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


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news