Labour leader Phil Goff used an ACC protest today to warn Australian-owned insurance companies against investing in the scheme here should it become opened for privatisation.
A group of protesters a few hundred strong descended on Parliament today and this time included several groups outside of the bikies who protested late last year against levy increases aimed at them.
Today's protest was aimed at overall changes to ACC signalled by the Government, including plans to raise levies, cut entitlements and coverage, and privatise the work account.
Backed by many of his party members, Mr Goff was joined by Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson, who was dumped last year as ACC chairman, and Public Service Association national secretary Richard Wagstaff, among others.
Mr Wilson said the Government was increasing ACC levies so private insurance companies would be able to compete when it was opened up to competition.
He said that was concerning, considering PricewaterhouseCoopers had in 2007 done an audit on ACC which put it up with the best in the world in terms of providing accident compensation schemes.
Internationally, private companies did not have a good record of running such schemes, he said.
Mr Goff said planned changes to the scheme impacted directly on average New Zealand workers and called for the Government to stop levy hikes, stop cutting back on services and not steer ACC towards privatisation with a profit motive.
"Privatise ACC in New Zealand at your peril, because when Labour is back you are going to be out of here and we are taking it back," Mr Goff said.
Motorcyclists protested around the country last year at huge hikes in their levies. The level of the hikes was eventually watered down before being implemented last year.