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UN Experience Beneficial

Press Release
Acclaim Otago
17.9.14

UN Experience Beneficial

Acclaim Otago representatives have just completed their participation at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability examination of the New Zealand government in Geneva, Switzerland. "It was an interesting two days which we believe has been important in raising issues related to ACC in an international forum." Denise Powell spokesperson for Acclaim Otago said. "We were heartened by the fact that there were several important questions posed by the UN CRPD committee specifically related to our shadow report. These questions related broadly to access to justice, rehabilitation, medical assessments and work capacity and the proposed abolishment of appeals to the District Court. The committee understood that some of New Zealand's laws were outdated and inconsistent with New Zealand's international obligations under the convention" states Dr Powell

Of note was the comment from Mike Tully, the ACC representative, that the prime purpose of ACC included restoring independence to the maximum extent practicable and that support was 'for life'. Warren Forster who was co-author of the shadow report with Tom Barraclough comments "We look forward to that aspiration statement being translated into reality and injured New Zealanders actually experiencing this. "

In addition ACC acknowledged that although they have various relationships across the disability sector it recognises that it can do more.

Dr Powell responded to this by stating " We would welcome the opportunity to become involved with the current regular consultations that take place between the government Chief Executives group, senior government officials and Disabled Person Organisation {DPO} representatives. This consultation group currently does not include an ACC focused DPO, even though the CEO of ACC participates in these consultations. We believe our inclusion in this consultation process to be a vital aspect of any consultative process that affects injured people as required by Article 4.3 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability."

"I hope that by bringing the convention's aspirations to the table will mean that next time we ask injured New Zealanders about their experiences they have a every different story to tell" said Mr Forster.

The Concluding Observations of the CRPD committee will be released in approximately two weeks time and Acclaim Otago looks forward to their recommendations as this will provide an opportunity for further engagement with the NZ government and ACC on the various issues raised.

Videos can be found on ACCLAIM Otago's webpage

http://acclaimotago.org/videos/

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