This was a lecture held by Acclaim Otago at the University of Otago Moot Court.  Acclaim Otago is a new group to me.  I went along to support new friends who are involved in it.

Acclaim Otago is a Disability Organisation for people of disability and by people of disability.  It was established in 2003.  Around 2008 it got an injection of a couple of interested people who were connected Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) claimants.  They were interested in what Acclaim Otago was doing and they had law degrees.  What they were doing kicked up a notch.

In 2010 the New Zealand Government submitted a draft state report and consultation to the U. N. Convention on the Rights of People with Disability.  The convention does not cover people of disability by accident or the role of ACC.  Funding from the Law Foundation gave Acclaim Otago the opportunity to submit a shadow report to the convention and shape the process.

According to census there are 320 000 New Zealanders living with long-term disability from accidental injury.  There are 8 000 New Zealanders on ACC’s books.  This is down from 11 000 people a couple of years ago.  While we as a nation spend more on ACC than civil justice that money is being saved to go somewhere.  Three percent of Gross Domestic Product  is profit from ACC.  There is a human cost as ACC is being used to get into surplus.  This service costs.  While we are being told the system is streamlined ACC claimants don’t know the process or the cost of medical review.  They are put at a disadvantage.  ACC has the resources.  There is a human right at play here: nothing about us without us.

The report is completed.  We heard a summarised version.  Now it goes to Geneva with people who will speak on its behalf.

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