Manufacturing a Better System: ACC and International Product Liability
38 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2019
Date Written: July 4, 2017
New Zealand's accident compensation scheme replaces the ability to bring proceedings for compensatory damages for personal injury with the provision of no-fault compensation. While the debate around the scheme often focuses on the availability of cover and entitlements to the injured person, the need to have a fair and principled system to fund these benefits is central to the scheme's integrity. This paper examines the legal principles behind the scheme's funding and notes areas for improvement in the current levy system. The largely incompatible principles of community responsibility, and fault and risk are the key rationales used to apportion the scheme's costs. However, when applied to the case of overseas manufacturers whose defective products cause personal injury to New Zealanders, there is a significant inconsistency. Overseas manufacturers make no financial contributions to the scheme while receiving the scheme's protection from liability. To address this, the paper recommends extending the Accident Compensation Corporation's current power to take subrogated proceedings to cover the situation where it is needed the most: in cases of international product liability.
Keywords: Accident Compensation Act 2001, ss 317 and 321, Woodhouse Report, international product liability, ACC levies, subrogation
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation