Monday, August 5, 2013

ACC Has lost the Plot

  This blog is a letter published in the New Zealand Herald Tuesday 6  August 2013 

          The Herald is correct. ACC ought to accept full liability for gravest injuries.

ACC has lost the plot. It was originally designed by the Woodhouse Commission to be a universal no-fault scheme for all.

In return New Zealanders gave up their common law right to sue.
Mathew Purchase has been short-changed by their system. The decision by ACC to reduce his benefit to $ 95.37 is ungenerous, lacks compassion and goes against the spirit and intent of the original legislation.

Visitors and New Zealanders have found ACC to be mean-spirited. There have been high-profile public cases where the corporation has been found to be falling well short of its charter.  In one case the collateral damage was a ministerial resignation.

In my experience both as an employer and a consumer I have found that their focus has shifted from one of providing cover and rehabilitation, as the original act intended, to behaving like a private insurer intent on reducing exposure and managing costs.

The ACC board should undertake a comprehensive review of ACC. Their current model in the Purchase case damages our international reputation and falls well short of public entitlement to cover and the intent of our world class compensation system.