I have had a very rough time over the last 10 years but it all started when I was thirty. I had a fall at work and broke two vertebra. As I was still reasonably young I had three young children and a wife to support I worked through the pain and different injuries due to the weakness in my back and every time I did more damage to my spine. Then 10 years ago I finally did more damage after another fall which left me unable to work. Here in New Zealand we have a Govt organisation call The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) which was set up to help Kiwis like myself who suffer injuries whether it be short term or long term. The ACC decide whether or not you are entitled to receive compensation in the form of weekly entitlements at 80% of your normal pay. A case was taken to the Human Rights Delegation against ACC and they were found to be guilty of discrimination against many Kiwis living with injuries and refusing to pay weekly entitlements. Since this Human Rights Delegation hearing nothing has changed with the way ACC operate in fact it has got worse as ACC try everything they can to remove long term injured from their weekly entitlements. To put this into perspective I was deemed not entitled to weekly entitlements even thou ACC have accepted my claim, so no weekly entitlements for me. I fought tooth and nail with ACC for 7, yes, 7 years before I took them to court and had their ruling overturned and they had to pay me for the last 7 years plus interest. Since then I have had to undergo all sorts of tests and after 18 months ACC deemed me to be fit enough to return to work full time (30 hours per week) which in my case I had been working 60 - 70 hours per week to make a decent wage as a tradesman. ACC then stopped my weekly entitle- ments so I had no choice but to get my lawyer onto my case and again I won my case and got my weekly entitlements back and then I had to go through all of the tests again, which I have just completed and I am waiting to hear the outcome from ACC as they reassess my case. Right that is my story a bit long winded but none the less the short version.
Now the biggest bug bear is that any tourists that visit NZ are automatically entitled to ACC to pay for any medical bills due to injury. Most if not all will have taken out Travel Insurance before arriving in NZ which they can claim for any medical bills while visiting NZ. This is double dipping and putting pressure on ACC but they can't go after these tourists that have had an injury so they go after the people who are paying into ACC. The amount of tourists involved in vehicle accidents in NZ is very high and the vehicle accidents resulting in death and major injury would be right at the top of the list. Don't quote me on this but I do believe that if a tourist is killed while traveling around NZ their families are entitle to a lump sum payout of many thousands of dollars. Now if I was to travel to Australia for instance, as that is the place most Kiwis visit, if you don't have Travel Insurance you get hit with a very large bill to pay, which is fair enough as I firmly believe when leaving NZ and going to another country take out cover. So if you come to NZ without cover you don't have a problem, but if you do have cover ACC pay your bills and when you get home you can make a claim with your Travel Insurance Company.