Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


ACC Support Group Outraged at ACC Bullying

ACC Support Group Outraged at ACC Dunedin Branch Bullying

Members of Acclaim Otago (Inc), a support group for victims of personal injury, are outraged and disgusted with the way Milton man Peter Peterson was treated by ACC's Dunedin branch last Friday afternoon.

Mr Peterson worked as a carpenter until suffering a spinal injury in July this year. He needs medical treatment for that injury and receives weekly compensation while he is unable to return to work.

A couple of weeks ago Mr Peterson rang ACC's 0800 complaints line because he was unhappy with his case manager who, he says, treated him poorly in 2005 when he needed help from ACC to recover from a foot injury. As a result, Mr Peterson wanted a new, and competent, case manager to look after his latest claim.

The operator of ACC's complaints line told Mr Peterson that he needed to take his complaint to Eoin McDonald, the manager of ACC's Dunedin branch.

Mr Peterson did so, in writing. Mr McDonald's response, both verbally and in writing, was to refuse Mr Peterson's request for a change of case manager, dismiss his complaint, demand that he attended a meeting with ACC in Dunedin, and threaten to stop Mr Peterson's weekly compensation if he did not.

Mr Peterson contacted Acclaim Otago for help. Acclaim Otago put him in contact with Michael Gibson, an advocate with over ten years' experience representing people in their dealings with ACC.

At 2.00pm on Friday, 9 November 2007, Mr Peterson and Mr Gibson, accompanied by members of Acclaim Otago, attended ACC at its Dunedin branch office in McLaggan St.

ACC initially wanted to call the meeting off because Mr Peterson brought support people along with him, in spite of the fact that ACC's general advice sheets told him he was entitled to do so.

An ACC staff member referred to Mr Peterson's supporters from Acclaim Otago as a "sideshow". Acclaim Otago takes exception to these sort of comments and notes that the behaviour of its members at ACC's office was exemplary.

When asked why ACC had compelled Mr Peterson's attendance, its representatives replied that they needed his consent to obtain and discuss a medical report with its author and that they wanted to "discuss" a rehabilitation plan that required Mr Peterson to attend a physical exercise programme in Milton.

Acclaim Otago, Mr Peterson and Mr Gibson believe ACC's stated reasons for the meeting, and its threat to stop Mr Peterson's entitlements, constitute an outrageous abuse of power.
"ACC forced Mr Peterson to travel to its Dunedin office from Milton to discuss routine administrative matters", said Denise Powell, Acclaim Otago's spokesperson, who participated in the meeting as Mr Peterson's support person. "ACC often rings people up to discuss matters of this nature and it mails its forms to people all the time".

"There was no need for ACC to play the bully last Friday", said Ms Powell. "Our strong belief is that ACC demanded Mr Peterson's presence at its offices to force him to submit to a case manager whom he regards as incompetent and sign away his rights by threatening to stop his weekly compensation if he did not withdraw his complaint."

Acclaim Otago regards ACC's behaviour as abhorrent and in complete contrast to its proclaimed new culture and its stated purpose which is to help people cope with the effects of their injuries.

Mr Peterson has instructed Mr Gibson to lodge complaints with Maryan Street, ACC's new Minister, and its official complaints service. "Acclaim Otago backs Mr Peterson and Mr Gibson all the way", said Ms Powell. "We will not stand by and see injured people bullied by public servants, even if the current Government appears to condone that sort of behaviour."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news