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Giving ACC claimants a fair go

9 August 2005

Giving ACC claimants a fair go

The Green Party believes a full review of ACC is needed to ensure that all claimants get a fair go.

Green Party ACC spokesperson Sue Bradford, who released the Greens' ACC policy this afternoon, said she had been working hard to try and improve the culture of ACC over the past three years, but much more needed to be done.

"While we've been supportive of Labour's renationalising of ACC, the Green Party believes there are many more improvements which need to be made," Ms Bradford said.

"Above all, we need a change to the culture of ACC. Its primary focus should be the full vocational, health and social rehabilitation of injured people, not getting people off compensation as quickly as possible.

"We're committed to protecting ACC from any attempts to privatise or partly privatise it, and we'll be seeking to ensure that ACC's culture becomes more conducive to helping Kiwis' rehabilitate fully."

The Greens' ACC policy includes:

- A full review of ACC, welfare and health and disability support systems in New Zealand;

* A review of ACC law so that a) cover remains as long as the original injury is still a causative factor in a claimant's current condition and b) the onus is on ACC to prove a claimant is no longer entitled to cover, before support is suspended or cancelled.

* Ensuring that people with genuine work-related gradual process injury, disease or infection, including chemical poisoning, or unexpected and unintended injuries as a result of medical treatment, can obtain ACC cover.

* Providing funding to independent advocacy groups who provide quality advocacy services for ACC claimants, as long as the need for such services exists.

* The creation of an independent ACC Ombudsman to take over the functions of the current ACC Complaints Investigation Service.
Ms Bradford will be launching the ACC policy when she speaks at an ACC claimants public meeting in Whangarei at 5.30pm today, Northland Disability Resource Centre, 40 John St, Whangarei.

ENDS

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