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ACCLAIM Otago Raising Funds to Present Report to UN Committee in Geneva ACCLAIM Otago Representing Disabled People Throughout NZ

#21 User is offline   Empathy 

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 03:17 PM

This is great because I complained to the Human Rights commissioner about my treatment and they said they couldn't do anything and that ACC was a Law unto themselves. I complained to ACC how I was Treated by their Case Manager being in breach of their Code of Conduct and they said I had given them permission to do what ever they wanted to me! Human Rights in New Zealand is a joke!
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#22 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 02:38 PM

We understand they mean Mr van Essennot van Essel

Survey claims ACC uses intimidation

Updated at 2:20 pm on 11 August 2014


http://www.radionz.c...es-intimidation

People fighting for ACC payouts have said they faced "intimidation, misinformation and an orchestrated campaign of harassment".

In a self-selection survey, 600 people were questioned on their experiences with ACC.

Their responses form part of a report which urges the United Nations to recommend changes to what it describes as an "unfair procedure" for people with disabilities who dispute ACC findings.

Read the report here


Bruce van Essel said has been on and off ACC since 1995. He said he has been accused of fraud four times, raided by police and had so many reviews, he's 'lost count'.

"It just seems to be continual and neverending. Treatment that I have received from ACC over the years has been shocking, and degrading."

He said he's paid out more in legal and medical fees than he's received and has been made to feel like a second class citizen.

"It's bad enough having to deal with an injury, and getting on with your life as best as you can, but then having them on top of you all the time - it just makes life a lot worse."

Mr van Essel is the president of the ACC support group, Acclaim Otago, and is one of more than 600 people whose experiences have been used to produce a report for the United Nations.

Acclaim Otago said ACC is breaching the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, particularly those challenging ACC decisions to stop their payments. It said people face systemic problems including ACC reviewers relying on hearsay or their colleagues' opinions, and reinterpreting expert conclusions.

The report's main author, barrister Warren Forster, said the main issue is the financial constraints stopping people paying for lawyers or expensive medical tests.

"Legal aid is not effective and it's not available. The costs awarded are a fraction of what it costs a person. Because of the financial position that the person is in, they have no ability to carry that cost, so most of them are unable to obtain (legal) representation, and that is a massive problem."

The report makes three recommendations including introducing an independent commissioner, and reviewing costs and rates for legal aid. It also recommends suspending plans to have cases heard by a tribunal rather than a district court.

In a statement, ACC said the Government had responded to a previous report by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

A spokesperson for ACC Minister Judith Collins said it's not common practice for ministers to comment on individual submissions to the UN.

Listen to more on Morning Report ( 3 min 22 sec )

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#23 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 05:17 PM

ACC woes to be aired at UN hearing

Home » News » Dunedin
By John Gibb on Wed, 20 Aug 2014
News: Dunedin | ACC | UN


http://www.odt.co.nz...ired-un-hearing

ACC claimant support group Acclaim Otago plans to raise its growing concerns about access to justice issues at a United Nations committee hearing in Switzerland next month.

New Zealand's compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is being reviewed by a United Nations committee, which has oversight of convention matters.

Former Acclaim Otago president and Dunedin ACC campaigner Denise Powell, as well as Warren Forster and Tom Barraclough, will travel to Geneva, Switzerland, next month.

They will make submissions when New Zealand's compliance with the convention is considered on September 15-16.

Dr Powell said recent Government proposals to do away with the system of ACC claimant appeals being heard in district courts in favour of a specialised ACC Appeals Tribunal would be ''grossly unfair''.

Acclaim Otago had changed its draft submission to the United Nations to take issue with the appeals tribunal proposal.

ACC appeals could involve hundreds of thousands of dollars, and concerned crucial issues involving support for seriously injured people.

Such issues were more properly dealt with by a court than by tribunals, she said.

There was potential scope for some form of tribunal to take over the hearing of lower-level ''reviews'' of ACC cases, but it was important to retain a key role for the district court.

Court judges were more independent than tribunal members, and had also built up a wealth of knowledge on ACC law, which was highly complex.

Tribunal members would not have that level of detailed knowledge, she said.

Messrs Forster and Barraclough are the main authors of the Acclaim Otago submission to the UN, which was supported by a New Zealand Law Foundation Shadow Report Award, amounting to $8550.

Approached for comment, Courts Minister Chester Borrows said tribunal members were judicial officers who resolved disputes and cases across the Ministry of Justice's 28 tribunals. Appointed members had ''appropriate skills and experience'' to deal with the particular matters involved.

He had found them ''thoroughly professional'', and ''absolutely capable'' and tribunal members were part of the country's ''independent judiciary''.

Concerns that using a specialist tribunal would result in a lower standard of service or independence were ''completely unfounded''.

ACC Appeals Tribunal members would be lawyers with at least seven years' experience, and it was appropriate for the chairman to be a sitting or recently retired district judge.

The new tribunal had been designed to ''significantly reduce the unacceptable time it takes to get an ACC appeal resolved'', which averaged nearly 700 days.

Such changes did not alter the ''substantive rights or law being applied, and will not alter the outcome of cases'', he said.
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