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Did any National MP not receive confidential information from Michelle Boag?

Written By: - Date published: 10:07 am, July 10th, 2020 - 128 comments
Categories: making shit up, Media, national, same old national, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

Yesterday I posed a number of random impertinent questions about Michelle Boag and the handling of sensitive confidential information.  One of them was:

Who else has she forwarded these reports to?

Well this morning that question has been answered, at least in part.  Michael Woodhouse, he who poses with toilet seats, has admitted that he was one of the recipients of the information.

From Radio New Zealand:

National MP and health spokesperson Michael Woodhouse has confirmed he was also the recipient of patient details from former National Party president Michelle Boag.

In a statement, he said he received four unsolicited emails from Boag between 21 and 25 June.

“While not the same information that is the subject of the inquiry led by Michael Heron QC, [they were] similar in so far as it contained patient details,” Woodhouse said.

“Michelle told me she received this information through her role with the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust and I was led to believe it was circulating among a number of other health agencies.

“I recognised that the information in those emails was private so I did not share it with anyone else and I subsequently deleted them.”

Woodhouse said he has contacted Heron about the emails and will cooperate with the inquiry.

So four “unsolicited” emails between June 21 and June 25.

Remember on July 4 when he said:

Yet another mistake just goes to prove that this Government is not fit to manage the Covid-19 recovery, National’s Health spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says. “Reports coming in this morning of personal details being leaked which reveals the identity of New Zealand’s current active cases, is yet another serious failing from this incompetent Government.

“This is unconscionable and unacceptable that those suffering from the incredibly dangerous virus now have to suffer further with their private details being leaked.

“The Government needs to get to the bottom of this, and quickly. The Ministry of Health have been assuring people since the beginning of the epidemic in New Zealand that personal details would remain private, it’s unfathomable that they couldn’t handle a simple task like this.

Let us pick this apart.  Woodhouse knew Boag was getting confidential information and was leaking them like a sieve.  He was right that it was “unconscionable and unacceptable” that this was happening.  But he was suggesting that it was the Government’s incompetence not a senior National Party member’s malevolence.

He has offered to cooperate with the Heron inquiry.  It might be quicker for Heron if National MPs who did not receive private information from Boag identified themselves.

The question has to be asked, who else was given this information?  How likely is it that Boag only sent it to two MPs?

The inquiry is going to be really interesting.  Popcorn sellers in the country should get ready for a rush on their product.

Update:  Michelle Boag has announced she has resigned from the National Party.

And Todd Muller said yesterday that that he had not asked his MPs whether they had received confidential information as Walker had and that “[t]he issue is sorted from my perspective”.  But a party spokeswoman told the Herald that Muller knew about Boag’s emails to Woodhouse on Tuesday.

This is a nightmare for National. It is going to suck out every bit of momentum from their campaign that they may have been generating.

128 comments on “Did any National MP not receive confidential information from Michelle Boag?”

  1. Ed 1

    Michael Woodhouse being interviewed by Kathryn Ryan at 10.30 a.m. on RNZ

    His choice of language will be very interesting.

    Will he use the word subsequently?

  2. Morrissey 2

    So that "impeccable source" that Woodhouse cited was…. Michelle Boag.

    https://i1.wp.com/strangeago.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/garrote02.jpg?w=393&ssl=1

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    Grubby, isn't it.

    • Ed 3.1

      Grubby doesn't begin to describe these actions.

      This is how the National Party respond to a global pandemic.

      What is the definition of sedition?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedition

      • aj 3.1.1

        Woodhouse is an odiuos man, so this in particular doesn't surprise me. Prior to this, Boag, Walker, 'flabbergasted'

        Love that word.

        • gsays 3.1.1.1

          Several times now, Woodhouse has demonstrated he is unfit to hold office.

          Along with paying various lawyers fees, I begrudge my taxes going towards this mans salary.

          I almost feel for Muller, his profound lack of leadership is debilitating.

          A local lad William Wood has been nominated for the Palmerston North electorate. At this rate he will probably find himself in the top few if these MPs keep dropping like flies.

    • Chris 3.2

      Will be interesting to see how Nikki Kaye feels about all of this, if indeed she's one of the only wholesome ones left, and whether she's comfortable contining to associate with such low-life.

      • Rae 3.2.1

        Not so sure any longer, up till all this came to light, Boag was her campaign manager, which kind of throws her into a bit of a different light

  4. For the first time, people are seeing the rotten attitudes and flouting of rules and lack of decency by some? many? National members and supporters.

    This has disgusted many in the South, and they are die hard blue, so throughout the land people are thinking that this is awful.

