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Tape of ACC-Pullar meeting raises more questions

Written By: - Date published: 7:06 am, April 30th, 2012 - 47 comments
Categories: ACC, Judith Collins - Tags: , , , ,

Another secret taping, another political scandal. A recording of Pullar and Boag’s meeting with ACC by Pullar appears to show that Pullar did not “blackmail” ACC as alleged. This raises serious questions about how Pullar’s name got into the public arena. And why hasn’t Collins ordered ACC to correct its version of events since its had the transcript for weeks?

If ACC has seriously mis-represented Pullar and Boag’s actions in its report to Collins on the leaking of 6,500 clients details to Pullar, could it also be ACC officials behind the leaking of Pullar’s name?

Until now, the only logical source of the leak had been Collins or her office – bureaucrats would never attack senior figures in the ruling party, ACC would not risk further damaging its reputation by maliciously releasing client information, and government ministers have form on releasing the private information of people who criticise them (eg Bennett and Fuller*).

The Standard’s sources in National pointed the finger at Collins.

Now, it seems credible it could have been ACC officials. Except for one major fact: only Collins’ office and senior ACC officials supposedly had Boag’s email to Collins.

If ACC is out of line, why hasn’t Collins acted? She’s obviously known the contents of the tapes are at odds with ACC’s version of events for weeks. Would ACC persist with it version of events if Collins told them not to?

If her staff are half-competent, Collins’ office must know by now who leaked Pullar’s name, if it didn’t at the time.

And why did the release of this story coincide with an anti-Boag campaign from Collins henchman, Cameron Slater? Why did Collins and Slater go nuclear at the mention of Simon Lusk’s name?

What role, if any, did National’s appointee to head ACC, John Judge, and Nat ACC board member John McCliskie play? If the leak came from ACC, where they acting rogue or at the minster’s behest and, if they were rogue, why hasn’t the minister punished them?

Isn’t it still more plausible that the leak of the Boag email came from the person it was sent to?

This all stinks. Either Collins and her office were involved or ACC is completely out of control under Collins’ watch and she has failed to reel them in when given the chance. Lets hope the various investigations get to the bottom of it. Although I don’t hold out a lot of hope.

And none of this changes the fact that Pullar should not have released the 6,500 ACC clients’ details. How that file happened to come into her hands, of all people, remains a huge unanswered question as well.

 

* – this to me, is the best argument against Collins’ defamation suit. Defamation is a statement that lowers the reputation of a person in the eyes of the public. Bennett was widely praised for doing what it is claimed Collins did, so what can be defamatory about saying Collins did it?

47 comments on “Tape of ACC-Pullar meeting raises more questions ”

  1. rosy 1

    I’m trying to work out why it took so long for this to make the news. Stuff don’t say when they saw the transcript. Oh well, it seems a good enough story to keep the Banks’ saga away from the headline news story…

  2. Sarah 2

    “Pullar should not have released the 6,500 ACC clients’ details.”

    Pullar never released the 6500 ACC client details and she didn’t breach anybodies privacy – ACC did.

    So why are you saying she did?

    The Dominion Post received a file from Pullar WITHOUT any names in it.

    If Pullar hadn’t gone public :
    – there would possibly have been no breach notification by ACC
    – ACC privacy breaches would have continued unabated,
    – ACC would have kept publishing monthly reports containing the names of sensitive claimants, and they did for a further 3 months until March when the matter went public despite Pullar notifying them of the breach in December
    – there would be no inquiry into systemic privacy breaches by ACC
    – nothing would have changed

    Are you suggesting Pullar should have colluded with ACC in a cover up of the privacy breach by saying nothing?

    • toad 2.1

      As far as I am aware, Pullar did not release personal information to the media – she or someone close to her released a version of the files ACC sent to her with the information that could identify individual claimants redacted.

      • just saying 2.1.1

        Are you going to alter this post Eddie?

        It’s been known that Pullar did not breach other claimants’ privacy for some weeks now, but this line keeps being repeated.

        Like her or loathe her, Pullar is a whistle-blower. Even if she believes that blowing the whistle might further her personal best-interests regarding ACC (and that would be unwise), she has a long record of trying to publicise how ACC treats people in her position. There are several inquiries into ACC happening as a result of her embarrassing ACC in this way.

      • An excellent article, and raises the right questions. However I agree with Toad, it is not accurate to say Ms. Pullar released the personal information in the spreadsheet. The information given to the Dom Post had the personal information removed to protect confidentiality of claimants.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    Your article suggests to me that there is more ammunition for Collins in her defamation suit, in that you appear to me to be suggesting that there are other plausible sources for leaks outside Collins and her office (which I believe I was suggesting myself when this topic was last doing the rounds here).

    Not that it means she will be successful of course. Only that her position is strengthened as a result of this. Is that your view?

  4. Jackal 4

    What will crush-less Collins do?

    If Judith Collins has any competence as a minister, we should see heads roll.

  5. Kotahi Tane Huna 5

    If senior ACC employees (eg: to ones it was sent to) leaked the Boag email, that means ACC is “rogue” (rouge is facepaint) all the way to the top, and if this is the case, it’s the minister’s responsibility anyway.

