Who’s next? Bikers say no to ACC levy increases and privatisation

Thousands of bikers descended on Parliament today to protest levy the Government’s hike in motorcyclist levies, and their attack on ACC.



New Green MP and lifetime biker David Clendon and new Green Party ACC Spokesperson Kevin Hague headed down to support the protest.


David gave a great speech where he explained that the Greens have supported the bikers protest from the start because the new levy hikes force bikers to pay for accidents that aren’t their fault.

The levy hikes are also further evidence of National’s undermining of the principle that ACC was founded on – that the scheme should provide equal support and be equally funded by all members of the community.

The bikers chant of ‘who’s next’, was spot on – the Government’s attack on bikers is a sign of things to come. It gets clearer and clearer that National don’t want ACC to work for the community as a whole – they want a private insurance system. 

The bikers chant of ‘bullshit’ when Nick Smith trundled out his old excuses for gutting ACC was pretty close to the mark too….    

If you want to have your say on ACC put in a submission.

More pictures:






19 Comments Posted

  1. Another thought.
    Why are Greens supporting vehicles which have no emission controls and poor fuel efficiency? Most modern motorcycle motors are engineered for maximum power not maximum fuel efficiency. And Harleys are engineered for macho noise output!

  2. Watched the Q&A in the House on this one….the Minister (he’s so forgettable, was it Smith?) doesn’t seem to realize that killing M/cycle riders along with their expensive machines is a Sport amongst certain Gangs – certainly I sold my own bike years ago – and would be fain dead bought I another…
    and the answer is….it’ll cost you more to get run over in future – where are the LTSA reports? – (Police in default mode again).

  3. Yes Sapient, sadly most humans act on emotion and misinformation which leads to delusions of invincibility. The physics of the large vehicle in a collision is very relevant and this includes the effectiveness of the crumple zones and it’s stability (centre of gravity) plus the ability to stop safely and so avoid a collision, this is often not considered. The heavier vehicle is the harder it is to stop; this includes motorcycles.

  4. E-prophet,
    My understanding of physics and psychology would have me believe that.
    Every ill encounter I have had with a motor vehicle that has resulted in damage has been at the hands of a woman in an SUV. Its the perception of being invinceable that matters to their behaviour far more than the reality of the situation.

  5. Sapient, I wrote “hopefully not a tank”. Actually many SUV’s have a high rollover rate and are not necessarily safer in a collision than a saloon car.
    If you consult you will find the comparisons.
    e.g. Toyota Landcruiser 90-97 4WD Marginal passenger safety – Significantly more harm than average to others.
    Honda Accord Euro 03-07 Excellent passenger safety – Significantly less harm than average to others. Not sure about now but Japan used only allow bikes under 500c to be sold there.
    I should have also said it is an incentive to get a motorcycle that is easy to handle with good braking many of which are under 600cc.

  6. E-prophet,
    And then we have all these mofos (yay, finally a hone reference) driving around in fortified SUV’s not caring if they hit someone else because they will be fine and it was the others fault for not having enough armour.
    Those whom do the damage are going to do the damage to those in cars as well as those on bikes or on foot. The burden should be on those whom, through their own carelessness, cause harm to others.

  7. rimu quote
    “Approximately three-fourths of these motorcycle accidents involved collision with another vehicle, which was most often a passenger automobile.”

    Yes, but don’t most accidents involve collision with another vehicle? The smaller vehicle often comes off worse especially if it is a motorcycle. So the increased ACC premiums are an incentive to get a safer vehicle like at least a small car; hopefully not a tank.

  8. I agree the increases may be a tactic to justify privatisation by introducing “competition”. I have attempted to get figures from privatised countries but all I can get so far is the following:-
    N.S.W. Comprehensive insurance
    Vehicle 2008 DUCATI 848, 849cc
    Annual Amount $1,368.44

    Vehicle 2008 HARLEYDAVIDSON XR1200 SPORTSTER 1200 CC
    Annual Amount $760.73

    Vehicle 2008 BMW F650GS DAKAR 652 CC
    Annual Amount $655.11

    Vehicle 2008 YAMAHA TTR250 249 CC
    Annual Amount $307.56

    This shows the premiums vary with the make of bike and type of rider, not necessarily with cc rating. I think this is an indication of what would happen under privatisation.
    Having been a rider of a 1955 500cc BMW I consider it’s 30DIN H.P. was plenty and many modern bikes are ridiculously overpowered. I suggest the protesters get under 600cc bikes as there are plenty that have sufficient power to exceed the speed limit by large margins and carry a pillion passenger.
    Also these very powerful motorbikes are not fuel efficient and many have worse fuel economy than small cars so the argument that they are good for the environment is fallacious.
    Regards safety, the handling and braking ability is important when one needs to avoid a careless vehicle driver. Harleys and such like have poor handling and even worse braking. I once avoiding going under an articulated truck which pulled out of a side street because my BMW had unequalled braking; the suspension meant it didn’t nosedive and it could stop in 20ft from 30m.p.h.

  9. Thanks Rimu – any such effort put into push cyclists accidents? Non-motorcyclists is who I was meaning in previous reply.

    In response to your question – reduce the number of people driving cars – deffinately.