    How long before Tova and friends say "they all do it." I am getting in early to say… No Tova and c/o, they don't!!

    Perhaps they were calling the PM “St Jacinda “because they were ‘sinners” ???? More to come.

    Now Mr. Brownlee, have you had emails from M.Boag????

    Looks like National have thrown Walker and Boag under the bus metaphorically, so, when is the next bus????

    • Gabby 4.1

      I suspect that some of them do genuinely despise nice people.

    • pete 4.2

      People so disgusted in the south that Adams and Brownlee, whatever swede they put up in Clutha and others will fly in with very healthy majorities.

      • Michael 4.2.1

        Not so sure. The Nats will hold Clutha and Invercargill. They reckon they might win what used to be Dunedin South from Labour's carpet-bagging candidate from Waiheke Island.

    • Grant Insley 4.3

      Anyone care to take odds on the 'Intelligence' Unit being in charge of sanitising all National computer hard drives?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.4

      For the first time, people are seeing the rotten attitudes and flouting of rules and lack of decency by some? many? National members and supporters.

      Considering the total lack of outrage coming from others in National people should be realising that this sort of immoral behaviour is normal for them.

      Looks like National have thrown Walker and Boag under the bus metaphorically, so, when is the next bus????

      That'd be about right. The only problem that the rest of National see is that they got caught – not that they were being completely immoral.

    • Sacha 4.5

      For the first time?

      Hardly

  5. ianmac 5

    "While not the same information that is the subject of the inquiry led by Michael Heron QC, [they were] similar in so far as it contained patient details,” Woodhouse said.

    Hello. How did he know the information was not the same as the leaked info – unless he has seen the leaked info to be able to compare? Deleted?

    • Sacha 5.1

      And how could Woodlouse know none of the four emails from Boag contained the same information as Walker received if he only read the first one?

  6. Anne 6

    Woodhouse knew Boag was getting confidential information and was leaking them like a sieve. He was right that it was “unconscionable and unacceptable” that this was happening. But he was suggesting that it was the Government’s incompetence not a senior National Party member’s malevolence.

    This is a fundamental National Party mantra: if you can't beat them by fair means then use foul. It is in their DNA.

    As my English born father taught me four plus decades ago… never trust a Tory, they are nasty my nature.

    Anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of the Michelle Boags of this world will know the extent of the deceit, treachery and vitriol these types will descend to, in order to get their way.

    Karma really must exist after all.

  7. Ed 7

    Woodhouse

    Deleted the emails on Monday or Tuesday.
    The day after the inquiry was announced.

    • I Feel Love 7.1

      Yes I loved that, his "I am above reproach, I deleted the emails" & when? "as soon as I heard there was an inquiry". Also this "Boag said she would send me an email, and asked for it to be a non parliamentary address", dodgy AF.

  8. Come on Nicki Kaye – 'fess up – or tell us you didn't know. Woodhouse needs to go by the way.

  9. aj 9

    Lying, and squirming like a fish

  10. pete 10

    Put your hand up if you believe Woodhouse. Just a minute, I'll do a count….

  11. Bearded Git 11

    In your excitement you are getting her name wrong….as pointed out by others on TS it is Covid 1-18 Boag.

    • Chris 11.1

      Right-wingers are either incredibly thick, nasty or both. I'd for a long time thought it'd be impossible to sum a class of person up so simply, but this one works.

  12. Ed 12

    Woodhouse told Muller on Tuesday evening.

    If the intention of that interview was to shut down the conversation and staunch the questions, it failed….

    • Robert Guyton 12.1

      Tuesday evening? Was Muller's interview on Wednesday the one where he said he knew of no other National Party MPs in receipt of the information?

      • ianmac 12.1.1

        Robert. Muller will argue that he meant the information rather than similar ​​​​​​​information. Wriggle room?

        • Leighton 12.1.1.1

          Wriggle room indeed. If I know the average New Zealand swing voter (and I think I do), the one thing they love to hear from the candidate for new prime minister is weaselly semantics designed to obscure the truth from them.

          Also based on Muller's media performances to date, he would stammer and flounder like a dying fish if properly questioned on such a weak position.

        • Robert Guyton 12.1.1.2

          And his tribe will swallow that without gagging, while non-tribal members will be spewing! Same as it ever was.

        • nzlemming 12.1.1.3

          Though he's also said that he didn't ask his MPs whether they had received the info.

