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ACC Scheme Returns To Founding Principles

28 March 200

The government is again underpinning ACC with the founding principles of the original scheme as envisaged by Sir Owen Woodhouse, ACC Minister Lianne Dalziel said today.

From Easter Monday, 1 April 2002, the Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Compensation Act which was passed last year, comes into effect.

“This is the second step of the Labour-Alliance government’s desire to restore accident compensation to its founding principles. This Act focuses ACC’s attention primarily on injury prevention. The real work is about building a fence at the top of the cliff rather than relying on the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

“It is clear that many accidents are preventable, and one way of doing this is by developing a culture of safety in all spheres of our lives. As part of our focus on injury prevention, the Act provides for the establishment of a new Information Manager to collate, for the first time, injury statistics from various agencies including ACC, OSH, LTSA and Health. I do not believe that most ‘accidents just happen’, and the data will be an important resource if we are to effectively target our injury prevention programmes.

“However, where an injury occurs the primary focus will be on the comprehensive rehabilitation of injured people, followed by compensation.

“The scheme continues to provide 24-hour no-fault, 7 day a week cover. The Act now extends the principle of fair compensation to seasonal and temporary workers, and to those on parental leave, and introduces a new form of lump sum compensation in recognition of the fact that New Zealanders gave up their right to sue for personal injury.

“The changes in the Accident Insurance (Transitional Provisions) 2000 have increased administrative efficiency and since that time ACC, has been focussed on relieving compliance costs associated with the scheme.”


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