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Disappointment at new ACC board membership

4 September 2012

Disappointment at new ACC board membership

The ACC Futures Coalition has described the appointment of three new members and a new chair of the ACC board as a disappointment and an opportunity lost. Paula Rebstock has been confirmed as chair and the new members are Deputy Chair Trevor Janes, Professor Des Gorman and Kristy McDonald QC - all appointed for three year terms. A fourth new Board member has been identified, to commence in early 2013, bringing the Board up to its full membership of eight.

“With the clear-out of the board earlier this year the Minister had the opportunity to make appointments that would set a new direction for ACC, one that recognised that consumers were important stakeholders in the scheme and deserved a place at the governance level,” said ACC Futures Coalition spokesperson Hazel Armstrong. “Unfortunately she has missed that opportunity with the new appointments that have just been announced. While it remains possible that the fourth new member to be appointed will break the mould, we are not holding our breath."

“All those appointed are no doubt experienced and capable people but they do not bring the perspective and knowledge that consumer groups and unions can bring to the table. While there is a small shift away from a purely business and financial background among board members there is no consumer or worker voice. The pressure is now on the new board and the Minister to see if they can overcome this deficit to deliver real cultural change to the scheme.”

“This decision also raises the question about whether there should be a statutory obligation for key stakeholders such as consumers, unions and health providers to be represented on the board alongside business and financial interests”, said Ms. Armstrong. “This should be an issue when the legislation is next reviewed.”

The ACC Futures Coalition consists of community groups, academics, organisations representing people who need support from ACC, health treatment providers and unions who have come together around the following aim:

To build cross-party support for retaining the status of ACC as a publicly-owned single provider committed to the ‘Woodhouse Principles’, and a 'no fault' compensation social insurance system for all New Zealanders. Our commitment is to have an ACC scheme that has integrity and the trust of the public of New Zealand, and is focused on injury prevention, treatment, complete rehabilitation and compensation for the injured claimant.

ENDS

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