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ACC's $5 Million Dollar Pat On The Back

Posted on 19 Mar 2007

ACC's "Covered" advertising campaign will cost Kiwi taxpayers $5.1 million over the next four years, and answers to Parliamentary Questions reveal that ACC's current television, newspaper, internet and planned radio advertisements are setting taxpayers back more than $2.3 million, says ACT MP Heather Roy.

"ACC has embarked on an ambitious advertising campaign, telling New Zealanders that they are 'covered' in the event of accidents.

Parliamentary Questions asked by Heather Roy reveal the cost breakdown for the current advertising campaign:

Art2Print                          $        2,000
Clemenger/Aim Proximity $    242,000
Television                         $ 1,100,000
Newspapers                     $    888,000
Radio (starting April 8)     $      36,000
Internet                            $      34,000
TOTAL                           $ 2,302,000

N.B. an additional $200,000 for research was not included in ACC's breakdown of the current campaign.

A further $2,598,000 has been allocated for future campaigns within the four-year timeframe.

"ACC is a state owned monopoly - there is no competition, no choice for the public, and it uses taxpayers' money.  Instead of using that money to help injured Kiwis, it is diverting it to self-promotion", Mrs Roy said.

"The Minister for ACC, Ruth Dyson, may see the $5 million spend-up as a small part of ACC's budget, but this would give 300 Kiwis hip replacements, 1,700 cataract operations or 180 coronary bypasses.

"Many Kiwis feel anything but 'covered' when they confront the bureaucracy and ambiguity of ACC's rules.  This self-promotion campaign is yet another demonstration of poor judgement from a government monopoly with access to the public chequebook.

"Taxpayers would not prioritise advertising ahead of patients, and neither should ACC", Mrs Roy said.