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Nats’ ACC scandal getting worse by the day

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, March 20th, 2012 - 88 comments
Categories: ACC, scoundrels - Tags:

Nick Smith, while Minister for ACC wrote a letter in support of the claims of, um, close personal contact Bronwyn Pullar last year after Pullar threatened to embarrass him and ACC. He says, this was in his personal capacity, even though it was on parliamentary ministerial letterhead and he was the damn minister. This is getting very grubby.

The involvement of Boag further suggests that personal influence with the minister was leveraged in an attempt to get Pullar special treatment. And that Smith usd his power to try to help his contacts.

The other thing that concerns me – how is it that a National Party insider, linked to the Minister for ACC, who had previously been making threats to embarrass ACC and the minister, just so happens to be the person who ‘accidentally’ receives the largest leak of private information of ACC clients in history?

[Bunji: Now Nick Smith has admitted to an error of judgement. Will he resign over this abuse of power?]

88 comments on “Nats’ ACC scandal getting worse by the day ”

  1. Kotahi Tane Huna 1

    *Pullar [Bunji: fixed]

    It stinks to high heaven.

  2. Anne 2

    Sounds to me like someone on the inside – presumably the ACC – was appalled by the preferential treatment of one claimant while hundreds of other claimants’ cases in similar circumstances were languishing somewhere in an ‘in-tray’ with little attention being paid them. Even so, they couldn’t have handled the turn of events on their own. There must have been others involved. I guess that’s where the answers lie. Who were they and what was their motivation?

    It now has the hall marks of a cover-up extending to the highest level!

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Media reports indicate the woman who sent the email is “highly distressed” but will be keeping her job at this stage.

      I don’t think there was anything malicious in it.

    • just saying 2.2

      hundreds of other claimants’ cases in similar circumstances were languishing somewhere in an ‘in-tray’ with little attention being paid them…

      Actually I think it’s more likely they are languishing on WINZ benefits. Smith had already set ACC targets for reducing long-term claimant numbers, and hired extra staff to “intensively manage” cases to this end. It sounds like this is what Ms Pullar was a part of, and objected to. What surprises me is that her use of such big-wig “close personal contacts” (is this what passes for friendship in NACT circles?) appears to have been unsuccessful, as she felt the need to carry-out a media campaign including actually leaking the document.

      • bbfloyd 2.2.1

        so when did quoting the mainstream media as gospel become the smart thing to do? was she “distressed” because she had made that “unintended” blunder? or because she has been marked down as collateral damage?

        does the “news” report go into any kind of “useful” detail? apart from being a useful distraction from the real issue?

        well swallowed!!

      • Treetop 2.2.2

        This year someone in a WINZ office told me that they are getting clients who were on ACC.

        I want to know how many have shifted from ACC to WINZ?

        • Rosemary 2.2.2.1

          Treetop – this has been happening for years and years. Labour were in fact the worst culprits. This is nothing new. Have a look around the net. There’s more information about this happening than you can read in a lifetime, and is precisely what Bronwyn Pullar means when she says ACC is “rotten to the core”. ACC deliberately sets out to make decisions it knows are wrong. Dispute Resolution Services, the company owned by ACC and that has the contract to hear “independent” reviews of ACC decisions, are also in on it, boots and all.

    • Fortran 2.3

      According to the Herald today an ACC claimant passed to the letter to them.

      Which staff member in ACC stole the letter, or a copy, to send to her to pass to the Herald ?

      Somone with an Agenda ?

  3. toad 3

    This story is just so National Party. Cronyism, corruption, cover-ups – all the things the Nats stand for apart from corporate greed seem to be in this story.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    “The other thing that concerns me – how is it that a National Party insider, linked to the Minister for ACC, who had previously been making threats to embarrass ACC and the minister, just so happens to be the person who ‘accidentally’ receives the largest leak of private information of ACC clients in history?”

    Well we won’t really know until there’s an investigation into what happened.

    ACC officials admitted they had been emailing each other these sorts of excel spreadsheets for years, though. My guess therefore is that it was simply a frequent-contact feature when typing in someone’s name into an email client, where it “helpfully” decides that the name you started typing is for XYY recent contact instead of XYZ like you wanted and then the email goes to the wrong person. This particular email apparently had at least 50 names in the To field, so it’d be easy to miss a mistake like this.

