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ACC Rejects Justice and Fairness - National Day of Action

ACC Rejects Justice and Fairness - National Day of Action

Tomorrow advocacy groups around the country will be staging protests outside ACC offices in Auckland, Rotorua, Gisborne, Wellington, Dunedin and Invercargill to show their outrage at ACC’s treatment of Mike Dixon-McIver. Tomorrow will be Mr Dixon-McIver’s 47th day of his hunger-strike outside ACC’s head office in Wellington.

A dispute between Mr Dixon-McIver that has lasted for almost seven years was close to resolution last month with both parties all but agreeing to binding arbitration taking place that incorporated the optional justice and fairness provision under clause 28(3) of schedule 1 to the Arbitration Act, and which would’ve seen Mr Dixon-McIver end his protest and go home. The following day ACC without discussion withdrew its acceptance of including consideration of justice and fairness as part of the terms arbitration would proceed upon.

A representative of Mr Dixon-McIver said that ACC’s refusal to accept the justice and fairness opt-in under the Arbitration Act is proof that ACC never intended to enter into discussions in good faith with the objective of resolving the matter in a fair and just way.

“ACC agreed at the very beginning when mediation discussions began in May of this year that the objective was to fix the unfairness that has occurred in accordance with justice and fairness” Tony McGurk said.

“But because mediation involves the parties agreeing on how the dispute is resolved ACC was able to proceed as if that agreement didn’t exist.”

“Arbitration, on the other hand, is adjudicated and both parties must accept the result reached. Once ACC realised that it had dropped the ball by agreeing to include consideration of justice and fairness as a term of the arbitration it quickly backtracked and withdrew from that agreement. This, together with ACC’s complete disregard for the terms of the earlier mediation agreement show that ACC was at no time genuine in its claim that it wanted to resolve the matter in a fair and just way.”

“The ball is now in ACC’s court. It can resolve this dispute by agreeing to include consideration of justice and fairness as part of the terms of arbitration. Agreeing to this will not mean that ACC loses face. This is an opportunity for ACC to show the public that it is capable of being fair and just.

“It will also mean that Mr Dixon-McIver will end his protest and spend Christmas with his family.”

Brief history of the dispute Seven years ago ACC tried unsuccessfully to prosecute Mr Dixon-McIver for fraud. In 2008 those charges were thrown out before trial began and an award of full legal costs followed due to a finding by the District Court that ACC’s investigation and prosecution were negligent, there was no evidence of fraud whatsoever and that the prosecution should never have been brought. The whole ordeal destroyed what had been Mr Dixon-McIver’s successful business representing claimants in disputes with ACC, caused emotional breakdown and eventual bankruptcy. Mr Dixon-McIver is now seeking compensation for that damage.

Protest times and contact details:

Auckland: 12pm to 1pm, ACC offices on 18 Sales Street

Rotorua: 12pm to 2pm, ACC offices on Pukaki Street.
Hornfeck (07) 345 9853

Gisborne: 10am to 12pm, ACC offices, Kaiti Mall

Wellington: 10am onwards, meet at Railway Station.

Dunedin: 2pm to 4pm, ACC offices on corner of Maclaggan and Clark Streets,

Invercargill: 10am to 11am, ACC offices, Invercargill.


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