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Maori Party looks at claims of ACC discrimination

Maori Party
MEDIA STATEMENT
10 December 2009

Maori Party to look into claims of ACC discrimination

The Maori Party will be looking into claims that Maori women are being discriminated against by ACC.

“We are very concerned to hear from the National Council of Women that Maori women in need of counselling for issues like rape and sexual abuse are not getting the service they need because of what appears to be a flawed policy of ACC,” Maori Party MP Rahui Katene said.

“We are also concerned to hear that ACC has cancelled hui that it promised to hold to sought out this issue."

The council claim that ACC’s sensitive claims clinical pathway not only discriminates on the basis of gender but also on race.

Maori are more likely to be a client for ACC subsidised counselling and women over all make up 82% of the claimants with Maori women being heavily represented in that percentage.

“We’ve heard stories that Maori women are leaving Maori counselling services in tears because they can not be guaranteed that the counsellor will be the one they deal with all or most of the time,” Mrs Katene said.

“It takes so much courage and strength for these women to even step through the door of a counselling service that it would be really unfair to expect them to keep baring themselves over and over again to different counsellors – they need to be given an assurance of security and stability.”

The council claimed that ACC was in breach of the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination: because of its sensitive claims clinical pathwa policy.

“We’ll be talking with the minister responsible for ACC to see exactly what is happening,” Mrs Katene said.

ENDS

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