    If my guess is correct, then the problem here was inevitably going to happen sooner or later, simply because emailing attached excel spreadsheets to various people is an inadequate and inappropriate process to be using when dealing with private data of this nature.

    • toad 4.1

      Too much of a coincidence imo, Lanth, that it was someone with close Nat connections who just happened to be the recipient of an auto-type error. I think I prefer Anne’s theory at this stage, but we won’t really know unless we get an independent investigation, and Collins doesn’t seem to want to go there.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        I don’t really think so.

        Clearly this woman had friends in high places that were trying to work on her behalf. It’s quite probable that this meant that the woman who originally sent out the email had been in contact with her using her email client, when otherwise this woman may not have normally dealt with clients directly.

        • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1.1

          Yeah. This whole thing is murky enough without assumming foul play on the one part that could have been accidental.

          A shockingly bad accident that shouldn’t have happened for all that.

          • Lanthanide 4.1.1.1.1

            The other point against foul play is that if the ACC employee deliberately leaked it to Pullar, then as soon as this was found out she’d be fired and potentially have legal action taken against her by the privacy commission.

            Not something any sane person would do, at least not in the way it appears to have happened (email with excel spreadsheet attached). Then again, she could simply be using plausible deniability.

    • Ross 4.2

      I think that’s probably the correct interpretation of what happened. I did see it reported that WINZ was now wanting spreadsheets emailed to one person at a time.

    • Mariana Pineda 4.3

      Maybe the Nats will make it better by giving the work to overseas call centres and getting rid of all of the hard working NZ ACC workers so that they wont be able to incriminate the ministers or pick on them any more.
      That will fix it eh.

  5. AJ 6

    I know the Smith letter scandal is terribly exciting and the media is lapping it up, but let’s not forget what set this whole thing off in the first place: ACC’s inept staff, corrupt management and out-of-date procedures that allowed the details of over 6,000 claimants to be released. Password protecting documents is pretty basic stuff, after all, and would’ve prevented the problem in the first place. You might say, “But it was just names and numbers, nothing vital”. But if you’re a sensitive claimant, perhaps someone who still lives in fear because of the mental injury you suffered, having your identity as an ACC claimant in the open could be extremely frightening and distressing. Even if not, it’s still a massive breach of your privacy and against ACC policy and worthy of a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner. This is not nothing. Don’t let the soap opera within the National Party detract from the real issue. Nick Smith as former Minister and Judith Collins as the present Minister need to be held to account, as does the ACC board and Ralph Stewart, for what has gone wrong inside ACC. When will we be assured that the problems have been identified and that real changes have been made to ensure this sort of breach of privacy never happens again?

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      I know the Smith letter scandal is terribly exciting and the media is lapping it up, but let’s not forget what set this whole thing off in the first place:

      That would be Nick Smith’s National Party friend trying to blackmail ACC, wouldn’t it?

      When will we be assured that the problems have been identified and that real changes have been made to ensure this sort of breach of privacy never happens again?

      A block on priority files going through the email system should do it. No big deal.

  6. Pascal's bookie 7

    wee correction Zet: “even though it was on parliamentary letterhead ”

    Former ACC minister Nick Smith has admitted he wrote a letter supporting the claim of a former National Party official on a ministerial letterhead.

    emph mine

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6603029/Minister-wrote-reference-for-ACC-whistleblower

    Just an ‘error of judgement’ though. So that’s ok.

  7. Kevin 8

    What makes this story interesting is that initially Ms Pullar had enlisted the aid of Nic Smith, “a friend” in getting her claim reconsidered by ACC but was not successful.
    Following on from that Ms Pullar inadvertently recieved the files sent in error and attempted to use them as leverage at another meeting where she was assisted by Ms Boag.
    Ms Pullar has used her National Party contacts at the highest level to advance her ACC claim, but was not successful.
    ACC have now referred the matter to Police, therefore Ms Pullar may face allegations of using a document for percunairy advantage.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      “attempted to use them as leverage at another meeting where she was assisted by Ms Boag.”