          • George 12.1.1.3.1

            The other question is – did National ask Boag for the information in the emails? Which could make it a very very messy situation…

  13. Nick 13

    Listened to Michael Woodhouse on RNZ pretend he's Sgt Shultz….."I know nothink"

    • Morrissey 13.1

      One really disgusting thing to remember about Woodhouse, that cynical and shameless leaker of confidential information, is that he was a tireless and brutal traducer of Julian Assange, who exposed the crimes of people like Woodhouse.

      • Sacha 13.1.1

        A more relevant thing is that he has been a hospital CEO, so knows the NZ health information privacy rules well. Just happy to ignore em.

        • Morrissey 13.1.1.1

          Fair comment. Wonder if he'll be hounded and ridiculed by the folks on the Panel for it.

        • Gabby 13.1.1.2

          Makes you wonder how he conducted himself in that position.

        • left_forward 13.1.1.3

          Yes, you are right, this is pertinent. From his experience, he would know that the names that he received from Boag in June should not be shared by anyone, and yet he didn't warn his source or his colleagues against using them?

      • gsays 13.1.2

        Thanks, Mozza.

        Traducer is a new word for my vocabulary. Kind of onomatapeic too.

        • Morrissey 13.1.2.1

          The term was used, memorably, by the great George Galloway, as he faced down a couple of hapless American politicians in 2005….

  14. observer 14

    One of many "matters arising" from that Woodhouse interview with Ryan: apparently e-mails in Dunedin can only be accessed in Dunedin.

  15. ianmac 15

    Kathryn did a good job to to get a few straight answers from Woodhouse. He seems to have organised his story to have verifiable answers. Cute. He has had nearly a week to line up his ducks but perception will damage his future credibility. With some flow on doubt about Muller's credibility/timeline as well.

  16. Leighton 16

    Hold on…….the National campaign had been generating momentum before this? Where? With who? The people deserve to know!

  17. Ed 17

    Sharon Murdoch sums up the situation with this great cartoon.

    Todd is just beginning to realise what cousin Michael has left stuck on the seat….

    https://twitter.com/domesticanimal/status/1281309398200012800/photo/1

    • Just Is 17.1

      Yep, pretty much graphically describes Mullers current conundrum.

      Mullers been using the old distraction technique

      Look over there.

      Can anyone see National recovering before the election?

      Given the reality that " a day is a long time in politics"

  18. observer 19

    Amelia Wade has done a good job sorting out the Muller timeline here – and the details are crucial:

    Muller was asked about "anyone else?", when he knew about Woodhouse. Muller lied.

    Only a (barely credible) memory lapse can get Todd off the hook.

    Relevant quotes:

    National health spokesman Michael Woodhouse told leader Todd Muller on Tuesday evening that he was also sent Covid patient data by Michelle Boag. …
    But the next day, Muller was specifically asked by reporters “have you checked with Woodhouse, specifically, whether he received that same information from Boag”.
    “No,” replied Muller … At no point in yesterday’s media stand-up did Muller mention that he knew Boag had sent Covid patient information to Woodhouse. …

    Asked again if he had spoken to Woodhouse and if Boag was a Woodhouse source, Muller said: “No, I don’t really understand where you’re going with this.”

  19. swordfish 20

    Muller's in Big Troub.

    I predicted a few months ago (albeit tongue-in-cheek) that Judith would become leader around July … I'm starting to think I was right all along.

    My heart says Smiddy but my head says Judith.

  20. RedBaronCV 21

    Two things still puzzle me.

    Michelle Boag has been at this stuff forever- about 30 years since the Faye Richwhite stuff. Why has she rolled over and admitted everything this time? If it was the USA you'd suspect she had done a plea bargain to rollover on others to save herself but that's not really the scene here.

    Some things that go on in government do need exposure. But who is doing the leaking of some highly confidential data that we all know exists but really has absolutely no actual political value like the names of the covid patients.

    • Ed 21.1

      I think National has a prized asset in the Department of Health they do not want to lose.

      • RedBaronCV 21.1.1

        Maybe yes. I imagine that the place is being done over as we speak.The DG is on holiday this week isn't he?

    • lprent 21.2

      Looks like a pretty heavy enquiry this time, and this isn’t a civil matter. So far this is looking like an unauthorised leak. Not even a mistake. If the enquiry comes up with a report of no other organisations being sent this confidential information by some systematically stupid mistake (and even then) there are likely to be charges preferred against the leaker.

      Basically leaks of confidential information from the civil servants are always treated seriously. No difference between this and the dozen(s) of other enquiries into civil service breaches of confidential or secret information.

    • maggieinnz 21.3

      I don't know how relevant it is but she knew she was leaving her charity role well before she quit and I can't imagine she didn't have something in the pipeline. I think she poached the info knowing she was out the door anyway.

