Medical Law in Common Law Jurisdictions (New Zealand) (No-fault)
New Zealand followed British law until the right of appeal to the Privy Council, in London, was abolished in 2004 with the establishment of the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The Treaty of Waitangi (New Zealand’s founding document) and the Bill of Rights Act, 1990, has seen New Zealand move closer to the Canadian legal model than that of the United Kingdom, which has closer ties to Europe. The Accident Compensation Scheme was introduced in 1972, resulting in a doctrine of no-fault, thereby removing common law actions to recover damages for personal injury. The State is responsible for the costs of treatment and earnings-related compensation. The most conspicuous defect is that it does not cover illness not involving injury. This chapter examines: the implementation of the no-fault system; management of complaints with particular reference to the Cartwright Report; the establishment of the office of the Health and Disciplinary Commissioner; the Code of Patients’ Rights; The Human Rights Review Tribunals with the right to sue for punitive damages; civil litigation for exemplary damages; the issue of competence; questions of manslaughter and fraud; crimes such as sexual molestation; the role of Regulatory bodies; Inquests; overseas trained doctors; and employment issues.