      Note that she denies this.

      It seems like a rather stupid thing to attempt anyway, “give me a benefit or I will release privileged data I shouldn’t have”. Looking at a jail term for extortion and/or breach of privacy there.

      • Ross 8.1.1

        Yes it would be a stupid thing to do. It could be more along the lines of ACC wanting her to delete the material and Pullar responding that that will happen in due course, after ACC has given her benefit application due consideration. I suspect ACC has put the worst possible spin on this given that it has fucked up.

        I remember a government agency sending me information that it wasn’t supposed to send me – though I had requested it – and then demanding that I return it. Since I’d requested the information and did not breach anyone’s privacy, I kept it.

        • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1.1

          It could be more along the lines of ACC wanting her to delete the material and Pullar responding that that will happen in due course, after ACC has given her benefit application due consideration.

          That’s the same thing.

          Note the ‘offer’ Boag uses about ACC is them saying that some sort of settlement might be worked could only be contingent on the files being returned. That’s a pretty out there thing for them to say unless it’s in response to, what exactly? A threat perhaps?

          And was Boag saying that she would hate for Smith or the government to be embarrassed? oh yes, she was. Crikey how could they be embarrassed by the files being returned. Why weren’t the files returned again? Who was making it contingent? All very confusing I’m sure.

          Just errors of judgement though.

          • Ross 8.1.1.1.1

            PB

            It’s not the same thing at all. On the one hand there is a threat to release the information bu tin the scenario I mentioned there is no threat all. In fact, there is an assurance that the material will be deleted. It may be that while ACC wanted to talk about the private information release, Pullar wanted to talk about her ACC claim.

            • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Ross, If I say to you that I have some damaging info on you, And I will quite happilly destroy it, that’s one thing. If I say, I will happilly destroy that info once you do X, that’s another thing entirely.

              You are ignoring that Boag was talking about how much she wanted to avoid the Govt in general, and Smith in particular, being embarrassed, because they were her friends, don’t you know.

              How on earth could they become embarrassed again? Why was the info held onto again?

              • Ross

                PB

                You don’t cite any source for your comments. The fact is that the government was always going to be embarrassed about this, whether Pullar went public or not. ACC were always going to contact the thousands of people whose private info was sent to Pullar. What are the chances that none of those thousands was going to bleat to the media?

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Boag detailed her recollection last week in an email to Collins, which was obtained by the Herald on Sunday. The email said it was “verbally agreed” the information would be returned “on agreement on the way forward”.

                  It said the staff member had offered Pullar in writing “one year to re-establish her business”. The staff member’s written offer “asked for the return of the data (but) did not acknowledge that this would be contingent on reaching an agreement acceptable to both parties”.

                  Boag said it was significant ACC staff did not warn its management or minister until after the breach became public. She wanted ACC to deal with the privacy breach internally and not as a public issue. “I am a supporter of this Government and I also call [former ACC minister] Nick Smith a friend. I don’t want him embarrassed. I have friends on the ACC board. I do not want them embarrassed.”

                  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10792840

                  now that’s Boag’s own spin. So why would the info be kept if not to maintain leverage? Why all this talk about contigency/ Why would ACC make an offer like that, unless there was a threat implied?

      • ianmac 8.1.2

        I think Michelle (or someone in a radio interview) has said that it was the ACC staffer who suggested that as a way out of returning files, and not Ms Pullar.

      • Anne 8.1.3

        It seems like a rather stupid thing to attempt anyway

        Agree, but don’t forget the sense of entitlement endemic among National Party high fliers (and their mates) which can blind them to the risks involved.

        Btw, I agree with Lanthanide. The leaking of the claimants’ info. to Pullar seems like it was inadvertent, but it has highlighted what appears to have been a very shabby attempt to pull power on behalf of a claimant who happened to be one of them.

