The Dim-Post

March 20, 2012

The weird ACC thing

Filed under: general idiocy — danylmc @ 1:10 pm

I don’t really understand what’s happening with ACC, Nick Smith, Judith Collins and the National Party – but here’s a theory to explain some of the weirdness.

On October 2010 Bronwyn Pullar – who received the confidential case files at the same time she was contesting ACC’s refusal to compensate her after a biking accident – sent an email to ACC Minister Nick Smith, a number of people in the media, and WhaleOil, who reproduced it on his blog. Highlight:

Nick

This is the sort of crap that is now coming out of ACC.  This is NOT a mistake as you are making out Nick.  You are just covering up corruption that is alive and well within ACC.  ACC is rotten to the core and I have numerous examples that could seriously embarrass you, over and above this.

Ten months later Nick Smith wrote his letter testifying that Pullar was his friend, and he could vouch for her health prior to her accident.

I’m not an expert on National Party etiquette, but that first email doesn’t seem that friendly. My guess is that Smith wrote his reference to try and placate Pullar, possibly as a negotiated deal. Sounds like she still didn’t get her payment so she took her confidential data to the Dom-Post in revenge. Does that all sound somewhat plausible?

And not standing Smith down as a Minister during the investigation is unusual, third-term stuff. Does that mean whatever hidden, internecine war within the Nats that this represents has been settled? Or does the government need Smith in play to move forward on local government reform. Was the leak timed to coincide with his legislative initiative?

About these ads

26 Comments »

  1. Or is it all just a manufactured red herring?

    It looks like a whole bunch of people fired from the hip. The CEO said it didn’t contain information that it then proved did. The Minister claimed that the claimant tried to “blackmail” the organisation. This is in dispute. The old Minister says he didn’t try to influence, and yet he wrote it “as a friend” on Parliamentary letterhead.

    The real issue here is the privacy breach, now forgotten in the back and forth allegations and counter allegations.

    It seems that the staffer hit send when they shouldn’t have, but is there more to it?

    One media outlet reported a claimant had received no less than four letters over the years apologising for breaches.

    As far as “Whaleoil” goes, any opinion really needs to be taken with a grain of salt, self promotion is a terrible monkey to have on your back.

    The bottom line is that ACC holds sensitive medical information on millions of New Zealanders. In the spirit of the current government, aka John Key, “there needs to be more transperancy”. Damn straight there does, we should have the right to understand how ACC protects our personal information.

    Comment by atomictaniwha — March 20, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

  2. I think your timeline is wrong as they were negotiating about this data for some time after the NS letter (but I really can’t be arsed with the minutiae so could be wrong). MAybe it was a “oh for goodness sake are you happy NOW? Please leave me alone” letter.

    Comment by insider — March 20, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

  3. Nick Smith really should have learned to stay away from this sort of thing after his public meddling in a Family Court dispute a few years ago. If he didn’t want to get involved, he could always have… not got involved.

    Comment by Fuzzy Dunlop — March 20, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

  4. MAybe it was a “oh for goodness sake are you happy NOW? Please leave me alone” letter.

    I think it’s something like that. ‘No, I can’t write a letter recommending you get a settlement. What I can do for you . . .’

    Comment by danylmc — March 20, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

  5. Tommy Carcetti’s Chief of Staff would have known what to do

    Comment by tinakori — March 20, 2012 @ 3:14 pm

  6. I think one has to cast ones mind back to when Slater Snr was National President and after a fractious fight was deposed by one Michelle Boag after a single term. In Michelle’s words she had to clean out the ‘Dead Wood’
    That sort of slight would never be forgotten and may well explain some of the weird comments coming from Slater jnr.

    Comment by Ron — March 20, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

  7. Smith goofed, but *really* should have known better, but with Boag and Slater involved…. And doesn’t it look like [X] was trying to coerce a cabinet minister?

    Funny how this kind of stuff is okay for National ministers and party cronies, but any other party, and the NatTrolls would be all on it like ….

    Comment by bob — March 20, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

  8. … like flies on shit?

    … like Tories in a brothel?

    … like what?

    Comment by petronious — March 20, 2012 @ 4:49 pm

  9. corruption in ACC? Looks more like the national party ganging up together to coerce a favourable settlement from ACC for one of their inner circle

    Comment by not impressed — March 20, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

  10. this is looking far worse than engaging a tiler for their bathroom. Field quite rightly went down.

    roll on police investigation….

    Comment by not impressed — March 20, 2012 @ 6:18 pm

  11. This is just the standard behaviour that we have experienced and can continue to expect from the “I am relaxed about it” John Key government.

    Comment by Andrew R — March 20, 2012 @ 6:45 pm

  12. I thought it was a “ACC is so terrible that a more costly private insurance alternative will seem like a good thing” strategy. Not helped by some of the wacky things that ACC (may?) have done, plus haven’t ACC got rid of most of their comms team?

