The Government's fix-it woman, Paula Rebstock, has been appointed the new chairwoman of the Accident Compensation Corporation board.
Rebstock has been acting in the role since John Judge resigned following a massive privacy breach by the corporation which saw the private details of 6700 claimants, including 250 sexual abuse cases, inadvertently emailed to claimant Bronwyn Pullar.
The saga also led to the resignations of Cabinet minister and former ACC minister Nick Smith, ACC chief executive Ralph Stewart and two other board members.
Rebstock is also the chairwoman of the new Work and Income board, deputy chairwoman of the Railways Corporation and the chairwoman of the Insurance and Savings Ombudsman Commission.
A former Commerce Commission chairwoman, she is also currently leading an investigation into leaks of Cabinet papers about restructuring at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Green's ACC spokesman Kevin Hague said Rebstock had a huge responsibility to "turn the ACC ship around".
"Ordinary New Zealanders don't like the profit-driven, privacy-abandoning organisation that ACC has become and want it to return to the principals it was founded on. Kiwis gave up the right to sue for a no-fault system that guaranteed them proper compensation and rehabilitation when they were hurt and injured. It's about giving injured New Zealanders the chance of a good life and a fair future."
Rebstock's dual roles at ACC and Work and Income would require her to be aware it was unacceptable that people came off ACC only to end up on benefits, Hague said.
ACC minister Judith Collins today announced Rebstock would be joined by a new deputy chairman, Trevor Janes, who is the chairman of the Public Trust, a financial adviser and public and private sector consultant.
Two new board members have also been appointed: Professor of medicine and Associate dean at Auckland University Des Gorman and criminal, public and constitutional lawyer Kristy McDonald, QC.
A fourth new board member will start early next year but has not yet been named.
All appointments are for three year terms.
Collins said the appointments underlined the Government's commitment to genuine culture change at ACC and would lead to a more balanced and comprehensive approach to the governance and operation of the corporation.
An inquiry released last month found simple human error was to blame for the privacy breach but was enabled by systemic weaknesses and an "almost cavalier" attitude towards claimants and their personal details at ACC.
That inquiry, commissioned by the privacy commissioner and ACC, and a second inquiry released last month by Auditor-General Lyn Provost both called for a culture change at ACC.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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