  8. Just heard the contents of the letter read out on RadioLive. It’s very carefully worded, and merely refers to Smith’s knowledge of Ms Pullar BEFORE her accident. He says that it would be inappropriate to comment on any matters relating to her claim,

    His “crime” is to have sent it on ministerial letterhead; hardly a hanging offence Bunji

    • Pascal's bookie 9.1

      Bro, he says it would be inappropriate to comment as a friend, because he is the minister, then goes ahead and comments anyway, on ministerial letterhead. ffs.

      And do you seriously not grok that testimony about her state of being before the accident are very relevant to her claim?

    • He said on Radio NZ this morning that he believed that he sent it on blank paper.  If it was on Ministerial letterhead this makes his offence much worse.  His suggestion this morning is confirmation that he realises the implications of doing so.

        • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1

          Someone save a copy of that…

          he;s fucked

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 9.2.1.2

          “It would be inappropriate of me to comment…” but I’m going to do so anyway, in a manner which will have a material impact on her claim.

        • just saying 9.2.1.3

          Looks to me like ACC may have been suggesting Ms Pullar’s symptoms were caused by a pre-existing condition and her mate Nick was telling them them they were not.

          This letter is outrageous. He notes in detail that his opinion and intervention would be inappropriate and then opines and thereby intervenes. As ACC minister he could not have more clearly indicated (in writing anyway) that Ms Pullar was not to be part of the reduction in numbers receiving weekly compensation long-term that he himself had ordered.

          Does anyone know when (or even if) Ms Pullar stopped receiving compo? It seems amazing to me that she didn’t get away with this, and I think it’s possible that the reasons may be due to the fact that her judgment really has been seriously impaired and her high-falutin’ “friends” have got to the point where they can’t ditch her fast enough.
          If that was the case, ironically, having friends in high places would have worked better if she was malingering, and better able to play the game.

          • David H 9.2.1.3.1

            Or the old “It’s degenerative” excuse that they use on me and others since I and them turned 50.

        • Fortran 9.2.1.4

          Now having read the letter cannot see a problem.

          Mountain out of molehill – silly to put on Ministerial letterhead though, but not a hanging offence.

          I make mistake too (often).

  9. Pascal's bookie 10

    Now Nick Smith has admitted to an error of judgement. Will he resign over this abuse of power?

    Silly. An ‘error of judgement’ just means that he decided to do someting really stupid, which means it wasn’t his fault, or something.

  10. “Error of judgement” Bullshit!
    From personal experience in the public service I know that a letter from the minister gets greater attention. And Tricky Nicky knows this.

    This man has been a minister an MP for 11 years, six of which as Minister. He is fully aware that such a letter (from him, on ministerial letterhead) gets greater attention and has the potential to influence decisions. He also knows that a reference on ministerial letterhead has greater credibility.
    He was using the ministerial letterhead because we WANTED to, in order to use the gravitas of his office to either influence a decision or to add greater credibility.

    Did he know this could be seen as exerting undue influence? Of course he did and he cannot say that he didn’t.
    So why did he then commit an act he knew was wrong?
    Because he WANTED to. He wanted to write a letter that would have the influence of a ministerial letter AND he thought he could get away with it (which raises other issues of the way the Nats see themselves as being able to peddle influence as a birth right).

    Doing something that is you know is wrong and brushing it off as an error of judgement is not enough and needs further explanation.
    What caused this error of judgement and what does that say about your ability to make further decisions of even greater import?
    Too Tired? Too Drunk? Too Ill-informed? Too Ignorant? Too busy?

    “Error of judgement” is not the end of the matter (As Key and the PR team would hope), but only the beginning.

  11. Kotahi Tane Huna 12

    Too corrupt?

  12. KATY 13

    What,s the betting on knickers giving an apology by way of a personal statement in parliament this afternoon, the donkey accepting it, followed by refusal to comment anymore on this subject as the matter is now subject to an ongoing police investigation.

    • Pascal's bookie 13.1

      Yep. With a side bet on , “he’s no longer the Minister for ACC so it would be inappropriate to punish him in his new roles for events that accured in a different portfolio”

      • felix 13.1.1

        There’s the trifecta!

        I note that both The Greens and Labour have oral questions on the subject today. Which is:

        a) nice that they both see an opportunity to hammer a corrupt minister

        and also

        b) a disturbing sign that they’re still not working together even at such a basic level as organising question time.

