News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


ACC: Govt Turns Back on Hearing Impaired, Elderly

Media Release

New Zealand Audiological Society

Monday 19 October 2009

Government Turns Its Back on Hearing Impaired And Eldery with ACC Changes

The New Zealand Audiological Society is accusing the Government of turning its back on thousands of people whose hearing has been damaged at work with its planned ACC changes.

“Bringing in an arbitrary threshold of hearing loss before people can receive help for hearing aids is unfair and unjustified,” says Lesley Hindmarsh, President of the New Zealand Audiological Society.

The Government’s ACC changes include a threshold of a six percent hearing loss before a person may be entitled for assistance for hearing devices.

“We estimate many thousands of people with occupational hearing loss – particularly Māori, the elderly and people needing replacement hearing aids, who were entitled to ACC help for their hearing aids previously may now be left with nothing,” says Mrs Hindmarsh.

“People with hearing loss have significant needs. The Government is sending these people a message that their needs aren’t worth anything, and a poor quality of life for them and their families is acceptable.

“It is worth noting that Māori are significantly underrepresented in successful ACC hearing loss claims despite being over represented in occupations traditionally associated with noise exposure. Introducing a hearing loss threshold will only make this worse. This policy also discriminates against older first-time claimants due to outdated adjustments to percentage hearing loss attributed to aging.” says Mrs Hindmarsh.

The NZAS had been working with ACC on this issue, and is disappointed at the proposed law changes. ACC has not been able to tell the NZAS what the expected savings from this change would be.

“We are urging the ACC Minister, the Government and other political parties to remove this section of the proposals. While some changes may be necessary, moving from a needs based approach to a threshold based one for people with hearing impairment is unacceptable.

The New Zealand Audiological Society is the professional organisation representing qualified Audiologists and audiology in New Zealand.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>

Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland