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Time for ACC Minister to act - Greens

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

This evening's 60 Minutes item concerning ACC's interactions with Bronwyn Pullar has highlighted the need for the Minister to act decisively to restore public trust and confidence in the organisation, says Green Party ACC spokesperson, Kevin Hague.

"The further revelations about shonky assessment and claims handling practices, and lack of integrity at the highest levels means that, at the very least, the ACC Minister should remove John Judge as ACC Chair.

"I know, from the people who contact my office, that these are far from isolated incidents.

"ACC's privacy practices are so poor that claimant records are often effectively transparent.

"ACC has had a deliberate programme of removing long-term claimants from its books, often on spurious grounds and using shonky assessment methods."

Mr Hague said that what differentiated Ms Pullar's case had been her tenacity in fighting against ACC's practices and her resourcefulness in meticulously recording all interactions she had with the organisation.

"The unacceptable practices at ACC are not accidents or unforeseeable human errors, but are a direct result of ACC's decisions to focus on financial results rather than the needs of injured claimants," said Mr Hague.

"The organisation has been focused on the wrong things, and the culture that has resulted has been a sick one.

"The Minister must take responsibility, sack John Judge at least, and clearly instruct the Board that its primary duty is to fund the full rehabilitation of injured New Zealanders, as was originally intended."

"It's clear that the ACC Board and some of its senior staff have become enamoured with the private insurance industry, and have adopted many techniques from that sector.

"But the point of private insurance is to maximise profit, whereas the point of ACC is to provide a public service. These catastrophic errors of governance illustrate the gulf between the two, and the sooner the Minister returns the organisation to a sound basis, the better," said Mr Hague.

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