        • Fortran 13.1.1.1

          felix – you are right

          Labour and the Greens must work closely together now as an introduction to the coalition next election. Otherwise there will be ructions after the election (if not before).

        • Anne 13.1.1.2

          Unless they colluded on who was going to ask what question at what point in the question time. Nice to think they did but…

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 13.1.1.2.1

            I don’t think there’s going to be any fighting over the food at this feast. There’s more than enough for everyone and their dog here. Speaking of Winston…

  13. coolas 14

    The Minister for ACC uses Ministerial letterhead to plead on behalf of a friend. If that’s not a conflict of interest and cronyism what the fuck is. Totally unethical. He should resign. The part of the story I like is that Pullar’s request was denied; that ACC stood up to their loathsome Minister, but that will no doubt provide fodder to the spin – nothing came of it anyway, so what’s the fuss – Tracey Watkins in The Herald? 3,2,1.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 14.1

      Where’s your sense of patriotism? How are we going to stay at the top of the corruption league table if we start noticing it?

  14. Carol 15

    I find Smith and co’s actions to be pretty disgraceful and hypocritical, with their attitude of entitlement, even while making things tougher for ACC claimants and turning it into something with an approach of non-entitlement…. to use the line of one MP in the House today (Hague I think). Under NAct ACC has come to treat ACC claimants as if they are in the wrong and not entitled to the treatment they need unless they can strongly prove otherwise…. and it requires persistence.

    Smith should not only resign, Nact should be looking at providing a better service for claimants, and not continue to pursue their punitive approach.

    • Mark 15.1

      @Carol
      Any evidence of this “attitude of entitlement” being any greater than any Politician, Public Servant, public person, worker, beneficiary, ACC claimant etc?
      We are faced with ongoing reports of many claimants of any State largesse.. (Welfare, ACC, Tax, Business entitlements) rorting the system, and  prudent Govt Depts will be remiss by handing out OUR money without being satisfied that it is lawful (SFO, IRD actions against the Banks etc)
      Isn’t this a good thing?
      By a “better service for claimants” do you mean accepting every claim and writing cheques on the taxpayers account?
      I see Winstons’ grubby fingers behind leaks and further leaks, Smith’s letter is foolish but not by any stretch corrupt.
      Move on. 

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 15.1.1

        “Move on” lol you poor thing. There is no corruption in New Zealand. Watch and learn.

        • Mark 15.1.1.1

          I don’t recall making that assertion.
          Any counterfactual or thought out opinion, or just wishful thinking?

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 15.1.1.1.1

            I don’t recall asserting that you made any assertions at all.

            • Mark 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh, so you are asserting there is no corruption in New Zealand?
              Jesus man ( gender assumption), get your head out of the sand!!

      • Carol 15.1.2

        Thank-you Mark for illustrating my point. I have been on the receiving end of this approach of non-entitlement and don’t take kindly to assumptions of rorting, while promoting the rorter narrative over the many of us not getting the treatment our specialists are asking for. It’s not as bad for me as for people whose injuries are not accepted as ones ACC covers…. I am covered and the specialists and operations get paid for…. ACC advisors just don’t accept one of my specialist’s for treatment in spite of more than one letter from the specialist.

        Most of us ARE different for Smith and Pullar…. we don’t tap powerful politician cronies to support our case….. just go with what our specialists are recommending….. but I guess their judgements mean nothing and they are just trying to aid our rorting?!

        And I hear numerous stories from others along the same lines since National came into government.

        And my comment was also about hypocrisy (you ignored that), from Nats who want tightening up on beneficiaries and ACC claimants but try to tap their powerful cronies for preferential treatment when it works against them.

        The Winston point is a big stretch…. you are asking for evidence based decisions for claimants, and have NO evidence of Winston being involved.

        Smearing others is just an attempt to divert from the mis-deeds of Smith and cronies.

