ACC changes negative for workers

December 15, 2009

Byron Clark The Spark December 2009

At the end of October parliament voted 69 to 53 to send the Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment Bill, which contains a number of proposed changes to ACC, to select committee. The National Party initially had trouble getting together the numbers, with ACT insisting the changes didn’t go far enough. Despite some initial concerns however, the Maori Party eventually fell into line, with the bizarre sounding justification, “We know that Maori have consistently had less access to ACC entitlements than other groups, under existing legislation. While this Bill would further restrict entitlements, we are particularly interested in hearing how the scheme may be altered to address the underlying bias to Maori.”

Many of the changes have already been met with strong public protest. New guidelines that would require sexual abuse victims to be diagnosed with a mental illness under the US Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Version 4 before they can receive counselling led to rallies in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, each attracting 200 people. A smaller protest also took place in Dunedin. Read the rest of this entry »


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