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?