John opens his file of pain
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?