ACC Minister continues to fail abuse victims
ACC Minister continues to fail sexual abuse victims
ACC Minister Nick Smith’s continued buck passing on the issue of sexual abuse guidelines introduced under his watch is unacceptable, Labour Victims Rights spokesperson Lynne Pillay says.
“Nick Smith is apparently ‘urging’ ACC to take notice of a review of disastrous sexual abuse guidelines. That statement implies the Minister is not responsible for ACC and the decisions it makes,” Lynne Pillay said.
“The Minister is responsible for decisions taken by ACC were taken under his watch, he was warned by health professional that the guidelines would re-victimise those people who had already suffered horribly and yet he continued to institute them.
“Throughout this process the Minister has repeatedly mislead and misinformed the public about his role and what was happening. The Minister’s behaviour is unacceptable and disgraceful.
“The guidelines were clearly introduced as a cost saving measure and to have ACC today come out and say those guidelines which denied thousands of people assistance as having merit is totally inappropriate.
“The National Government introduced guidelines clearly failed the people they were meant to help.
“I have no confidence in the Minister to right this horrific wrong, given both his and ACC’s statements today.
“Announcing that they would work with professionals working in sector into the future shows how badly this situation has been handled.
“The professionals working with those who have suffered sexual abuse, told ACC and the Minister even before the guidelines were introduced that they would lead to thousands of people being denied help.
“Given the Minister and ACC have failed to listen to health professionals again and again what confidence can anyone have that they will finally open the minds and admit they have failed and potentially caused harm to thousands of people,” Lynne Pillay said.