    Comment by Owen — March 20, 2012 @ 6:59 pm

  13. This is bad for National. I’ll be surprised if Smith survives this. Both Labour and Peters are really sinking their teeth in. Peters is a terrible old bastard, but he’s got the gumption to inspire ferocity from Labour frontbenchers. Smith’s evasive answers open more lines of inquiry to follow, so it could go anywhere.

    Comment by George D — March 20, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

  14. It seems that the staffer hit send when they shouldn’t have, but is there more to it?

    You bet your life there’s more to it. It has to have been a leak. I can’t quite figure out how someone could “accidentally” email 6700 files to a woman who has been creating merry hell because ACC didn’t give her what she felt she was entitled to.

    I reckon the staffers actually agreed with her that she deserved the claim but their hands were tied. In fact ACC have been ruthless in declining claims left, right and centre for the most spurious of reasons since our man Nick took the reins and told us all that it was in crisis and too much money was being spent. An ingrown toenail at age three can become a cause of “wear and tear” to someone who falls off their bike and hurts themselves later in life, thus disqualifying them from compensation.

    The woman would have kicked up a stink, threatened to expose ACC us unfair bastards and promised to invoke Nick. And the files would have appeared in her inbox, inviting her to do just that.

    If he loses his job, there will be more than a few kiwis who will quietly think “serves you right.”

    Comment by Neil — March 20, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

  15. “It seems that the staffer hit send when they shouldn’t have, but is there more to it?”

    You bet your life there’s more to it. It has to have been a leak. I can’t quite figure out how someone could “accidentally” email 6700 files to a woman who has been creating merry hell because ACC didn’t give her what she felt she was entitled to.

    I reckon the staffers actually agreed with her that she deserved the claim but their hands were tied. In fact ACC have been ruthless in declining claims left, right and centre for the most spurious of reasons since our man Nick took the reins and told us all that it was in crisis and too much money was being spent. An ingrown toenail at age three can become a cause of “wear and tear” to someone who falls off their bike and hurts themselves later in life, thus disqualifying them from compensation.

    The woman would have kicked up a stink, threatened to expose ACC us unfair bastards and promised to invoke Nick. And the files would have appeared in her inbox, inviting her to do just that.

    If he loses his job, there will be more than a few kiwis who will quietly think “serves you right.”

    Comment by Neil — March 20, 2012 @ 9:38 pm

  16. Actually it is a labour plot to embarrass the unembarrassed.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — March 20, 2012 @ 9:57 pm

  17. and the NatTrolls would be all on it like ….

    * Don Brash at an Ayn Rand meeting…….
    * David Icke at a herpetology conference…….

    Comment by Mr February — March 20, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

  18. Why is the only thing Ian Revell is remembered for not on his Wikipedia page?

    Comment by bka — March 20, 2012 @ 10:51 pm

  19. I think Nick’s chickens are home and roosting on Occam’s Razor.

    He is the man who announced ACC was “in crisis” when he became the minister and since then claimants have been declined on the most spurious of grounds. Talked to your family doctor lately? They’ll tell you that ACC claims you and I would consider fair and just are rejected on grounds like “natural wear and tear.” So the woman who fell off her bike and can’t work was probably told that her incapacity is the result of an ingrown toenail she had when she was three. The only difference is that she knows people in high places and was prepared to kick up a stink.

    The 6,700 files that were “accidentally” sent to her are almost certainly a leak from a pissed-off ACC work who has had a gutsful of being abused by angry people whose claims have been turned down.

    Nick probably wants us all to turn to private insurers in frustration, because it’s enshrined in the Nat party constitution that private people do it better.

    He sent the letter because she’s got something on him and he wants it to go away.

    Comment by Neil — March 21, 2012 @ 7:12 am

  20. According to the Herald, Winston has raised the possibility that Ms. Pullar may have been *ahem* “more than just a friend” to Nick Smith. Nick Smith’s response – “I’m just not commenting on my private life” would tend to confirm this. I note also that the local government reforms are being “watered down” directly from the PM’s office.

    Already, John Key is manoeuvering for wiggle room – the PM’s department now claiming the PM knew nothing about the letter in question until last week. Dr. Smiths head will be on a platter soon, methinks.

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 21, 2012 @ 7:45 am

  21. BTW Cactus Kate seems to have some of the inside oil on this tasty little scandal.

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 21, 2012 @ 7:47 am

  22. oh how exciting!

    Comment by merv — March 21, 2012 @ 9:32 am

  23. He’s now resigned.

    Comment by Plum — March 21, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

  24. Hasta La Vista, Dr Smith!

    Comment by Mr February — March 21, 2012 @ 10:17 pm

  25. Modified limited hangout

    Comment by Rob — March 21, 2012 @ 10:25 pm

  26. Dr. Smiths head will be on a platter soon, methinks.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10793534

    Comment by Flynn — March 21, 2012 @ 10:47 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Rubric Theme. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 420 other followers

%d bloggers like this: