Settlement ends 50-day hunger strike outside ACC offices in Thorndon

Wellington.Scoop
75-year-old Mike Dixon-McIver has ended his hunger strike outside the Thorndon offices of the Accident Compensation Commission, after fifty days. The DomPost says a settlement has been reached but details are confidential.

The settlement was announced yesterday by Green MP Kevin Hague in a tweet: Very pleased to say Mike Dixon-McIver and ACC have agreed a way forward and his hunger strike is over.

News from Mana Party – December 13
Mana Party President Annette Sykes is urging ACC to enter into fair and just arbitration with hunger striker Mike Dixon-McIver immediately, so the strike can end and Mr Dixon-McIver can start to rebuild his life. He is declining rapidly.

“Mr Dixon-McIver has asked ACC to enter into arbitration with an express commitment to good faith and justice, but ACC has crossed out these conditions because they don’t want to meet a higher standard than the minimum provided for in law” says Ms Sykes. “It shows they just want to pay their usual lip service to good faith and justice so I’m not surprised Mike is holding out for a better deal.”

“This man is much loved and respected for his years of advocacy for people dealing with ACC in the East Coast, Gisborne and Hastings, and now there is a strong possibility his hunger strike will end – not with the fair and just resolution he deserves, but with his death.

“ACC have persecuted him to the point of breakdown and bankruptcy and he now faces imminent death – all because ACC refuse to be accountable. ACC needs to front up now or face having the death of a much loved person on their hands.

News from Beneficiary Advocacy Federation – December 11
The Beneficiary Advocacy Federation of New Zealand is very concerned for the welfare of Mike Dixon McIver, a long time ACC advocate, and once a fellow beneficiary advocate. He is a 75 year old man on day 42 of a hunger strike, protesting his treatment by the Accident Compensation Commission. He is camped outside ACC in Aitken Street in Thorndon, surrounded by the buildings accommodating Justice and Defence.

“He may appear to be an ordinary man fighting the state for his individual serving of justice, but this man is putting his life on the line for all of us,” says Kay Brereton, media spokesperson for the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation of New Zealand.

“There are two levels to this, one is a man in his seventies who feels so attacked by a corporation that he feels his only viable option for redress is a hunger strike. This is a very drastic action which has a lasting impact on your health, and this of course magnified if you are a 75 year old type 2 diabetic.”

“People around the country are starting to become aware of Mike’s protest, many are interested in his story, and keen to support his battle against the giant corporation.”

“One of these people yesterday made me aware that there is also a psychological impact of fasting, which may make one more committed to the cause the longer the fast goes. Her father had fasted for 40 days in a protest action many years ago and she well understood the impact fasting had on both his body and mind.”

“Yesterday at Gisborne, and other ACC offices across New Zealand, Mike’s supporters gathered as a show of support. Protests will continue in Gisborne, an area where Mike’s advocacy and generosity of spirit made him many friends.”

Meanwhile Mike’s protest in Wellington continues with supporters dropping by all the time.

“It is concerning enough a 75 year old man putting his life at risk because he can see no other recourse, a man’s life is on the line and we must do what we can to bring his hunger strike to an end.

“But what he is willing to die for is bigger than this; we don’t have recourse when a government corporation makes a mistake or even a series of mistakes which significantly impact on our health and well-being.

“This bigger issue is one that concerns us all. That a government corporation, department, or Ministry can commit negligent actions which ruin a persons life, and not be held responsible for their negligence.

“The people I spoke to on the street yesterday also spoke of the frustrations they have had in dealing not just with ACC but with many government service agencies. While most public servants strive to give good service to the public, some do not, an institutional tolerance of negligence seems enable the growth of serial, and sometimes malicious negligence by some individuals. As customers or clients we are supposed to be ‘glad for what we get’, and not complain.

“Mike’s case isn’t simply poor service, it is the betrayal of a relationship, Mike was an advocate helping ACC clients to deal with the corporation, he knew many people within the corporation well, and had professional working relationships with them. The corporation charged him with fraud without so much as prior interview. This was found to be grossly negligent.”

“Mike’s case is extreme, but many people have their life, their health, and their ability to feed themselves and their children affected by the negligent action of an official. These ‘mistakes’ are often fixed and entitlement is restored, but it is usual that not even an apology is offered to the person who went with money, medical treatment, or some other form of entitlement.

“I’m not sure that Mike will be able to change the culture of acceptable negligence, but I believe he’s willing to die trying.”

 

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