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Injured in New Zealand

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stratford upon avon
posts: 28
reviews: 3
Injured in New Zealand

I went for a holiday of a lifetime, 2nd day went on Dolphin Discovery trip to hole in the rock from Paihia, was injured so badly (see my review `Dangerous trip to hole in the rock'. that i had to be flown home for an operation, am now permanently registerd disabled. Please be aware that, i had holiday insurance so got my expenses back, in New Zealand you can't sue for damages as they do not have public liabiltiy. The ACC cover you while you are in the country, but when you get home you are on your own. I have had to pay out a lot of money in the last 2 years and can get none of it back. The last straw is that i have now lost my job probably because of all the time i had to take off due to this injury.

People need to be made aware of this situation.

Nelson, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 19,205
reviews: 44
1. Re: Injured in New Zealand

Welcome to the forum C :)

I'm sorry to hear of your accident, it sounds dreadfully painful.

Yes, we here on TA urge all visitors to NZ to take out adequate travel insurance to cover them for the unexpected.

Some, actually far too many, visitors to NZ don't take out insurance as they think since they are covered by ACC and any accident here is covered, they will be fine. We do try to point out that, as in your case, you might need to be medevaced home and there could be on going medical bills. It seems your travel insurance doesn't cover ongoing needs?

Edited: 2:11 pm, October 31, 2011
Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands
posts: 7,315
reviews: 101
2. Re: Injured in New Zealand

Hello clarkys1,

I am also very sorry to learn that you suffered a serious accident while you were visiting New Zealand. Your post highlights the need for others contemplating travel to this country to obtain sound travel insurance cover and to know what extent you are covered for by your travel policy in the event that a similar incident may occur when visiting NZ.

It is most unfortunate that your health is still compromised, clarkys1, and that you now have the added burden of being without a job. I wish you every chance for improvement to your health and wellbeing.

Here is a link to NZ's Accident Compensation Commission which hopefully will assist others to know what they are covered for under ACC when visiting NZ -

acc.co.nz/making-a-claim/…index.htm

Edited: 3:37 pm, October 31, 2011
stratford upon avon
posts: 28
reviews: 3
3. Re: Injured in New Zealand

I had adequate insurance for my travel to NZ and got all expenses back minus the flight i had taken to NZ, even though it ended up being just 2 days. The point i was making is that because you cannot sue individuals in NZ (whom, in this case, admitted it was their fault) you cannot claim for expenses which are due to the accident, such as loss of my husbands earnings- whom works for himself, because, for 2 years he has had to take me to and from hospital, phsio, consultants etc.Also i am now unable toplay league badminton, which i loved, go fo long walks with my dog and am in constant pain.

stratford upon avon
posts: 28
reviews: 3
4. Re: Injured in New Zealand

I had adequate insurance for my travel to NZ and got all expenses back minus the flight i had taken to NZ, even though it ended up being just 2 days. The point i was making is that because you cannot sue individuals in NZ (whom, in this case, admitted it was their fault) you cannot claim for expenses which are due to the accident, such as loss of my husbands earnings- whom works for himself, because, for 2 years he has had to take me to and from hospital, phsio, consultants etc.Also i am now unable toplay league badminton, which i loved, go fo long walks with my dog and am in constant pain.

Nelson, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 19,205
reviews: 44
5. Re: Injured in New Zealand

I am in no way trying to brush-off what happened to you, yet I can't quite see how being able to sue for an accident - not negligence or malicious forethought, but an accident - is a good thing.

You say the company admitted fault, yet in your review (since removed as it did not comply with TA's guidelines) you said the boat encountered heavy seas and the company clearly stated the accident was examined by two maritime board of enquiries and the company was cleared of all wrong doing, negligence and so on. If they had been found guilty or responsible in any way, you could have been awarded damages.

I understand this must be frustrating for you, evidenced by your posting here almost two years after the accident, but I can't help but feel our system (while certainly not perfect), still has more positives than negatives.

I wish you peace :)

stratford upon avon
posts: 28
reviews: 3
6. Re: Injured in New Zealand

My report was there yesterday and told the truth, why did it get taken off?

You say there were two board of enquiries who then told the company to change procedure on board the boat and they would be checking that this happened in the future. I suggest you get a copy from Maritime New Zealand, by the way they only investigate, they do not pay out damages.

On the day in question 30% of the passengers were sea sick because it was so rough, the front of the boat should have been closed, due to bad weather, this was not done, so as i was in the hands of the captain & crew i do not call it an accident but negligence.

New Zealand
posts: 1,923
reviews: 199
7. Re: Injured in New Zealand

I do think Clarkys1 has brought attention to something that travellers need to be aware of. It's certainly had me looking at the last travel insurance policy I bought to see what is covered. I found that permanent disablement is only covered up to $50,000, which isn't that much really. For my next holiday, I was thinking of shopping around a bit for insurance anyway, so I'll be looking at the coverage a bit more closely.

Wellington, New...
Destination Expert
for Wellington, Bay of Islands
posts: 9,307
reviews: 117
8. Re: Injured in New Zealand

Accident Compensation has been legislated for in New Zealand for a long time now. It was brought in to stop the huge litigation costs that were becoming the norm and unfortuantely after huge legal costs were deducted to unfortunate accidentee was not particularly well off. The huge costs for compensation awarded in some other jurisdictions are not common here but huge legal costs are. Accident Compensation has served New Zealanders well but it is not perfect. Unfortunately it cannot and does not cover overseas visitors before or after they leave the country and in my view nor should it. Visitors to NZ should be responsible enough to take out appropriate travel insurance which incudes medical cover to cover any injury that may occur whilst travelling. If the insurance policies do not meet the needs of the traveller that is not the fault of the New Zealand Govt or the New Zealand taxpayer.

New Zealand law is designed to protect the interests of New Zealanders just as law in overseas jurisdictions is designed to protect their citizens. In many cases they dont always get it right .

What happened to the OP is unfortunate and tragic but life is what it is.

I am assuming that the accident happened on the jet boat trip to the Hole in the Rock. It has been well documented that this trip carries a fair degree of risk and there have been many occurrences of passengers being injured on this trip due to the nature of the boat, weather conditions and the speed travelled. Back problems are the greatest medical problems experienced.

Rotorua New Zealand
Destination Expert
for Rotorua
posts: 1,049
reviews: 29
9. Re: Injured in New Zealand

Although this accident is very unfortunate , leaving sad and obviously bitter memories of the experience, the fact remains that the OP had a choice when the decision was made to take the trip. Blaming the captain and crew for negligence when it may very well have been an action made by the OP that caused the accident . Wrong place, wrong time sadly. Be thankful we do have ACC and most , if not all, of your expenses whilst in the country would have been covered by the New Zealand taxpayer.

Nelson, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 19,205
reviews: 44
10. Re: Injured in New Zealand

<<My report was there yesterday and told the truth, why did it get taken off?>>

you are able to post a review anytime up to one year after your trip, hotel stay, restaurant meal etc. Yet here you say the accident occurred two years ago. TA has accordingly followed it's guidelines and removed your review.

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