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Lunacy that pregnancy a 'personal injury accident'

Katherine Rich MP National Party ACC Spokeswoman

23 October 2005

Lunacy that pregnancy a 'personal injury accident'

ACC costs will skyrocket and credibility of the scheme will plummet if unwanted pregnancy is compensated for as a 'personal injury accident', says National's ACC spokeswoman, Katherine Rich.

She is commenting on reports that a woman who became pregnant after having her tubes tied has won the right to claim ACC compensation based on the argument that her pregnancy was a 'personal injury accident'.

"If this claim is successful the ramifications for ACC are huge. It potentially opens the floodgates for claims as a result of all other failed contraceptive measures," says Mrs Rich.

"If this claim is successful the law will have to change to redefine personal injury. It was never the intention of the law. Clearly, the founders of New Zealand's ACC system in 1972 never envisaged that one day it could be used to compensate unplanned pregnancy.

"This case is sad on so many levels. It shows how far New Zealand has left its pioneering independence behind, that some people really think the birth of a baby could be deemed an injury. It's sad for the child who will eventually know he was a 'personal injury accident' that needed compensation. It's also sad for the thousands of New Zealanders battling infertility.

"While ACC and the Minister seem to be treating this case as a long shot, they need to tell ACC levy-paying kiwis what they intend to do about this situation," says Mrs Rich.


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