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Report to UN calls for ACC Commissioner

5th August 2014

Report to UN calls for ACC Commissioner

John Key today announced to the Chamber of Commerce that the Government would be keeping $180 million that ACC doesn’t need. Spokesperson for Acclaim Otago, Denise Powell says “Acclaim Otago just this week submitted its final report to the UN calling for an independent ACC Commissioner. The call for a commissioner is supported by 20 independent lawyers and advocacy organisations, including the Council of Trade Unions. We think that is very telling”.

As Acclaim Otago’s report explains, the Government cannot be relied upon to protect the rights of ACC claimants because of its financial conflict of interest.

“The Government needs to stop prioritising money over people”, continues Dr Powell. “Acclaim Otago’s report was informed by a survey of 600+ people, who shared their experience of losing their homes, suicide, and systemic injustice. We think the Prime Minister’s announcement today failed to acknowledge this human cost”.

Warren Forster, who was commissioned by Acclaim Otago as one of the authors of the report states “The consensus of experts agrees that the current system does not hold ACC to account and there is a need to establish a proper independent commissioner to be funded from ACC’s massive financial reserves. The Government's latest proposal to replace Judges in the District Court with a tribunal is yet another example of eroding external controls on the Government and ACC”.

There are 320,000 people with long term disability caused by accident or injury in New Zealand according to Statistics New Zealand and ACC only provides support to a fraction of these. It is highly likely that many of these people would have retained their ACC entitlements if the system provided proper access to justice through the Courts.

The reports are available at www.acclaimotago.org/un

ENDS

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