  15. Mark 16

    Carol, I don’t think I illustrated your point at all.. my main point was that we should all be pleased that we don’t have a system that willy nilly pays out whatever everyone wants (entitlement) without a fairly rigorous process.. human nature being what it is.. and the predominant philosophy on this Blog of “tax the rich a bit more and everything will be paid for”
    And sure, people will try to get what they can in possibly desperate circumstances, and Smith was probably put in a very awkward situation – showed a bit of humanity there rather than undue influence I imagine.
    Did the ACC situation really change that much when the Nats got in.. perhaps we were only then informed that we had a huge forward claims deficit?
    Cronies is an easy word to splash about, without requiring much proof, and again could be easily directed at past & present Politicians.
    I enjoy the rigorous debate on The Standard, and am happy to say that one or two of my long held assumptions and prejudices have been seriously challenged.. but never by blanket shriekings of  “corruption, cronyism, etc” without some pretty hard evidence to support them. 
    My comment about Winston.. no evidence whatsoever, but a gut feeling like you wouldn’t believe lol.
    Anyway, hope you get the treatment you need. 

  16. Mark 17

    Thanks for the Links Carol, however I would hardly call the first 2 anywhere near impartial.. yeah a lot of opinion and idealogy sure.
    And 4 Doctors talking to Stuff (hangon, this is MSM which we all agree is a waste of space).. could be seen as similar to a few Legal Aid Lawyers having to justify their fees  against scrutiny.
    A few letters to Andrew  Little.. yeah right this is serious evidence. 
    Nats “priming  ACC for privatisation” heard that rumour too, but again a ;ack of concrete evidence.
    As I said, my main point is to welcome some scrutiny.. without this some people are able to rort, leaving a lack of funds for the genuine.. kind of like Welfare really. 

    • felix 17.1

      Sounds like the only source of evidence you’ll consider is the official Nick Smith Fanclub Newsletter.

      And guess what? They ain’t gonna publish any. So where does that leave you?

      What exactly could you possibly contribute to the discussion when you have exactly zero sources of reliable information?

  17. Pascal's bookie 18

    Just for the record, one thing I do not want to hear, under any circumstances, and for whatever reason, is Winston Peters speculating about Nick Smith’s sex life.

    [so, you don’t want to know why I referred to her as a ‘close personal contact’ of Smith’s either? Zet]

  18. prism 19

    By the way that photo of dr nick shows him when he was young and ingenuous. He’s a bit more haggard now but the strains of politics are not so unrewarding as to send him back to his trade of civil engineering.

  19. Treetop 20

    I keep coming back to the level of injury sustained by Pullar and the entitlements she is entitled to. Smith wrote on Pullars behalf regarding her health prior to the accident in his 7 July 2011 letter.

    What could Smith add that would be useful to Pullars medical assessment with the ACC Dr.

    I do not know the process for a non sensitive claim, but with a sensitive claim after a form is signed with your GP (possibly a medical certificate stating the injury). The next step is going through ACC for a psychiatric assessment, then the final step is going to the ACC AMA assessor.

    Where is a person left when they do not want to go to the AMA assessor because of the errors that the psychiatrist has made? (Even though they say that you have PTSD as a result of sexual offending). Basically the psychiatrist’s report for the AMA assessor is not accurate.

    A person rings ACC and tells them that they will not be going for the AMA assessment. After a year ACC write back and decline your claim when the is NO time limit between when the ACC psychiatrist is seen and the AMA assessor is seen.

    I don’t know enough about Pullars case, but I suspect that she is unhappy with ACC minimising how her injury has impacted on her, that there are details in dispute, that the time the claim has taken is burdensome, but Pullar is not going to let ACC off the hook without a fight.

    I expect that there is a grey area with head injuries as they may taken several years to settle and for the level of injury to be known.

    I think that ACC are heartless bastards to people when they were sexually offended against during childhood and that the offending occurred prior to 1974 as ACC have said that they do not have to cover prior to 1974. This disturbing policy (not covering a child has occurred under the National government).

    • Carol 20.1

      For my non-sensitive injury, I was taken to hospital in an ambulance, and ACC was immediately involved, via the ambulance, surgeons etc. My GP was not involved. The requests for more physiotherapy for me go to a Clinical Assessor who never sees me but makes a judgement based on reading written reports from my specialists, physiotherapist etc…. who are very familiar with my injury and have seen me several times.