      It will be interesting to see where she lands after all this.

  21. Ed 22

    Someone in the media should be asking Nikki Kaye some straight questions.

  22. observer 23

    Here's my free media advice for Todd Muller –

    You don't have to make a statement until you've worked out what it is you are saying. Waiting another hour before you face the cameras won't kill you. But getting caught out will.

    This is Muller's response, and it's hopeless:

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/muller-could-have-been-clearer-info-woodhouse-received-boag

  23. UncookedSelachimorpha 24

    For Michael Woodhouse, as health spokesman, former CEO of a hospital and person with a Masters of Health Administration, to merely delete emails that willfully breach patient privacy is disgracefully inadequate.

    He knew the leak he received was outrageously unethical and went against all standards of medical practice. It was incumbent on him to take decisive action to expose and shut down this appalling behaviour. Reporting the breach to the proper authorities (e.g. MOH, privacy commissioner) would be the minimum decent action he could take.

  24. Anne 25

    Great ‘bill board’ laugh

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/07/10/winners-losers-latest-shocking-boag-revelations-are-the-end-of-the-national-death-star/

    Post got a lot of typos. A rushed job. Hard for commentators to keep up these days.

  25. Peter 26

    Unfortunately the volume on the video isn't all that clear. Muller said of himself that he was 'very clear!' A number of times.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12347102

    I could not see Matthew Hooton in the clip.

  26. ianmac 27

    Dirty Tricks? Remember that the case against the donors and JamieLee start this week. Will there be a suspicion that the National Party will remain unscathed or will the evidence that JL has create a problem for Nat Party?

    • Sacha 27.1

      Ah, that might be connected with their most lucrative Chinese MP choosing now to leave..

    • gsays 27.2

      I can see some lawyer arguing that this case being heard is unfair for the Nats, anyone judging would be prejudiced by the filthy, dodgy goings-on that have been revealed.

    • George 27.3

      A week is a long time in politics… And next week could feel like a year for National on top of this …if this is still dragging on…

  27. Robert Guyton 28

    "Muller said on Tuesday evening he was given a "heads up" from Michael Woodhouse that he had been given information that "sounded similar" to that given to Walker.

    "The next day I had a chat with Michael and we agreed it would be appropriate for him to circle back to Michael Heron and make him aware of that, in case it would be useful for his inquiry.""

    And yet…,Woodhouse deleted those emails making them unavailable to Heron. Very, very odd.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12347102

    • Peter 28.1

      Odd that he deleted those emails making them unavailable to Heron? No, it's Michael Woodhouse and National, it's business as usual.

    • mauī 28.2

      Some people just have such rotten luck.. Imagine circling back to Heron with important information which you had just deleted some hours or a day prior. He must have felt awful about it.

    • I wonder if Covid 1-18 Boag also had the foresight to delete them?

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 28.4

      he had been given information that "sounded similar" to that given to Walker

      No, No, No, No, No. The font was different. Totally different. Doesn't count at all.

  28. ianmac 29

    The Muller reply/justification today at 12:30:

    Muller said on Tuesday evening he was given a "heads up" from Michael Woodhouse that he had been given information that "sounded similar" to that given to Walker.

    "The next day I had a chat with Michael and we agreed it would be appropriate for him to circle back to Michael Heron and make him aware of that, in case it would be useful for his inquiry."

    Muller said Walker and Woodhouse were "very different issues".

    "Walker released private, personal and sensitive information to the public, which has cost him his political career. Michael Woodhouse saw this information, and didn't act on it."

    He'd now made it "very clear" to his caucus, if they were sent any sensitive information they needed to bring it to his attention as leader.

    But he said there was an "absolute distinction" between receiving information, and releasing it publicly.

    There we are then. Hook removed.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12347102

    • sam green 29.1

      He received the emails in June – given we are a team of 5 million fighting Covid – wouldn't you think that any 'leak' be reported and dealt to? If not – he is failing as a member of that team and failing the national Covid response – essentially failing his country. Well even essentially working against it – so essentially being treasonous. Maybe even criminal. i dunno …

  29. ianmac 30

    Should we go easy on the Shadow minister of Health Woodhouse?

    No! Remember the vitriol and sneering and undermining that Woodhouse has directed at the past Minister of Health, David Clark? What goes around….

    • Peter 30.1

      Woodhouse: “I have had no knowledge of anything that Michelle Boag has done this week."

      What she's done this week has been right across in the media for a couple of days. did

      "I haven’t spoken to Michelle this week:” A reasonable translation?: "We communicated by email, so I haven't talked to her."