    Are we supposed to believe that the party of croneyism and inapproriate political interference/influence, the party that wants to privatise ACC, hasn’t got its sticky corrupt fingers all over this?

    Yeah right.

  6. Good brave questions Eddie.

  7. Lanthanide 7

    “The Standard’s sources in National pointed the finger at Collins.”

    Is it really The Standard’s (a non-thinking machine, remember) sources in National, or Eddie’s?

  8. Gosman 8

    I love how the attack line has now changed from being definately, without almost a shadow of a doubt, Judith Collins being responsible for the leak to her now being responsible for not dealing with those people in ACC who might now be responsible.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      Yep, I found that amusing too.

      • Anne 8.1.1

        Umm… from memory, most of us attacked Judith Collins because we suspected she knew who had leaked the information but was pretending she didn’t… not that she had leaked it herself. Not surprisingly there was speculation as to how it may have happened and who may have been involved, but I think today’s revelation tends to confirm that Judith Collins did know where the leak had originated. Yet she was happy for others to be suspected of the ‘crime’ and on her own side of the political fence too. Interesting.

        • Gosman 8.1.1.1

          What was all that fuss with Mallard and Little then?

          Also from many of the comments on this thread it does indeed seem like many people here are thinking Collins had a direct link to the leaking of the e-mail

          They eat their own

          • Anne 8.1.1.1.1

            Ask Madam Crusher. She’s the one making all the fuss.

          • felix 8.1.1.1.2

            “Also from many of the comments on this thread it does indeed seem like many people here are thinking Collins had a direct link to the leaking of the e-mail”

            I just scanned that thread and of the 96 comments I found maybe 3 or 4 that hinted at what you say, and none that say it outright.

            As usual you’ve looked at the numbers and failed to understand the words.

            • Lanthanide 8.1.1.1.2.1

              Try reading the actual post itself, Felix:

              So, that leaves Collins and her office. Collins denied leaking the email to the media … but leaves a fair bit of wiggle room, doesn’t it? The tipline is, as they say, running hot – and the name on everyone’s lips is Lusk.

              To understand why Collins would give Pullar’s name to Simon Lusk for passing on to the Herald, you need to understand some internal National Party dynamics.

              Even Nats who don’t know, until now, exactly how Collins leaked and to whom will tell you the obvious – the leak can only have come from her office.

              • Rob

                “As usual you’ve looked at the numbers and failed to understand the words”. It looks like Felix jumped straight to the numbers and failed to even read the words.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Felix wrote about the number of comments in the post Gosman referred to, Rob, not the comments on this post or indeed the post itself*. So it looks rather like it is you who failed to read the words. 
                   
                  *From Gossie’s comment:
                   
                  Also from many of the comments on this thread it does indeed seem like many people here are thinking Collins had a direct link to the leaking of the e-mail
                  http://thestandard.org.nz/they-eat-their-own/

                  • Gosman

                    If you want to get truly pedantic I could argue that the tone of the comments of people were generally supportive of the ideas expressed in the original post and that included a section, (that was highlighted by Lanthanide), which suggested that Collins was directly involved in the leak. However that wouldn’t really serve any purpose, much like yours and Felix’s comments here.

                    • McFlock

                      You could, but you wouldn’t simply because you would never stoop to diverting a thread with a semantic debate as to whether comments indicating “general support” for a post which  suggests the probable identity of a likely culprit equates to those commenters specifically “thinking Collins had a direct link to the leaking of the e-mail”?
                              
                      You would never stoop to such a thing… 

                    • Lanthanide

                      Sticking my oar in here, I didn’t notice that Gosman specifically referred to comments, so felix is correct in his counting.

                      I was referring more to his original comment:
                      “I love how the attack line has now changed from being definately, without almost a shadow of a doubt, Judith Collins being responsible for the leak to her now being responsible for not dealing with those people in ACC who might now be responsible.”

                      Which refers directly to Eddie’s posts, both this one and “They eat their own”.

                      But yes, this looks like more diversion from Gos: I understand his angle, but the words he chose to express it were poor.

                    • felix

                      “If you want to get truly pedantic I could argue that the tone of the comments of people were generally supportive of the ideas expressed in the original post “

                      But you won’t, because if you did I’d insist that you quote the bits you meant so we could discuss the “tone”.

                      And you won’t do that because it would become very apparent that your “many” is actually “very few”.

                      “However that wouldn’t really serve any purpose, much like yours and Felix’s comments here.”

                      My comment above only serves to point out that you’re bullshitting, and I happen to think it does so unequivocally. I get that it doesn’t serve any purpose for you, but I’m not actually here to serve your purposes. Believe it or not.

  9. ghostwhowalksnz 9

    Forensically this is very smart.
    First the email tracking software, then the recording of meetings – which is revealed much later after ACC has dug itself deeper into a hole.

    Its like CSI

    • Te Reo Putake 9.1

      It’ll be just like CSI when we have a dead body. I’ll settle for a dead political career though.

      • Gosman 9.1.1

        It doesn’t look like it will be Judith Collins though based on this rather pathetic attempt at linking her to the leak given the latest revellations. Perhaps you would settle for Trevour Mallard’s head?

