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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.

About us

The Law Society 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.

Our people

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 LAw Society 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

NZLS contact: Emily Sutton, Law Reform Adviser
DX SP20202 or PO Box 5041, Wellington 6145

Recent work

In the past 18 months the ACC committee has continued to monitor and comment on reforms affecting ACC. The committee has expressed concerns about possible changes to the accident compensation appeal process – in a submission to MBIE on Reform Options for ACC Appeals, and subsequently to the Independent Review by Miriam Dean QC.

The Law Society and the ACC committee welcomed the government’s announcement that recommendations in the independent review report on ACC dispute resolution processes will be addressed. Convenor Don Rennie says the report is an important step in ensuring the access to justice issues around the ACC process are addressed and resolved.

The committee also commented on the District Court’s draft guidelines for case management of ACC appeals. Other contributions included submissions on ACC issues in legislation (the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill and Private International Law (Choice of Law in Tort) Bill) and regulations (relating to ACC Review Costs).

In addition, the committee assisted the Law Society in bringing various ACC issues to the attention of Ministers and officials. This included highlighting the need for reform to allow a right of appeal in ACC cases to the Supreme Court, following the decision in J v ACC.

Get involved

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. Additionally, substantive contribution to an Law Society law reform submission may be counted towards your required Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Applications for the 2017 appointment round have closed. The next appointment round will be in mid-2019.

Last updated on the 25th January 2019