Roughan on Pullar Scandal: Someone deserves a medal

NZ Herald

John Roughan has described the leaker as a hero for outing Bronwyn Pullar and her stand-over scam with Michelle Boag:

Somebody in or near the Accident Compensation Corporation deserves a medal. I was going to award it to the minister, Judith Collins, but she is suing those who suggest it was she who ensured the name Bronwyn Pullar was brought to public notice, so it can’t have been her.

I hope my hero is the case manager at ACC who accidentally emailed that file containing personal data on 6700 people to a persistent claimant last year. When news of that “massive privacy breach” hit the papers, I couldn’t summon much concern. Email accidents can happen in an instant.

But when the corporation then accused the recipient of an attempt to use the accident to advance her own claim with threats that she would go to the media if her claim wasn’t met, I rejoiced. It is so rare to see a public body return serve.

They didn’t name Ms Pullar but the Herald on Sunday got hold of an email to the minister from the indomitable Michelle Boag that identified her, along with Ms Boag’s own supporting role.

Ms Boag plays hard ball too. She said it was the ACC staffer they met in December who had made any benefit conditional on the return of the data.

Well, all we know is that three months after that meeting ACC’s security lapse was made public. That suggests the ACC staff resisted Ms Pullar’s injury claim, unlike its previous minister, Nick Smith, who succumbed eventually to her appeals to intercede.

ACC staff were not swayed by their minister’s interest in the case. And when the information that Boag says they did not threaten to release was released, someone fought back, putting the whole story out. Brilliant.

Rare, brave, refreshing and brilliant.

He is scathing of the integrity, or lack of it from Bronwyn Pullar:

If a few of the 6700 ACC claimants whose details were inadvertently sent to Pullar’s computer were reportedly victims of sexual abuse, their cases would have offered her no comparison with hers, a physical injury 10 years ago.

I prefer to assume she would have the decency not to peer into their details, but then she didn’t have the decency to return or destroy the file as soon as she realised what had happened.

That failure disgraces her I think, regardless of what the police might decide about her subsequent dealings with the ACC.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.