Accident Compensation Committee
The Accident Compensation Committee monitors the application of the accident compensation scheme with reference to the purposes of the Act and the principles in the Woodhouse Report 1967. The Committee makes submissions on proposed legislative changes which impact on the scheme and liaises with the Accident Compensation Corporation and the Minister of ACC where operations or policy undermine New Zealand’s unique social contract relating to personal injury.
The NZLS has actively contributed to accident compensation (ACC) law reform since the inception of the statutory accident compensation scheme in 1974.
The ACC committee was established in 1990 to consider issues arising from proposed legislative reforms, in particular the Rehabilitation and Incapacity Bill 1990 which, if enacted, would have resulted in substantial changes to the review process and to the scope of the scheme.
Since its inception the ACC committee has played an important role in monitoring this continually evolving and complex area of law and dealing with ongoing challenges to the scheme.
Don Rennie is the long standing convenor of the ACC committee. He has extensive knowledge and experience in ACC law. Don joined the Corporation in 1974 after 14 years in private practice and has been a member of the NZLS ACC committee since its inception. He is widely published in the areas of accident compensation and personal injury, and has spoken extensively about the ACC scheme both in New Zealand and internationally. Don has also been a consultant to the Victorian and South Australian State governments on the development of workers’ compensation schemes.
Don is ably supported by our existing committee members who bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience in ACC law:
- Hazel Armstrong
- Alistair Barnett
- Hunter de Groot
- Chris Hlavac
- Tiho Mijatov
- Peter Sara
- Phil Schmidt
- Ben Thompson
In the past 18 months the committee has contributed to NZLS submissions on various proposed reforms. The committee made a submission to select committee on the Accident Compensation Amendment Bill, about the interface between ACC and superannuation. The committee also contributed to the Law Society’s comprehensive submission on the Law Commission’s Relationship Property Act review, re ACC entitlement issues. The committee has worked to identify proactive ACC law reforms (including in relation to Supreme Court appeal pathways, delays in primary entitlement decisions, and enforceability of review officer decisions) and met with the Minister in 2018 to discuss these; monitoring and assisting in progressing these reforms remains a focus for the committee.
The committee has also asked the government to consider a complete review of the 2001 Accident Compensation Act (as amended), as a potential new reference for the Law Commission.
Appointments are made to this committee biennially. If you have a passion for law reform, skills, interest and expertise in ACC law and the time and energy to commit, then get involved.
Membership of this committee allows you to play an important role in ACC law reform and is an excellent basis for professional development as well as collegiality and networking.
Applications are currently open for the 2019 appointment round. Appointments are for a two-year term starting September 2019.
Last updated on the 30th May 2019