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ACC Support-Action Groups Report On Conference

ACC Support-Action Groups Report On Conference

The inaugural regional conference of ACC SUPPORT-ACTION GROUPS from across the South Island was held in Christchurch over the weekend to discuss the latest developments with the ACC scheme.

Murray Jorgensen, Canterbury; Denise Powell, Otago; Steve Price, West Coast ACC Action Association jointly report:

Concerned that ACC is not meeting its obligations to rehabilitate people to their maximum extent, 24 delegates and members from support groups from Nelson to Bluff and the West Coast met in Christchurch to consider a response to ACC's formulistic approach to the provision of statutory entitlements and its practice of the 4 "D's" - Delay, Deny, Defame, Defend.

The conference noted the past covert ACC polices to rid itself of claimants and the overt policy of the Minister for ACC to dump 1500 claimants simply because they are long-term and will seek a reversal of that policy.

Conference delegates have decided to approach the Minister of ACC Hon Ruth Dyson and the Prime Minister Rt Hon Helen Clark to demand answers why the Labour-led Government has not implemented its own party policy remit of 2000, which called for an independent inquiry into ACC treatment of long-term claimants.

The conference was concerned that NZ lawyers handling ACC cases were saying the parallels with the American systems are striking with many New Zealanders who think they may be covered long-term by ACC in the event of accident simply being under-insured.

Delegates noted the exact parallels between the ACC scheme in NZ and the massive UnumProvident disability insurance fraud scam in the United States and how the treatment of claimants by ACC accurately reflects those parallels.

Over the last 18 months media across the county have carried stories about ACC's practices which culminated Sunday night in TV3's 20/20 programme.

20/20 highlighted the policy of systemic victimisation of claimants across the country, the programme featured Mr Robert Maxwell, a victim of that policy, who was injured whilst working as an orderly in Masterton which resulted in a severe back injury which later progressed to paralysis. Mr Maxwell claims he has suffered extremely poor and inhumane treatment by ACC since then.

Delegates say that Mr Maxwell's circumstances, while appalling, are not unique with many severely injured people being treated similarly.


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