The left wing are in a frenzy thinking they are going to get a scalp. They are miffed that they couldn’t claim Nick Smith’s after he shot his own feet off. But they are baying for the blood of Judith Collins.
After yesterday’s Labour caucus they came out resolved to smear Collins and immediately started working over the gallery. They even got their lap-bloggers to try and attack me about it all.
There seems to be a great deal of focus on who sent what to whom. However in the house yesterday Judith Collins said in the house that she didn’t leak the email, nor did anyone in her office, and further she said that the Chair of ACC and the CEO have likewise said the same.
Predictably Michelle Boag has something to say and she put on her angry face to do it:
Former National Party president Michelle Boag has angrily dismissed suggestions she leaked the email she sent to ACC Minister Judith Collins about her friend Bronwyn Pullar’s controversial meeting with ACC managers.
She goes on:
She said the email was sent to Ms Collins in the expectation it would not be sent to anyone else.
“When you can’t send a communication to a Government minister without fearing that the privacy of that communication is going to be breached, that’s very, very dangerous.”
Actually Michelle Boag should know better. She should know that any communication with a ministers office in their¬†ministerial¬†capacity is searchable under the OIA. The email as reported by David Fisher was sent tot he ACC minister about an AC claimant, regarding matters pertaining the operations of ACC. Michelle Boag actually used the words “for the sake of your ministry, your board, your CEO“.¬†That absolutely falls under the category of the OIA as she was discussing ACC matters with a minister. Furthermore Michelle Boag appears to have been economical with the truth…again. She says it was sent to Judith Collins only. Judith Collins says otherwise:
Ms Collins said Ms Boag’s email was sent to herself and one staff member.
“I did not send it to anyone else. My staff member sent it to the chief executive of ACC and the chairman of the board, as I requested her to. It was not sent anywhere else.”
Michelle Boag has been around government for long enough to know that such correspondence, to a minister and to a, presumably, ministerial services staff member is searchable under the OIA. There cannot remotely be a privacy issue here as the email is clearly subject to the OIA.
Irrespective of that someone leaked the email to David Fisher before it could be discovered under the OIA.¬†Irrespective¬†of that too is the fact that as David Fisher reported there was the suggestion, confirmed by Boag in the email to the Minister that a deal had been sought to return the confidential data in return for cash and both Bronwyn Pullar and Michelle Boag were upset that the deal wasn’t being adhered to and as a result things were going to be messy for “for the sake of your ministry, your board, your CEO“. Those few words contain a clear threat…a threat that was delivered upon, but which actually managed to cost their friend his job.
What we have here is a apparent attempt to blackmail a department, and when that didn’t work an attempt to threaten a minister into action, like they did with Nick Smith. Sensibly Judith Collins sent the email straight to the ACC.
Laughably though Michelle Boag says she doesn’t wish to lay a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner.
Ms Boag said she was not responsible for the leak. However, she would not lay a complaint.
“I’m a busy girl. I’ve been in Wellington working all day for a living. I don’t have time to dwell all day on these things.
“The ball now is in ACC’s court. I will see what they will do,” Ms Boag said.
I’ll just be she doesn’t want to go down that rabbit hole. SHe is more worried about getting caught up in a blackmail charge or worse following a Police investigation. Little wonder she is working day and night in Wellington to shore up her shrinking business. I’m not sure i’d want someone not very well versed on the OIA to be representing my interests in government relations. I certainly wouldn’t want anyone who has the reverse Midas touch as bad as Michelle Boag to ever come near any business or organisation I¬†had¬†anything to do with.