      I gather this situation happens when deciding other kinds of claims for surgery etc.. i.e. that for non-sensitive cases the claimant is never seen by the advisor/assessor deciding on accepting or rejecting the claim. It probably saves money, but it can lead to many flawed decisions, IMO.

    • Treetop 20.2

      Due to Carol’s post 20.1 I need to add that I was talking about the process for an Independence Allowance or a lump sum claim.

      Thank you Carol.

    • Sarah 20.3

      With a head injury assessment you always need to index it against pre-injury capability with accounts from friends, employers etc.

      Who knows how many other similar reports Pullar has on her file of this nature. But they are very important for any assessment for a head injury to ascertain the effect of the injury.

      Smith showed a lack of judgement clearly. But equally if he knew her, employed her etc then provision of report of this nature would be relevant. Perhaps he should have put it on plain paper, and just signed N Smith, so no one would know his identity.

      I don’t see how this affects ACC, as ACC assessors are supposed to be independent of ACC. Being on Ministerial letterhead was a bad move.

      • Treetop 20.3.1

        “With head injury assessment you always need to index it against pre-injury capability with accounts from friends, employers etc.”

        I do understand this, however Pullar’s GP file would be another source to establish how her health was prior to her brain injury. As I said, “I keep coming back to the level of injury sustained by Pullar and the entitlements she is entitled to.” Rosemary 2.2.2.1 answers this as she points out, “ACC deliberately sets out to make decisions which are wrong. Despute Resolution Services, the company owned by ACC and that has the contract to hear “independent” reviews of ACC decisions, are also in on it boots and all.”

        In 2003 a psychologist told me that they no longer take head injuries because of how ACC are.

        Pullar has to be accessed by a specialist international clinican competent in head injury. Her trust in ACC has been shaken to the core.

        Complex PTSD is not yet recognised as it does not appear in the DSM – 1V, however DESNOS is mentioned and there is a 6 symptom cluster which is found in Complex PTSD but not in regular PTSD. I can only conclude that the treatment for Complex PTSD is different to regular PTSD and the treatment for Complex PTSD is not mentioned, only the 6 symptom cluster under DESNOS in the DSM – IV. NO code for Complex PTSD to go onto a form for ACC so the person languishes. Herman is the leading researcher in Complex PTSD.

        I have had PTSD for 45 years. In 1986 I mentioned being sexually offended against during a counselling session, this was written in my file. Being sexually offended against in 1967 was raised again by me in 2003. Because nothing was done in 1986 I thought that being sexually offended against did not leave me affected. In 2009 a psychiatric report done by a psychiatrist for ACC, the psychiatrist wrote “had she told the hospital treating team…” I gave the psychiatrist my psychiatric notes, (did he read them?) ACC was fleeced at least $2000.00 for a misleading report. The assessment was brutal and it took 3 hours (usually 90 minutes is allocated). My case is complicated/complex due to the police retriggering PTSD and a crime commited against my mother.

        The perpertrator was born in 1892, offending occurred in 1967 and it is 2012. I thought carefully about pushing the submit comment and this was not done in haste.

  20. bad12 21

    Being of the school which heavily indulges in the study of the human condition, yeah the same one oft mentioned by Sir(hoick)Bob a previous leader of a bright political and social future, we have to wonder here just what it is that the previously obscure recipient and leakee of ACC info did for the National party cause,

    Putting aside Captain Fantastics stunning piece of Ministerial intervention in her case for just a second one has to wonder just what one has to do to not only have the relevant Minister personally intervene on ones behalf AND have the previous Party Prez attend at least one meeting with ACC,

    Perhaps a big Party donor of days gone by,or did the Party.s old nemisis in the form of one W.Peters lift the lid a little with His veiled reference on the Parliaments floor to ex ACC Minister Smith,s sex life,

    Theres more here than a simple letter from ”a friend” who happened to be the Minister in charge of the department He was sending the letter to,perhaps we are about to be drip fed the lurid details from the Parliaments floor,

    Bring it,along with David Attenborough,a large can of air freshener,and,a bucket is all we can say…

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