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

 


Govt secret plan to keep ACC judges out of access to justice

Government’s secret plans to keep ACC judges out of access to justice

Cabinet has signed off on a paper to remove access to the Courts for injured New Zealanders. The plan, which has not had any consultation, proposes ousting judges from deciding the facts of ACC cases.

ACC is beginning to lose significant cases in the District Court – and its costing them money. In a bid to maintain ACC’s role in propping up the Government’s Budget Surplus, the Government has devised a solution: make it harder for claimants to win.

The plan comes at the same time as the United Nations has directly asked the New Zealand Government to explain whether ACC claimants have access to justice. “From what we understand, the government has basically taken our list of objections to the current dispute resolution process, and exacerbated them.” says the lead author of Acclaim Otago’s report to the United Nations, Warren Forster.

At the same time, Government agencies are resisting any requests for information about the process. The Ministers for Justice, ACC and Courts have not provided any information about the process – Treasury, on the other hand, has indicated the amount of information they hold is substantial. MBIE has done the same. Nonetheless, no documents have been provided despite an urgent request for official information.

“Without being rude, anything less than District Court level competence and experience amounts to a cynical dumbing down of judicial process for fiscal reasons.” says Peter Sara, ACC specialist lawyer. “Once again we see the government blaming claimants, advocates and judges for decades of wrong decisions by ACC.”

“We’re particularly concerned that the Government’s pushing this through without consulting injured people.” says Mr Forster. “A core principle of the Convention on the Rights of People with disabilities is 'nothing about us without us'. The Government has ignored claimants’ objections for years, and now that the UN is investigating, they’ve bulldozed ahead on plans without consultation.”

Mr Sara is particularly concerned that they’re doing this within 3 months of a general election, and after the resignation of one of its support partners. “To be honest, the whole thing is unconstitutional. Is ACC really going to let the Government do this to their clients without consultation?”

“Similar questions need to be asked of other agencies with a responsibility for protecting injured people.” adds Mr Forster.

To have your voice heard on access to justice under ACC, fill out Acclaim Otago’s survey to the UN at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/accesstojusticenewzealand

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Open Source // Open Society - Full Coverage

GCSB's China Shopping: Key Damages China Relationship

Evidence that the Key Government recklessly approved a GCSB spying operation to intercept Chinese diplomatic communications between offices in Auckland will pointlessly damage our relationship with China, the Green Party said today.

The latest Snowden documents detail plans by the New Zealand spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), to tap Chinese diplomatic communications between their two consular offices in Auckland. The papers don’t reveal if the operation, a joint project with the US National Security Agency (NSA), went ahead but we have no reason to think it did not. More>>

 
 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Press Conference: ANZAC PMs Concerned About ISIL Bringing The War Home

Prime Minister Key and Prime Minister Abbott spoke of the bond formed between Australia and New Zealand in the “baptism of fire” of Gallipoli. Abbott stated that New Zealand and Australia’s values and interests are linked, and this is reflected in the joint operation in Iraq which will begin shortly. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Reserve Bank And Auckland Housing>

The ‘crisis – what crisis?’ response by the government to the Auckland housing price bubble is no longer acceptable. So says Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer... More>>

ALSO:

Bangladesh: GCSB Dragging NZ Into Human Rights Abuses

The New Zealand government should stop providing intelligence assistance to Bangladeshi security agencies that are known to systematically engage in human rights abuses, said the Green Party today. More>>

ALSO:

Troops Heading To Iraq: Government Must Come Clean On Deployment

New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture of secrecy and unknown protections around the deployment.” More>>

ALSO:

Image: Strikers And Protestors Join Outside McDonald's

A group of protestors took to McDonald’s Manners St today as a part of the international fast food workers day of action to end zero hour contracts. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Special Education Funds Not Spent

More than $32 million of funding for children with special needs has not been spent by the Government, despite families of children with special needs complaining for years that they’ve been denied the support they deserve. More>>

ALSO:

John Key: Pre-Budget Speech To Business NZ

So this Government will remain relentlessly focused on improving the competitiveness of our economy... We will continue to give businesses a platform to invest, grow and create jobs in the knowledge they will be backed by a clear and consistent government policy programme. More>>

ALSO:

Multimedia: Andrew Little’s Response To John Key’s Pre-Budget Address

Labour Party leader Andrew Little spoke today on John Key’s pre-budget address this afternoon in Wellington. Little said National has had seven years to achieve a surplus and Kiwis have “fufilled their end of the bargain.” More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news