The Prime Minister has defended the decision to not extend Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) coverage to mentally traumatised victims of the Christchurch terrorist attack.
In a report with TVNZ, amid criticism of the decision, Jacinda Ardern said Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) provided the support to victims. She told TVNZ1’s Breakfast the government wished to provide support, but the issue then became, “what’s the best way to deliver that?”
The Prime Minister highlighted that ACC put forward to option to extend cover because that coverage does not exist for anyone. Ardern noted it was not just about the victims of the terror attack. She reportedly said “such a significant change” could open up questions such as changes to levies and the level of consultation needed.
“It would take time,” Ardern told TVNZ. “We wanted to provide cover, we wanted to do it quickly, ACC would not have been a quick option and it was a substantial change.”
“They’re (WINZ) a bit more agile, a bit more discretion, they’ve done it before. We put together a package specifically that way to deal with the issue,” the Prime Minister added.