John opens his file of pain

Auckland City Harbour News - - OPINION -

My galling lit­tle dis­pute with the Ac­ci­dent and Com­pen­sa­tion Com­mis­sion made some peo­ple’s old in­juries ache and in­flamed their feel­ings of injustice. I thought it would. But I couldn’t have imag­ined the de­tail and jus­ti­fied bit­ter­ness in one let­ter:

‘‘Well Pat, if you think that was hard, try be­ing on the pointy end of the ACC stick when you have a claim.

‘‘I won’t go into the full de­tails here but suf­fice if you want to lis­ten I will tell, and with all the pa­per­work to back it up.

‘‘June 2011: At­tacked and bashed in a botched rob­bery at my work place. Two as­sailants, ac­cord­ing to po­lice who got DNA. No-one was charged.

‘‘I was beaten with a bar or sim­i­lar around the head, back and neck, then trussed up with an air hose around arms, legs and throat.

‘‘Po­lice said if I hadn’t been un­con­scious I would prob­a­bly have strug­gled and be­come an­other mur­der statis­tic.

‘‘In­stead, I was left with a brain in­jury, etc, that have meant con­tin­ual headaches and pain as well as PTSD (Post-trau­matic Stress Dis­or­der).

‘‘De­cem­ber 2011: Left my se­nior po­si­tion at work be­cause I couldn’t work full­time.

‘‘Jan­uary 2012: Let­ters from ACC want­ing all my hol­i­day pay back be­cause, un­der leg­is­la­tion, they can take ev­ery­thing back that ex­ceeds 100 per cent of your pay at the time of the in­ci­dent.

‘‘Fe­bru­ary 2012: I ar­gue the case against this dis­crim­i­na­tion. I had been off work seven months at this stage and my hol­i­day pay cov­ered 48 weeks of hol­i­days I had not taken. Abate­ment cov­ered only 12 weeks, so ob­vi­ously I had been over­paid.

‘‘On­go­ing dis­putes res­o­lu­tion tri­bunal and ap­peals court, all loaded as the ACC can have a legal rep­re­sen­ta­tive – but you can’t.

‘‘At all stages, doc­u­men­ta­tion says ACC may al­low the debt to be de­funct. No doubt if it were $100 maybe, but when the sum is $12,000 – for­get it . . .

‘‘Now, al­most four years on and no show of ever work­ing again, it’s up to me and my GP to work things out.

‘‘All re­hab, etc, gone, no longer a psy­chol­o­gist or a neu­rol­o­gist on the hori­zon . . . not even a case manager at ACC. I had five of them at dif­fer­ent times, none now.’’

– John Minch­in­ton JP, MINZMI Mem­ber of the In­sti­tute of NZ Mo­tor In­dus­tries, MIAME Mem­ber of the In­sti­tute of Au­to­mo­tive and Me­chan­i­cal En­gi­neers (Aus­trala­sia), NZIM NZ In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment

PS from PB: If you’ve had prob­lems with the ACC, as much as I might be in­ter­ested in your ex­pe­ri­ences, I can­not prom­ise all or any of the de­tail will be printed.

Ever had the feel­ing that we’re go­ing back­wards to the fu­ture?

That this ‘‘world’s great city’’ seems to be look­ing to the past to find an­swers to its prob­lems, cur­rent and fu­ture.

The de­ci­sion from left field to look at trams com­ing back into city streets where the old bell-ring­ing trams once reigned and rang should have hap­pened some time last year.

But where was it hid­den while the city ag­o­nised over trains and tun­nels, a fix­a­tion which has al­ready be­gun tear­ing at longestab­lished sub­urbs?

When will the not-so-su­per city come clean about the real cost of the rail ser­vice? Small Talk: Regular let­ter writer John Cle­ments in Orewa points to me­dia ads for top coun­cil ex­ec­u­tives.

‘‘More ‘new jobs!’ No won­der they’re short of money! I hope this is a hoax. It sounds as though they’re re­cruit­ing peo­ple to fight the Tal­iban!’’

The open­ing text on sev­eral notso-su­per-coun­cil top va­can­cies:

Chief of Strat­egy: ‘‘We are seek­ing a fear­less, ded­i­cated and vi­sion­ary se­nior leader for this ex­ec­u­tive lead­er­ship role. This is a ca­reer defin­ing op­por­tu­nity for the right per­son to make their mark.’’

How many in the queue?

Flash­back: Auck­land’s tram sys­tem closed in the 1950s – could it make a come­back?

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