regarding the proposed
changes to the bus services.
At the one I attended, two
regional councillors, Daran Ponter
and Paul Bruce, were there, and
they confirmed that revenue from
passenger services was above
This was in response to a
question from a ratepayer about
whether the proposed changes
would result in a hike in fees for
patrons. Suddenly we now learn
that revenue has fallen below
projections and the only solution
is to ratchet up fares.
Someone is telling porkies. I
find it unfathomable why either
Daran Ponter or Paul Bruce,
elected officials, would want to
Once again we see a council at
odds with itself. Whoever came up
with the proposal to do away with
the trolley bus routes and replace
them with diesel buses is
Similarly, hiking fares up
without some sort of transparency
smacks of council greed.
The main concern voiced at the
meeting was how the supposed
hubs would work.
The most important part of the
review is to be left to council
officers to decide at a later date.
Pity the poor commuters -- left out
in the cold again. PETER KENNEDY
Raising fares is hardly the way to
reward new customers, much less
hold on to one s existing customer
It also denies the large public
good in terms of public health,
reduced accidents and congestion
that results from increased use of
I had hoped that with the new
Matangi trains on track, fellow
councillors would allow a settling
in period for the public to regain
confidence in our public transport
system and attract new fare-
paying customers. PAUL BRUCE
Wellington regional councillor
Recent articles about road
accidents have called sections of
the Centennial Highway between
Pukerua Bay and Waikanae
treacherous and a killer
stretch , with the passing lanes
north of Pukerua Bay being closed
off.But John Harding (March 29)
wants to build Transmission
Gully in the same hazardous style
of a two-lane road with passing
bays, a style of road not suitable
for the present rates of traffic
north of Wellington, or even for
the traffic on the River Road
section of SH2 south of Upper
My arguments have been based
on safety with the present traffic
flow north of Wellington, not on
His claim that such a road could
be built for $100 million, based on
the Kaitoke to Te Marua
realignment costs, is dubious.
One wonders how English
teachers get a degree these days
with all the incorrect spelling that
is so rife.
Who ever invented the word
enuf ? I say enough is enough.
Also, I expect better from Civil
Defence, with their Get Thru ,
instead of the correct through.
The other point I d like to make
is that I couldn t agree more with
H Westfold and Hilary Combes
(March 22). There s far too much
technology and automated
services taking the place of real
people. I fear it s only going to get
A machine will never be a
substitute for a real person.
What is happening to our social
Today I went to the public toilet
in the Chaffers St New World
store and was dismayed to learn
that customers had to apply
individually to the store s
information desk to action a staff
member to fetch a key to open the
I inquired as to why this was
necessary, only to be told that it
was a measure to combat constant
vandalism and expensive
replacements of fittings.
The Wellington City Council
public toilet in Aro St Park is
locked overnight owing to
continued vandalism and soiling
The ratepayer is also up for
funding the installation of
surveillance cameras in an effort
to apprehend those who are
forever dumping bags and boxes of
household and industrial rubbish
on the lawns of our public parks
This behaviour is becoming far
too prevalent and must be
addressed immediately in the
interests of public health and
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