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ACC Payout For Illegal Overstayer

The Taxpayers Union should be aware of the law and of the history of ACC.

The ACC is a legal system introduced in 1974 to replace the common law right of accident victims to sue for damages for personal injury sustained as a result of negligence or a breach of a statutory duty .

Since 1974 all persons, including visitors to the country, who have suffered personal injury by accident in New Zealand, have been covered by by the Accident Compensation Act regardless of whether or not they have the legal status as of New Zealand citizens .The Act provides cover and entitlements without proof of fault.

The right to sue for damages in a New Zealand Court has been abolished. No accident victim has any right to sue to recover damages for injuries suffered by accident in New Zealand no matter how the injury was caused and whether it was caused intentionally (except possibly in the case or suicide) or by chance. Because they cannot sue, the provisions of the Accident compensation Act provide their only remedy. The ACC has no choice but to apply the Act to cover and entitlements.

Whether illegal immigrants should be covered by ACC is a political issue and if the law was to be changed, international implications would have to be considered if illegal immigrants were excluded from the statutory law.

Don Rennie LlB
former Convenor
ACC Committee
NZ Law Society.

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