Damn­ing ACC re­search re­leased

Auckland City Harbour News - - SITUATIONS VACANT - CECILE MEIER

Hun­dreds of thou­sands of in­jured Ki­wis are de­clined cover each year by ACC, caus­ing ‘‘un­ac­cept­able harm’’ to many le­git­i­mate claimants, ac­cord­ing to new re­search.

In­jured peo­ple who have been de­nied cover ’’find them­selves pit­ted against a huge, bil­lion-dol­lar spe­cial­ist Crown agency’’, the Law Foun­da­tion and Univer­sity of Otago-backed re­port said.

The re­port, pub­lished on Tues­day, calls for the es­tab­lish­ment of a per­sonal in­jury com­mis­sioner to help peo­ple nav­i­gate the Ac­ci­dent Com­pen­sa­tion Cor­po­ra­tion’s (ACC) ’’in­cred­i­bly com­plex and dif­fi­cult’’ com­plaints process. It also calls for change to the way ACC de­ter­mines whether it will cover a per­son.

ACC’s ‘‘nar­row, tech­ni­cal, le­gal­is­tic’’ in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the law was ‘‘shut­ting out’’ many le­git­i­mate claimants and ‘‘shift­ing costs’’ to in­jured peo­ple and other in­sti­tu­tions, the re­port found.

It also had in­creas­ingly higher cover thresh­olds and asked claimants to ‘‘pro­duce more com­plex ev­i­dence’’. These fac­tors led to ‘‘un­ac­cept­ably low lev­els’’ of pub­lic trust and con­fi­dence, the doc­u­ment said.

ACC chief ex­ec­u­tive Scott Pick­er­ing said he agreed the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s sys­tems and pro­cesses were ‘‘com­plex and dif­fi­cult to nav­i­gate for cus­tomers and our own staff’’, but it had been work­ing to ad­dress this in re­cent years.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.