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Purches V Acc 239 2005 Ai 309 02 s89(3) ICRP2001, Work Capacity, IRP plan

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 02:26 PM

IN THE DISTRICT COURT AT WELLINGTON
DECISION No. 239 /2005

UNDER The Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2001

IN THE MATTER OF an appeal pursuant to section 149 of the Act
(Appeal No. Al 309/02)

BETWEEN

GEOFFREY BRUCE PURCHES
Appellant

AND
ACCIDENT COMPENSATION
CORPORATION
Respondent

Hearing: 21 March 2005

Appearances:
Alan Rowlett advocate for appellant
Alison Douglass for respondent

Judgment: 5 August 2005
RESERVED JUDGMENT OF JUDGE D A ONGLEY

[1] The appeal concerns a work capacity assessment under the Accident Insurance Act 1998. The first question is whether there was a valid individual rehabilitation plan to satisfy the requirement under s89(3) of the Act that the work capacity assessment follows a completed individual rehabilitation plan. The second question is whether the work capacity assessment was flawed. In that respect there is a challenge to both parts of the process, that is to say the occupational assessment as well as the medical assessment.

[2] The Reviewer decided that he did not have jurisdiction to address the first question, so that needs to be considered as well. If there is jurisdiction and the evidence here discloses a serious question whether the individual rehabilitation plan
was completed according to the statutory requirements, then there may be a need to hear further evidence.

[3] The arguments about the shortcomings in the IRP are also multiple. Mr Rowlett for the appellant has submitted that, first the IRP did not address the needs of vocational rehabilitation, secondly that nothing was done to implement the IRP, and thirdly that the Corporation did not give the appellant notice of appeal rights under s71 of the 1998 Act. Those involve fact questions that were not explored by the reviewer because she did not think there was jurisdiction for her to declare the IRP incomplete.

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