Lump Sum Payments under Accident Compensation

9 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2013 Last revised: 13 Jul 2015

See all articles by Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC

Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 1976


By the end of March 1976 New Zealand’s Accident Compensation scheme had been working for two years. The scheme has run fairly smoothly and has done so since its inception with few signs of public dissatisfaction. It is surprising that the scheme has worked as well as it has considering the unfortunate prolixity of the legislation and the bewildering amount of amendment it has undergone. Fears expressed at the time the Act was passed have proved to be illusory so far. The scheme has as one of its fundamental goals the abolition of the adversary process in the context of compensation for personal injury. In that regard the scheme has enjoyed some success.

This paper discusses the process of accident compensation claims, identifying the pattern of practice which has developed in relation to the hearing of reviews. It recognises as unfortunate that many lawyers involved with accident compensation have yet to exhibit any great facility with the statute. The legislation is long and involved, but it behoves those giving advice pursuant to the statute to become familiar with its terms, including the amendments. The paper then turns to consider the development of the Accident Compensation Act from the Woodhouse Report through the amendments, and some of the difficulties in determining lump sum compensation which have arisen from the legislation.

Keywords: accident compensation, ACC, lump sum compensation, law reform, woodhouse report, New Zealand, personal injury

JEL Classification: K32

Suggested Citation

Palmer QC, Sir Geoffrey, Lump Sum Payments under Accident Compensation (1976). New Zealand Law Journal, pp. 368, 1976; Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper Series Palmer Paper No.77/2015. Available at SSRN:

Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

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