The cost of transporting ACC
clients in Otago has risen significantly.
Accident Compensation Corporation figures released under the
Official Information Act revealed that $322,200 was paid to
transport its Otago clients last year.
Costs had increased 75% from $183,625 in 2011.
Nationally, the cost of transporting clients had increased
44% - from $5.61 million in 2011 to $8.09 million last year.
ACC spokeswoman Stephanie Melville said if a client had an
injury that prevented them from driving, and had access to a
bus service, then ACC might help pay the fare. However, if a
client could not access public transport then ACC might
decide to transport a client by taxi.
'It's certainly not Dunedin Taxis but if it were, we'd be
smiling all the way to the bank' - Dunedin Taxis director
An eligible client can have their bus, train or ferry
fare paid for, or 29c/km paid if a private vehicle is used. The
corporation could not provide a breakdown of how much was paid
for buses, taxis, or the reimbursements for travel in private
The transportation costs in Southland had increased 21%
between 2011 and last year.
ACC spokesman Glenn Donovan said travel assistance
entitlements were prone to fluctuation and were affected by
the overall claims numbers, the types of injuries involved
and the particular treatment and rehabilitation required.
ACC monitored trends in entitlements and costs but further
analysis would be needed to establish if there was a
definitive cause beyond the normal fluctuations.
Dunedin Taxis director Murray Alcock, who is also the Otago
spokesman for the New Zealand Taxi Federation, said he had
not noticed a spike in demand for taxis from ACC clients in
There was always a seasonal spike in transporting ACC clients
after the ski season but no more than usual, he said.
He was unaware whether particular Otago transport companies
were getting more business from the increase in ACC payments.
''It's certainly not Dunedin Taxis but if it were, we'd be
smiling all the way to the bank.''