For many years the ACC (Accident Corporation Commission) used to be something NZers were very proud of. It enabled NZers, who through no fault of their own were able to either get back to work through the support of the State or to live a life with dignity if they could not work.
Gradually, over the years (since the 70’s) it has become a political football, with both major parties using it for their own agendas. It is the National Party however who has striven to make the Corporation pay its way and indeed divert some of the income gleaned through taxation (this money should have been earmarked for ACC purposes--- i.e.--- the clients wellbeing) to other aspects of their plans. Some may have agreed with this.
It is the cynical manner in which the present Government has approached the viability of the ACC that alarms me most. They have turned an operating deficit into a large surplus. They have achieved this by creating a culture of insensitivity when it comes to making claims through the ACC. Take for example their continual cutting and sometimes reversing, claims made under the ‘Sensitive claims’ division of ACC. That is for those who have suffered major trauma as a result of sexual abuse. They have also made it increasingly hard to make other claims. One only has to read the regular reports in our media about the downright nastiness with which so many claimants are met.
The Government is attempting to run the ACC on a profit orientated model. This is not what the original legalisation envisaged. It is not what NZ was made famous for, way back when we first introduced this wonderful piece of law and support for NZers.
Even foreign visitors have benefitted from it when they have been injured. How many other countries offer that for their visitors?!
I lament the changes this Government is making or attempting to make. We need to maintain the same vigilance that we have exerted for the misplaced attempts to denigrate the NZ education system. Save our kids! Save our ACC!
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