  10. From the Hurt study
    http://www.magpie.com/nycmoto/hurt.html :

    “Approximately three-fourths of these motorcycle accidents involved collision with another vehicle, which was most often a passenger automobile.

    In multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle right-of-way and caused the accident in two-thirds of those accidents.”

    Yes motorcyclists have more crashes, but most of the time motorcyclists crash involve cars, and it’s the car’s fault for causing it.

    Given that, does it make sense to reduce the number of people driving motorbikes, or reduce the number of people driving cars?

  11. Fair call Sapient – Cyclists do crash without help from other parties (have done some stupid things myself!).

    I’d be really keen to know if there are any numbers available that show the financial burden cycling accidents have on our health system compared with the range of cost benefits/burdens to health between various vehicle types.

    I’m pretty confident that the health benefits would put cyclists well into credit. 😉

  12. Axle,
    I’m not so good at picking up on sarcasm in this blog environment absent of tone. Normally I would use my knowledge of the individual’s views to work out if they were being sarcastic but I know naught of you. I made a similar mistake awhile back with Gerrit.

    I agree that cyclists and motor-cyclists are, in the majority of inter-vehicle incidents, not the major contributing partner. I am a commuter cyclist myself (dont even have a drivers licence) and have been hit by an SUV and forced into some rather precarious situations by careless drivers. But it is also true that there are a large number of accidents involving bikes that don’t involve another party or don’t involve a motored vehicle. Because of these there is a burden placed on ACC as a result of cycling and thus the need for some sort of levy on such. The government could decide to to pay the levy for the bikers from the health budget but it should not go unaccounted.

  13. Thanks to the Green MP’s for supporting us!

    One of the reasons I’m a biker (I drive a Suzuki DR650 street legal dirt bike) is that I love to explore South Islands back country but as a Greenie I hate the high environmental (and social) impact of an SUV.

    I’m all too aware of the accident related risks associated with biking and I NEVER WANT TO RECEIVE AN ACC PAYOUT!

    “What!? Why!?”

    Because that would mean I have received a deadly or disabling injury!

    ie. ACC is two very large steps beyond the proverbial “Ambulance at the bottom of the cliff”.

    What I want is safer roads and less (dangerous) traffic.

    One thing I notice every time I climb on my bike is how much _less_ risk I am to the people around me than I when I am in my car!

    ie. A sane and civil society should be _encouraging_ the use of mortocycles, not penalizing them!

  14. Sapient – I’m sorry if I didn’t come across sarcastic enough with my reply. I was trying to highlight how crude dr. smith’s accounting instruments are in introducing this change. Also – the probable direction a more privatised ACC might take that we should be fearul of in future.

    I do however, strongly believe that New Zealand apportions a hugely dispraportionate subsidy to private vehicle use. The CC calculation I made proves this. I also beleive that ACC has got it somewhat wrong in promoting an anti-accountability culture when it comes to vehicle “accidents”. Other countries lay the burden of proof with the largest vehicle involved in an “accident” to prove that they did not cause it. Having something like this reflected in our health/legal system would help address the accurate inequality repeatedly parroted by the media, that cyclists and motor-cyclists are in the majority NOT at fault.

    I’m with Trevor29 on this. I think that the more sensible strategy would be better taxation on fuel type. New Zealand has amoung the lowest fuel taxation in the developed world.

    Of-course extra fuel taxation would still give a cyclist zero tax, – actually cyclists should probably be RECEIVING a tax rebate seeing as it returns so much cost benefit to health in the country compared to other road users.

  15. What I find annoying is that the >$200 registration fee for a private car applies whether or not it is actually used. It discourages car ownership, but doesn’t discourage car use and is a disincentive to own a small car as well as a large car, so if a large car is needed, it gets used for everything even for trips where a smaller car would do.


  16. Axle,
    CC would be an incredibly poor way of operating the scheme. It is not a linear relationship between CC and potential for damage and damage is likely more strongly predicted by driving ability and the drivers carelessness.
    Aside from that, the power in one CC depends on the fuel and thus would have to be made relative to a certain fuel. Because of this it would ultimatly be measured similar to horse power and thus the biker would still have to pay levies above $0.00.
    Aside from that biking does pose a risk independent of cars and thus the absence of this being accounted for would be a substantial subsidy to bikers.

  17. Can’t they look at who caused the accident not just who received the injury and thereby apportion cost to the car driver?

  18. With the CC- based calculations, I’d like to see the appropriate amount payable by car makes and models. I figure that Nick Smith’s accounting makes it around 80 cents per CC for the new motorbike registrations.

    So, if this were more fair, a V8 SUV around 3000cc’s, should be paying about $2400 per year. As it is, there is no distinction between private car vehicle size – just “Petrol driven – Private $247.86” for a year – figures on LTSA website).

    Btw – as a push-bike commuter – I’d be more than happy to pay a registration based on the CC rating of my cycle (i.e: $0.00).

    New Zealand is terribly car-supremacist. Come to think of it, this tactic, could really help with takling climate change – have a registration portion added by calculating medical (as above), plus a portion added by calculating emmissions. Both would encourage smaller or no vehicle use – brilliant!

    The blanket fee for private vehicle – cars – regardless of size, goes to show that we value our car mobility before we value our environmental footprint.

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