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Collins' gold star ACC medals set 'dangerous precedent'

Labour has hit out at embattled ACC minister Judith Collins’ plans to hand out staff awards, saying it will set a dangerous precedent for other ministers.

ACC spokesman Andrew Little told told state services commissioner Ian Rennie of his concern over Miss Collins’ intention to introduce "gold star" awards for staff who do well.

Miss Collins wants to give a monthly award based on "good news" reports she receives from ACC management and letters she receives from claimants.

Mr Little has told Mr Rennie he is worried about the "erosion of the important distinction between the minister’s role in giving guidance and direction to the board of the corporation, and the corporation’s role in acting as the employer of its staff".

He has asked Mr Rennie to check on the scheme and report back as to whether he believes it meets the requirements of employee management roles in the state sector.

Mr Little does not expect this will take long to complete.

“All it will take is for Mr Rennie to ring up the minister’s office or speak with ACC senior management.”

Mr Little is unsure about Miss Collins’ motives for the award, but warns she should not be over-reaching her lines of responsibility.

“What we don’t want is employees working out what is going to please the minister rather than doing what they’re supposed to, which is to deal with claims and provide treatment for those claimants,” he told NBR ONLINE.

He says Miss Collins’s point of contact should be with the CEO and board members, and they should be the ones to create such an award.

Mr Little is fearful this could set a precedent with other ministers keen to interfere in the day-to-day running of their departments.

The Labour list MP says he is still getting mixed reports on the performance of the corporation after the departures of CEO Ralph Stewart and Miss Collins' dumping of board chairman John Judge and other board members.

“The frontline staff are finding it much tougher – they feel like the ‘meat in the sandwich.’ Former ACC minister Nick Smith was heading in one direction, Judith Collins is heading in another, and now we’ve had all these changes.”

He believes the recent upheaval at ACC is even more reason Miss Collins should leave senior management to run their own corporation.

Meanwhile Miss Collins has called on ACC managers to start firing staff who breach the corporation’s new "zero-tolerance" policy on privacy breaches.

More by Blair Cunningham

Comments and questions
16

All sounds a bit 1970s to me.

Little... sour after taste from being served by Crusher?
Or is it that you couldn't get anywhere near a win in NP?

Little should go back to stirring trouble in union ranks - because he's certainly not effective at being a politician, nor does he have the credibility or nous - he should leave it to the likes of Minto, Bradford and Hone to demonstrate political credibility... LMFAO!

A bit "Yes Minister" perhaps.

when did the zero tolerance policy commence? Just received the latest apology for a further privacy breech that occurred a week ago.
No one has been held to account nor will anyone be!!

Are ACC staff children that they require the minister to acknowledge what they are employed to do?

What about the claimants nothing has changed since the days of Gluckman.

Minster just disband ACC and give us back the right to sue

2 stamps on the back of a hand = 1 silver star
2 silver stars = 1 gold star
2 gold stars = Allowed to go home early on a Friday

...or in the case of any misbehaviour, you will be assigned bronwyns's file for 30 days.

Who cares what Labour thinks about it? Little Muppet.

You seem to.

OH, PICK ME! PICK ME! PICK ME!

The big flaw is that anyone getting an award from a National minister will be the first up against the wall when Labour get in.

Get Collins to sort out the ACC investments bungle after her shredding the board and give herself a gold star.

If they were new entrants kids needing a self esteem boost I'd say 'Great idea!' but these are grown people who keep screwing over patients in need at the bequest of the minister and PM. They should not be rewarded.

At least she is making an effort to solve things at ACC .....unlike the Board.

I guess you get the gold award if you can somehow both deny a claimant a payout, and also get them to write a nice letter to the minister.

Template: "Dear Jude, I'd like to compliment xxxx from ACC for his/her astonishing speed in rehabilitating me into the work force. I had never really thought about going 'cold turkey' before, but now I can reflect back, and see the benefits to the economy. Thank you"

wonder what Jude is going to do with the apples she gets.

Collins continues the trend under National of Ministers directly encroaching into the operations of departments and crown organisations such as ACC, She was probably wanting to match McCully announcing he was going to speak directly with valerie Adams' coach!

It takes us down a very short path with a very small step to Ministers choosing the heads of Government departments and political appointees being in place for the time the Government is in power.

We have already seen a significant run down of the State Services Commission (which has had responsibility for the independent appointment of department heads). It is little wonder that fewer and fewer talented public service managers are interested in heading departments when they can get well paid jobs without political interference in the private sector.