  10. ianmac 10

    Well it is alright then. Mr Key questions the validity of the tape. Risky stuff?
    “”Yes there appears to be a difference of opinion although, as we know with recordings, that it might not be the entire recording,” he said.”
    I expect he will find another expert who says the tape says the opposite.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10802432

    • Pascal's bookie 10.1

      It’s odd that he’d go out of his way to question the honesty of the account. A brush off due to the various investigations would have been the obvious thing.

  11. Tiger Mountain 11

    ullo, ullo, ullo what ’av we ’ere?….
    is this not a classic situation where it is better for ShonKey to be saying nothing? It is not a slow news day at least.

    “Key Questions Pullar Recording”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10802432

    • ianmac 11.1

      Snap!

    • happynz 11.2

      From the same Herald article link…

      Speaking to TVNZ’s Breakfast today, Mr Key raised questions about the recording.

      “Yes there appears to be a difference of opinion although, as we know with recordings, that it might not be the entire recording,” he said.

      “I’m not saying it is or it isn’t, I simply don’t know, but the important point there is that there are three investigations going on … and I’m sure they’ll look at all of the information that’s there.”

      That’s gonna need an industrial-sized barrel of syrup to cover all that waffle.

      😀

  12. Akldnut 12

    If Fuller received the information as an email there should have been a disclaimer (I think theyre called) on the bottom threatening legal action/consequences and stating the relevant act if the information was diseminated/dissected in part or whole?

    So if spreading the information would have been illegal, the idea that she would have demanded the 2 yrs payment when she would have been prosecuted would seem fairly implausible.

    So someone in ACC would have been telling porkies.

  13. veryinteresting 13

    Isnt it very interesting.
    The levy payer protects themself from ACC by recording a meeting with them.
    ACC make public allegations.
    The transcript of the recording is released to ACC, ACC refuse to correct their public allegation.
    the PM is quoted:
    “”Yes there appears to be a difference of opinion although, as we know with recordings, that it might not be the entire recording,” he said.”

    wait a minute: I dont recall any such view being put forward on the issue of the Tea Tape.

    This should be an alert to take note – any time you have to meet with ACC record it!

    So i wonder why is it that when a levy payer records ACC and produces a transcript to prove the allegations false is the levy payers recording deemed to have doubt on it.

    we are all levy payers, these issues are cause for concern at the culture within acc hope you never have a serious injury requiring their ” rehabilitation”. BTW the Department of Labour who monitor ACC define rehabilitation as ” exit” .

  14. Kevin 14

    Collins has delivered papers to Mallard and Little last Friday regarding defamation over the source of the leaks. It is entirely possible that Collins was not a party to the leaks, and that she had nothing to do with the release of Bronwyn Pullar’s file.
    It is my view that the leaks could have only come from ACC themselves, from the highest level, and was a bungled attempt at managing damage regarding Bronwyn Pullar’s case and the subsequent fallout which resulted in the resignation of Nic Smith

    • Adele 14.1

      Kevin

      Mallard and Little have only received letters from lawyers advising them that proceedings are being commenced and they have yet to be served with papers. I get the impression that Collins is trying to bully an apology from Mallard and Little to prevent what will be costly litigation on her part (she is personally paying for the defamation proceedings against both parties).

      She may need to ask John Banks on how to source anonymous donations – however, I don’t think in her case Kim Dotcom will be all that forthcoming.

      [lprent: 3 parties. RadioNZ is also on her hit list. I suspect that most of the legal machinations will be directed at them as the weaker link. That way she may get a figleaf apology from one party to cover her embarrassed naked butt as she retreats in triumph. /sarcasm off]

  15. Anne 15

    Collins has delivered papers to Mallard and Little last Friday regarding defamation over the source of the leaks. It is entirely possible that Collins was not a party to the leaks, and that she had nothing to do with the release of Bronwyn Pullar’s file.

    Not only is it possible, it’s beginning to look like it may be probable. However, the point of contention is:

    Did Judith Collins know it was an ACC inspired leak and if so, why did she declare she had no idea who was responsible? She may not have known the name of the ACC staffer who facilitated the leakage, but she must have known what was going on and seemingly chose to be part of the cover-up.

    • Gosman 15.1

      She may have known the source of the leak. She may also be a Reptillian space Alien sent down to rule over us. Unless you have evidence you are merely speculating.

  16. Carmen D 16

    Eddie, do you still contend that Collins leaked the email? A simple yes or no will suffice.

    We await your reply.

    • Ross 16.1

      I think she did leak the email. She provided the email to ACC when the email apparently said it was not to be given to anyone. She printed out the email when it is not clear why she would do so. She has failed to account for her actions. She has made it clear she dislikes Pullar. Paula Bennett made it clear she disliked Natasha Fuller before she (Bennett) disclosed private info to the media.

  17. tsmithfield 17

    “The Standard’s sources in National pointed the finger at Collins.”

    Perhaps this brings into question the wisdom of relying on “sources” within the enemy’s camp. A counter-intelligence op perhaps?

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