Advice to Associate Minister for ACC

Gordon Waugh made this Official Information request to Accident Compensation Corporation

Response to this request is long overdue. By law Accident Compensation Corporation should have responded by now (details and exceptions). The requester can complain to the Ombudsman.

From: Gordon Waugh

Dear Accident Compensation Corporation,

This letter is a request for information under the Official Information Act.

I wrote on 9 January 2012 to Hon Judith Collins in her capacity as Minister for ACC, discussing matters related to ACC’s policy and practice in respect of Sensitive Claims.

The relevant Act is the Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Compensation Act 2001 (IPRCA). Its s.21 provides “cover for mental injury caused by certain criminal acts .“ The “certain criminal acts” are those listed in Schedule 3 of the Act, comprised of crimes of a sexual nature specified in various sections of the Crimes Act. These are called Sensitive Claims. “Mental injury” is defined in IPRCA s.27 as being “a clinically significant behavioural, cognitive, or psychological dysfunction”.

The task of answering my correspondence was delegated to her Associate Minister for ACC, Hon Craig Foss. His response at MIN 12/0035 of 14 February 2012 was that the ACC legislation “does not require there to be proof of a criminal sexual offence”. He explained his opinion that claimants must instead report “an act that fits the description of a criminal sexual offence” (as listed in Schedule 3 of the AC Act).

I later sought clarification from him about those evidential needs. His response was letter MIN 12/0148 of 3 April 2012, in which he advised “ACC does need to be satisfied, to the civil standard of persuasion on the balance of probabilities, that the described act has in fact occurred.”

It is unlikely that the Associate Minister would have the detailed technical knowledge to enable him to formulate his responses without obtaining advice from ACC.

In respect of the above two Ministerial letters, would you please provide me with copies of any and all correspondence between ACC and the Associate Minister (and/or the Minister) that contains advice or comments on those topics.


Gordon Waugh
Tel : (09)416-7443
Email : [email address]

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From: James Anderson
Accident Compensation Corporation

Attachment ACC OIA letter 19 11 12.pdf
248K Download View as HTML

Dear Mr Waugh
Please find enclosed a letter regarding your request of 8 November 2012,
under the Official Information Act 1982.
Kind regards

James Anderson, Senior Advisor, Government Services, ACC

  Tel (04) 816 7221 / Fax (04) 816 7012
  ACC / Government Services / Governance, Policy & Research /  Vogel
  Centre, 19 Aitken Street
PO Box 242 / Wellington 6140 / New Zealand / [1]
    ACC cares about the environment – please don’t print this email
unless it is really necessary. Thank you.


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Gordon Waugh left an annotation ()

The ACC response did NOT contain any of the information I sought. It said "The information you have requested is more closely connected with the functions of the Office of the Associate Minister for ACC." ACC passed my request to that Office.

What puzzles me is ACC's use of the wording "more closely connected with". It suggests ACC has some or all of the information, but is simply passing the buck.

I will write to ask ACC to explain their meaning.

Any suggestions or helpful hints gratefully received.

Gordon Waugh
20 Nov 12

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Gavin Millar left an annotation ()

It's likely the wording you are seeing is taken directly from Section 14(b)(ii) of the OIA. It therefore *probably* isn't an indication in and of itself that ACC has some of the information you requested.

Here's the relevant section:

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Things to do with this request

Accident Compensation Corporation only: