New Zealand Law Society - Accident Compensation Committee

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 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.

Our People

Peter Sara is the convenor of the Accident Compensation Committee. He has specialised in ACC work for many years, including being involved in making submissions on ACC law reform on behalf of the former District Law Societies and since 2009 the NZLS ACC Committee.

Peter is ably supported by committee members who bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience in ACC law:

  • Tiho Mijatov (deputy convenor)
  • Don Rennie
  • Hazel Armstrong
  • Alistair Barnett
  • Phil Schmidt
  • John Miller
  • Andrew Shaw
  • Molly McCarthy

Recent Work

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.

Get Involved

Appointments are made to this committee biennially. 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 will be called for in mid-2021, for the next 2-year term starting September 2021.

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