This article reflects the author’s personal experience with the development of accident compensation policy and his involvement with Sir Owen Woodhouse, chair of the Woodhouse Commission which recommended the New Zealand scheme. Reflections are made concerning the uniqueness of the New Zealand scheme in the common law world. Attention is drawn to the challenge that accident compensation posed at its inception and still poses for the “income maintenance” systems as a whole. It is argued that future policy requires the inequalities that now characterize “income maintenance” in New Zealand and that result from accident compensation be addressed. Some analysis is also offered to show that costs will increase should the administration of accident compensation return to private enterprise.
Palmer, Sir Geoffrey Winston Russell, Accident Compensation in New Zealand: Looking Back and Looking Forward (2008). New Zealand Law Review, Vol. 81, 2008.