(Draft) ACC Policy

MANA seeks to bring rangatiratanga and wellbeing to the poor, the powerless and the dispossessed of this country. Everyone in Aotearoa deserves protection and rehabilitation when injured,

ACC should remain in the ownership of the state, and all moves towards either full or partial privatisation should be resisted.

MANA supports the principles originally formulated by Justice Owen Woodhouse in his 1967 Royal Commission report, in which he recommended setting up a new, universal, 24 hour, no-fault system for accident compensation and support.  The five principles are:  community responsibility; comprehensive entitlement; complete rehabilitation; real compensation; and administrative efficiency.

The ACC system has been through many changes since it was set up in 1974.  MANA believes that everything should be done to return ACC to the Woodhouse principles so that individuals and whānau are protected and supported when people suffer injury.

Key policies:

  • Stop all moves to privatise part or all of ACC – keep it in public hands.  Government to return to ‘pay as you go’ for ACC, rather than expecting ACC to collect enough money to cover all future costs in each year.
  • Change the culture of ACC so that all claimants are treated with respect and in a culturally appropriate way.
  • Make health and wellbeing the priority, rather than forcing people off ACC as quickly as possible.   Provide quality and appropriate social and vocational rehabilitation to all injured people, with the goal of maximising their ability to return to full participation in home, work and community life again, to the extent that they are able.
  • Get rid of the vocational independence (work capacity) test which is unnecessary and is often used simply as a way of forcing people off ACC at the soonest possible opportunity, even when that means they end up either in the welfare system or with no income at all.
  • Ensure that people who suffer from work-related gradual process injury, disease or infection, including from chemical poisoning, and from hearing loss induced by industrial noise,  receive full cover from ACC.
  • Require ACC to continue cover as long as an injury remains a cause of a person’s current condition, rather than using pre-existing conditions or age related degeneration as an excuse to withdraw support.
  • Ensure that it is ACC which must prove that someone is no longer eligible for entitlements, rather than the injured person themselves.
  • Remove the inequity in access to services and healthcare between ACC and Ministry of Health clients, bringing all recipients to the higher level of access to resources (see MANA Disabilities policy).
  • Provide stable, ongoing funding for community based beneficiary and ACC advocacy groups throughout the country (see MANA Social Wellbeing policy).