    • Anne 30.2

      Remember the vitriol and sneering and undermining that Woodhouse has directed at the past Minister of Health, David Clark?

      They clearly had someone in the street who was spying on Clark and someone stalked him to a couple of outdoor venues when he was trying to get fresh air and exercise. Given the circumstances the man was probably in desperate need of it to clear his head.

      Yet the bastards – ably abetted by a vindictive media – crucified him for doing the same as what the team of 5 million were doing… getting fresh air and exercise.

      It subsequently transpired that Dr. Ashley Bloomfield was going out around 6 am for his daily bout of fresh air and exercise. Nobody complained about that and nor should they. Like Clark he was trying to stay healthy and combat the stress that went with his position.

      • Liliane 30.2.1

        Exactly Anne! I live 5 mins away from Dr Clark, and went for walks every day during Level 4, as did most of my suburb (we did a lot of dodging).

        The walking,cycling track that Dr Clark used for exercise between zoom meetings is literally just a few minutes drive from his house (unlike Doctor's Point, which was a foolish mistake on his part I admit).

        I thought the whole mountain biking thing was a media beat up at the time, and I haven't changed my mind on that.

        However, that's all moot now and Dr Clark will have time to reflect on how he could have handled his portfolio better over time. According to the Otago Daily Times he offered to take the Health portfolio because nobody else would step up. He must be wondering why he bothered.

        • Anne 30.2.1.1

          Thanks for that Liliane. I don't know David Clark, but I do know his brother. A nicer person you could not meet, and I'm sure David is probably the same.

          I wonder sometimes how those two-faced, up-themselves tabloid media types can sleep at night. They have no feelings of shame or guilt for the way they destroy reputations just because they can. Loathsome specimens of humanity.

  30. observer 31

    Previously: "no other MPs involved, except Walker"

    Now: "no other MPs, except Walker and Woodhouse"

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/420925/no-other-national-mps-received-leaked-details-todd-muller

    Next?

    • ianmac 31.1

      On the News RNZ just now (3pm) when asked if there was anyone else receiving info, Muller said that he has told his caucus firmly that if they had received any info they must tell him.

      So didn't answer the question really.

    • Yes, it beggars belief that Boag, on Nikki Kaye's campaign committee, didn't communicate with her – and pass on private information.

  31. McFlock 32

    I mean, one almost has to assume that this clusterfuck can't be an accident.

    But if it's an intentional plot to fuck up the nats, then how could they not be this competent ever before in their careers? Is sabotaging their own party the only time in their lives they truly excel? Or is this all an accident and they've fallen through the floor into a new level of incompetence?

    All the while consistently finding the wrong thing to do with patient data?

    • greywarshark 32.1

      Or it's just a subterfuge. They are so cunning, that they have a cunning plan to confuse us with something that Baldrick dreamed up. Watch out for a turnip soon, we must keep alert.

  32. rod 33

    Bridges must be loving this..wink

  33. tc 34

    Let them all burn on the bonfire of ideological vanity and abhorrent tactics.

    Brand recognition. National at its finest folks.

  34. Fireblade 35

    Health Minister Chris Hipkins criticises National for sitting on sensitive COVID-19 patient information.

    "Hipkins said it is not legitimate to release that information or to sit on that information and not inform the Government."

    "It is clear that over the course of the last week the National Party have had a lot of information that they have chosen not to share that could have cleared things up much more quickly, Hipkins said."

    "Over the weekend both Mr Muller and Michael Woodhouse made some very strong comments about the release of this information and how unacceptable it was when it is clear they knew how it came to be released and chose not to share that information."

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/07/health-minister-chris-hipkins-criticises-national-for-sitting-on-sensitive-covid-19-patient-information.html

  35. NZJester 36

    Did any National MP not receive confidential information from Michelle Boag?

    Maybe the reason Todd Muller is so mad at them all is because he was left out?

  36. ScottGN 37

    Naturally the Herald online is trying its best to avoid any of the unpleasantness.

    • Muttonbird 37.1

      Listened a significant amount of Heather duplicity-Allen's broadcast yesterday and today and it was a real experience listening to how much she didn't talk about this incredible scandal by the Nats.

      She even defended Woodhouse! And claimed she knows where the homeless man fabrication came from.

      Hey Heather, why don’t you do your adopted country a favour and release this info because it’s ripping our democracy apart.

  37. anker 38

    God it Friday night and I have had a full on week.

    Re the Nats,………ha ha ha ha ha ha. Its about time they were exposed.

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