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

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Debut, Mockingjay, And Drunk Texting

John Key’s credibility has taken a hammering this week – at least among the 50% of the electorate who have always had doubts about him on that score.

The other substantial story of the week has been about Andrew Little’s debut as Labour leader, which has received top marks, especially among the 25% of the electorate still voting Labour. According to some reports, the Labour caucus has been ‘in seventh heaven’ about Little’s success this week in taking it to the government in the House. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Government Arrogance

Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through Parliament. This legislation will grant the SIS the power to carry out 48 hour bouts of surveillance on anyone without a warrant, and will bestow on government the power to unilaterally revoke anyone’s passports and thus deny them the freedom to travel. More>>

ALSO:

Glenn Inquiry: Report Offers Solutions To Family Violence

The People’s Blueprint unveiled today by Sir Owen Glenn’s independent inquiry into child abuse and domestic violence outlines a new, more cohesive and effective system for reducing New Zealand’s alarmingly high family violence rates. More>>

ALSO:

Environment Commissioner: Changing Climate And Rising Seas - Understanding The Science

A rising sea will be with us for a long time to come – one way or another we will have to adapt. But how high and how fast the water rises will be influenced by the speed at which the world – including New Zealand – reduces greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades. More>>

ALSO:

Key Texts With Whale Oil Released: PM Can’t Be Trusted Over Dirty Politics Defence - Greens

John Key’s answers to questions about dirty politics can’t be trusted, after he was forced to admit that he had misled journalists and Parliament about contact with attack blogger Cameron Slater, said the Green Party today.. More>>

ALSO:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news