COMMENTARY: Return to Work The New Zealand Experience Under the Accident Compensation Scheme


  • Ross Wilson



On the 1st of April 1974 New Zealand embarked on a bold expaiment. We abolished the tort action for personal injury and established a comprehensive, national, no-fault accident compensation scheme. The abolition of the common law right to sue was certainly regarded by jurists as a major step. The American Journal of Comparative Law described it in sombre tones as "an unparalleled event in our cultural history, the first casualty among the core legal iutitutions of the civilised world". It wasn't a step taken lightly and the Royal Commission recommendations on which the reform was based were subjected to public debate and Jeaislative scrutiny for more than five years. As A.J. Faulker M.P. commented in Parliament on 3 October 1972:


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Author Biography

Ross Wilson,