Accident compensation dispute resolution review
This page provides information about the implementation of recommendations from the 2015 independent review into accident compensation dispute resolution processes.
In 2015, advocacy group Acclaim Otago released a report into accident compensation dispute resolution processes. It identified 4 issues (being heard, access to the law, access to evidence and access to representation) as the “likely causes of current inefficiencies in the dispute resolution system."
Following this, at the request of the ACC Minister, we commissioned Miriam R Dean CNZM QC to undertake an Independent Review. Her report found that some (though not all) of the concerns raised by Acclaim were valid and recommended a number of possible improvements to existing practice.
In 2016, Cabinet accepted all the recommendations contained in the Independent Review. Since then MBIE, ACC and Fairway Resolution Services have undertaken considerable work to support customers’ access to justice. We are confident that the changes made have improved customers’ access to justice and provided them with greater support and more transparency when they want to challenge an ACC decision.
In December 2018, we provided a progress update to the ACC Minister on our progress implementing the recommendations. This report provides transparency about the work agencies have done in response to the review. It does not signal an end to work being done to improve the dispute resolution process. This is an on-going commitment for ACC.
The Independent Review
The Independent Review’s report recognised the considerable work that both ACC and FairWay had already done to improve the dispute resolution system.
Cabinet response to the review
In 2016, Cabinet decided all recommendations contained in the Independent Review report on ACC dispute resolution processes would be addressed.
Recommendation 6 was amended after the Cabinet Paper was submitted. The amended recommendation reads:
Amended recommendation 6 for tabling in Response to the Independent Review of Acclaim Otago’s report into Accident Compensation Dispute Resolution Processes
6. Note that the Minister for ACC will report back to Cabinet by March 2017 with advice on the progress of all the proposals listed in Appendix 2 including:
6.1 the proposal to increase funding for existing free advocacy services for accident compensation claimants,
6.2 the proposal to fund a free nationwide advocacy service modelled broadly on the Health and Disability Commission Advocacy Service, and
6.3 any implications for ACC levies and appropriations arising from the implementation of the review recommendations as listed in Appendix 2.