"While ACC, BusinessNZ and the CTU must have known the
scheme was worthless, they all allowed further millions to
be spent." - Jordan Williams
Lucrative training programmes which the Taxpayers Union
says has cost ACC levy-payers $19 million since 2003 may be
close to ending.
The union released documents yesterday which showed ACC knew
millions of dollars paid to BusinessNZ and the Council of
Trade Unions to provide health and safety training did
little, if anything, to reduce workplace accidents.
The documents were obtained under the Official Information
Taxpayers Union executive director Jordan Williams said the
documents showed BusinessNZ and the CTU worked together with
ACC to create the venture. Doubts about the value of the
scheme had existed since at least 2008.
''BusinessNZ and the CTU have created a nice little earner
for themselves. It's a disgraceful example of big corporate
and union welfare chewing through taxpayer cash.''
However, ACC spokeswoman Stephanie Melville told The New
Zealand Herald the corporation decided late last year the
training programme would not be continued past its current
''While the training programme did provide some value, it did
not meet our level of expectations, nor deliver value for
money,'' she said.
CTU secretary Peter Conway denied the training programme was
a ''cosy deal''.
Independent evaluation of the course undertaken in 2008 was
very positive, he said.
''We know it delivers value for money. Trained
representatives are more likely to recognise hazards and to
know what kind of action to take to help mitigate the risk of
It was always hard to show preventive courses reduced
accidents as it was difficult to quantify the value. It would
always be an issue.
''But a workplace is safer with a trained rep and that is
what the CTU and ACC want to ensure.''
Mr Williams disputed the value of the 2008 report quoted by
Mr Williams claimed the report showed the whole scheme was
achieving little more than ''engagement''.
''While ACC, BusinessNZ and the CTU must have known the
scheme was worthless, they all allowed further millions to be
''We are staggered BusinessNZ is taking taxpayer cash for
something it must know is a complete waste of money. The ACC
documents we've uncovered show, at best, only 16c of every
dollar did any good.''
Health and safety was the responsibility of every business
but Mr Williams asked why ''mum and dad taxpayers''
subsidised big businesses and unions to comply with the same
health and safety laws as everyone else.
Mr Conway said the CTU had trained nearly 2000 health and
safety representatives last year and the feedback from
participants was overwhelmingly positive. Feedback had been
consistently positive since the courses began.
''This is not a waste of money,'' he said.
Labour Party ACC spokesman Iain Lees-Galloway said plans by
ACC to discontinue health and safety funding to the training
programmes raised questions about the involvement of ACC
Minister Judith Collins.
''Coincidentally, this comes at exactly the same time as an
attack on the cost of the programme by the Taxpayers Union
and just months after Mrs Collins raised the same issue in a
''Mrs Collins' review of prevention investment appears
politically motivated. Injury prevention programmes have been
under attack the whole time National has been in
No response was received from BusinessNZ.