Accident Insurance Bill A Model For The Future

  • Murray McCully
Accident Insurance

"The new ACC legislation provides a strong model for effective delivery of social policy," the chairman of the Accident Insurance Select Committee, Gerry Brownlee, said today. "The Government continues to be committed to providing social benefits to those in need but where possible using those who are the experts to deliver those benefits."

The Committee delivered its report back to the House today after more than five weeks of hearings and deliberation. The Accident insurance Bill was introduced in the middle of September.

"The Accident Insurance Bill guarantees New Zealanders access to entitlements if they are injured, while allowing employers and the self-employed the freedom to shop around for cover from either a State-owned or private insurer.

"It means that we continue to avoid the lunacy of a United States style litigious environment by retaining the no fault principle, and maintain the social contract inherent in that by ensuring cover is comprehensive and compulsory, and minimum benefits set by law," Mr Brownlee said.

"The Committee considered the more than 124 submissions by groups and individuals carefully, and has worked through the Bill clause by clause. Issues we have sought to address include clarifying entitlements, ensuring claimants' immediate access to medical treatment, and ensuring there are robust injury statistics gathered.

"The Committee was impressed by the number and quality of the submissions, particularly in light of the tight timeframe. I'd like to thank those who took the time to make submissions, particularly those who presented their submissions to the Committee personally, sometimes at some cost or inconvenience to themselves.

"I'd also like to thank my fellow Committee members. The Accident Insurance Bill is large and complex, and all have devoted considerable time and effort to working through the issues it raises."