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

 


ACC Decisions to be Removed from District Court Judges

ACC Decisions to be Removed from the Scrutiny of District Court Judges

Press Release

Acclaim Otago (Inc)

26.6.14

Dr Denise Powell, spokesperson for Acclaim Otago (Inc) says “There are clearly multiple problems with access to justice for people who are disputing decisions made by ACC. In the documents released this week, the Government has acknowledged issues relating to delays in the current appeals process, but has decided to eliminate access to the District Court and the Appeal Authority under the guise of speeding up the process”.

Acclaim Otago believe the Government is ignoring its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD). “It has an obligation to consult closely with injured people in the development and implementation of legislation and policies that affect them [Article 4(3)]. It has an obligation to provide effective access to justice [Article 13]. It has an obligation to provide a voice at the table for injured people and their representatives. That's a fundamental principle under the Convention" says Dr Powell.

Documents released under the Official Information Act this week show that when Cabinet decided to remove access to the District Court for injured people, the Minister for Courts briefed cabinet by saying:

The proposals appear consistent with the rights affirmed in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act… (paragraph 84, page 12).

There are no direct gender or disability implications arising from these proposals (paragraph 91, page 13).

“It is disappointing that over the ten month process since September 2013, the Government has been consulting with ACC on these plans, and yet at no time did they inform other key stakeholders (ie injured people) or the Advocates and Representatives Group set up by ACC to provide advice on legislative and systemic operational matters, that this major change was being considered.”

“We have been raising these issues for a long time now,” says a frustrated Dr Powell. “It started in 2010 when Acclaim Otago raised disability issues, including ‘access to justice’ with the Government. We were ignored. We did the same thing in 2013. Again we were ignored”. In February 2014, Acclaim Otago, with support from the New Zealand Law Foundation, presented an interim shadow report to the United Nations Committee on the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

In April 2014, the United Nations asked the New Zealand Government about access to justice for ACC clients going through the disputes process. Acclaim Otago asked the Government similar questions in May 2014.

“It is only now becoming clear that the key decision makers don’t recognise that removing access to the Court involves the rights of people with disabilities. The Cabinet paper clearly shows that the rights of injured people are not even on the radar”. Acclaim Otago believes the Government needs to stop treating ACC claimants as simply a financial and administrative burden as is identified in these latest documents.

“This is not good enough, and it has to change. Substantial changes such as these that have a significant impact for people who have reason to engage with the ACC appeal process, must involve open and transparent consultation with all stakeholders, including disabled people, as is required under the Convention” concludes Dr Powell.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Urban Planning Report: Momentum Grows To Replace The RMA

A major new report from the Productivity Commission lays the foundation for action on the growing political consensus that the Resource Management Act and associated laws are failing both cities and the natural environment and need a complete rewrite.

Published this morning, the final “Better Urban Planning” report is the culmination of eight years of investigations ordered by the government into the causes of unaffordable housing and urban planning. More>>

 

Vaping: Quitline Supports Decision To Legalise Nicotine E-Cigarettes

Today Associate Minister of Health, Hon Nicky Wagner has announced that Government are taking the proactive step of legalising nicotine e-cigarettes, a move which Quitline is pleased to hear and support wholeheartedly. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Labour/Greens Deal (And The NZDF)

If Labour and the Greens were hoping their Budget Responsibility Rules (BRR) agreement would foster an unlikely alliance then hey… mission accomplished! Because it isn’t every day that Sue Bradford, the CTU and Matthew Hooton speak with one voice, as happened yesterday. More>>

ALSO:

Until After The Election: Extension Of Report-Back Date For Havelock North Inquiry

Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today that the report-back date for the independent Inquiry into Havelock North Drinking-Water has been extended at the request of the Inquiry’s Panel. More>>

ALSO:

Little Heading For Court: Apology Over Donation/Hotel Contract Claims Not Accepted

Today I want to publicly apologise unreservedly to Mr Hagaman for any hurt, embarrassment or adverse reflection on his reputation which may have resulted from my various media statements. I have offered that apology to the Hagamans. More>>

ALSO:

Biscuit Tin Of Democracy: World Heritage Site Protection, Ombudsman and Equal Pay Bills Drawn

On Thursday, 23 March 2017 three places are available on the Order Paper for the first reading of a Member’s bill. The ballot was held, and resulted in the following bills being drawn... More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Plan: NZ Needs More Science, More Trees, Fewer Beasts

A combination of technology breakthroughs, much more plantation forestry, and a big switch away from pastoral, particularly dairy farming, are identified as the key elements of any approach New Zealand takes to reducing its carbon emissions to a net zero level, according to a new report sponsored by the New Zealand chapter of GLOBE, a multi-party, global parliamentary grouping. More>>

ALSO:

"Backed To Win Seats": Labour Māori Seat MPs Won't Stand On List

The Labour Party is backing a request from its Māori seat MPs to stand as electorate MPs only, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

OutsKey: John Key's Valedictory Speech

I rise to address this House for the very last time. It has been a huge privilege to have served the people of Helensville as their member of Parliament, and, of course, the people of New Zealand as their Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news