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ACC's Blatant Disregard for Human Dignity

ACC SUPPORT-ACTION GROUPS are appalled to see yet another example of ACC's blatant disregard for human dignity featuring on the Holmes Show last night. Following TV 3's exposure on its 20/20 programme of paraplegic Richard Maxwell's plight last weekend, Support Action Groups say this latest incident yet again demonstrates ACC's continuous adversarial approach to claimants.

Put simply, New Zealander's were shown yet another example of ACC's extreme attitude towards genuine claimants.

The Holmes Show showed Napier man, John Jury, who had a serious motor accident 27 years ago which has left him a tetraplegic unable to care for himself since then. Remarkably, Mr Jury is being looked after 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by his 11 year-old grandson who can't remember when he started looking after his grandfather or when he last went to school. Mr Jury, however,is entitled to 24-hour paid attendant care under the ACC legislation.

ACC media spokesperson, Fraser Folster, told Holmes that Mr Jury is being managed by ACC's remote unit. The remote unit was established in 1999 to manage claimants who, according to ACC, exhibit bad behaviour and are considered "difficult" Mr Folster claimed that he could not discuss the particular case because Mr Jury's "mana" needed to be protected.

ACC claimant support groups are outraged and are questioning why ACC doesn't feel as strongly about Mr Jury's ACC entitlement rights to full rehabilitation and care, or the rights of his grandson to an education and a childhood, as they do about his mana.

Support Groups are also calling for the Children's Commissioner to announce an inquiry into the plight of Mr Jury's 11 year-old grandson and how it is that he has been left as the sole provider for his grandfather. This could well be child abuse, claimants say.

Group spokespersons say; "If this latest incident of abuse by ACC shown on TVNZ's Holmes Show following the TV3 20/20 programme on Sunday doesn't cause an immediate inquiry into ACC, nothing will. Unfortunately, from experience, the cases of Mr Maxwell and Mr Jury are just the tip of the iceberg."

ACC Support-Action Groups will renew their call for the Labour Party to honour their own party policy of 2000 and call on their ACC Minister and Government to arrange for an urgent independent inquiry into ACC which ought to be supported by all MPs who should have their alarm bells ringing over this disgraceful state of affairs. Nothing less will do, claimants say.

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