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:
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?