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ACC Reform Bill introduced next week

Hon Dr Nick Smith
Minister for ACC

22 October 2009
Media Statement
ACC Reform Bill introduced next week
The government today tabled the ACC Reform Bill in Parliament and will introduce it for its first reading next week, ACC Minister Nick Smith says.

“I am pleased the government has secured support for this critical legislation from both the Maori Party and from ACT that will see ACC’s proposed levies reduced by half,” Dr Smith said.

“Today the National and ACT Parties reached an agreement that will ensure the Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Compensation Amendment Bill will be passed through all stages.”

National’s intention is to work with ACT to open the ACC Work Account to competition subject only to the government receiving a report from the steering group currently considering the Stocktake of ACC Accounts that sets out the merits and feasibility to New Zealand of such a policy, and outlines a process to achieve this policy objective in a way that resolves any significant outstanding issues of such a move.

The ACC Stocktake Group will also explore other areas in which the private and non-government sectors (including Iwi) can be involved in accident management and compensation.

Accordingly, the ACC Stocktake Group will have an added term of reference to deal with this competition issue, and it will undertake this additional work to the same timeframe as currently planned i.e June 2010. The Group will provide an interim report on the competition issue no later than 1 February 2010.

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For the purpose of its work on opening the Work Account up to competition, two additional members, to be agreed between National and ACT, will be appointed to the ACC Stocktake Group. To ensure that this work is given the necessary priority, the government will provide ACC with additional funding.

Subsequent to the government receiving the report in June 2010, and the anticipated decision to open up the Work Account to competition as soon as reasonably practicable, the government will introduce legislation into Parliament during 2010 to ensure the soonest implementation possible. The government will consult with the ACT party during both the process of making a decision on the ACC Stocktake Group’s report, and in the preparation of any subsequent legislation.

The Steering Group is chaired by former Labour Cabinet Minister and former ACC Board chairman David Caygill and contains independent advisors Dr Neil Quigley and Gordon Smith. It also comprises current ACC Board chairman John Judge, and senior officials from Treasury, Department of Labour, and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

ENDS

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