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 The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

To date, the Opposition has continued to occupy itself with the marginalia of the issue. E.g. whether Key did or didn’t know whether Barack Obama would be present at the US briefing last week on IS, or whether New Zealand’s military involvement is or isn’t already a fait accompli.

It might be better to tackle the issue, head on. Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn.
More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Tea Breaks 'Gone By Lunch Time'

“How cynical that on the eve of Labour weekend, the National government is pushing through legislation that takes away the statutory right to tea and meal breaks along with collective bargaining protections, and makes vulnerable workers jobs even less secure." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news