Stop Digging

After putting out a press release the other day saying she won’t be commenting, Bronwyn Pullar has spent today…commenting…to everyone.

Clearly her PR maven “friend” Michelle Boag has ditched her because rule number one in dealing with a massive PR disaster of your own making is stop digging.

So Pullar has been thrown under the bus by Boag as she seeks to shore up her lucrative Government contracts.

As a result Bronwyn Pullar is spouting on in the media, contradicting both Michelle Boag’s positions and also her own. She has issued another press release today.

This reads like a statement of facts for the Police investigation.

Right there she has cooked her goose. She has just said that she is holding onto the file to ensure that all the things in points 2-7 are done…that is extortion, indeed blackmail.

It beggars belief that she retains the the file sent in error to her. Any decent person would have destroyed it and given an undertaking as such. No reasonable, decent person retains the file, for months on end, only to produce it at a meeting…for what logical, reasonable and decent reason. There is only one possible reason to retaining it…to extract some value from the file.

ACC has said that Bronwyn Pullar, with her support person there with her threatened to make the file public if she didn’t get what she was demanding. Michelle Boag confirmed that in the original David Fisher article. She talks about only getting 1 year when they were expecting 2 years payments from the deal. That statement doesn’t wash with Bronwyn Pullar’s assertions now that she wasn’t threatening to release the file. And yet miraculously, completely unrelated to this meeting Brownyn Pullar gave the file and a story to Phil Kitchin.

It is interesting that Phil Kitchin says that he never saw all the file, and Bronwyn Pullar and Michelle Boag also say they redacted the file to “protect identities and information”. How then could Phil Kitchin contend that the file, or as he says “thousands of files” contained case information about the nature of the injuries sustained. Given the statements of all concerned this cannot possibly be true. It appears Phil Kitchin has been shopped a story, hasn’t researched it and unnecessarily scared thousands of complainant who had nothing more released than that which is contained in the phone book.

The DomPost also breathlessly reported that Bronwyn Pullar had her accident on the verge of a massive $22 million deal. We already know from Cactus Kate’s post on the issue that she was on the lash with Bronwyn Pullar the night before her accident.

Having been out even to a moderate lunch with Cactus, the claim that on the eve of a $22 million deal you would go to a bar with her ruins any credibility you ever had. It simply wouldn’t be possible, the two events are mutually exclusive.

Bronwyn Pullar’s backstory reads like that of a fantasist. Not unlike that of the Ministry of Defence charlatan, Stephen Wilce. There are many holes and inconsistencies and right now the media will be picking over the more fanciful claims. Especially the Zespri claims and the $22 million deal.

Now onto Michelle Boag. What a piece of work she is. Here she is saying she was at the meeting as a support person. Then today she has spent a great deal of time trying to tell media and other people that she barely knows Bronwyn Pullar. This in and of itself is farcical, but then Michelle Boag is the person who misled a Commission of Inquiry, so what is a little spin between friends when you are in trouble.

However let’s look at the role of the support person. Imagine for a moment that you have friend….that friend is angry, bitter, thinks they are hard done by in dealings with a un-caring government department. This friend acknowledges that they suffer dreadfully from their head injury, that they need assistance with cognitive functions. This friend then comes to you and says that she has a file, it is personal details of other claimants and has an idea that she could use that to get a better deal for herself.

At that point the support person had a decision to make. they could have counselled that friend and explained that to ask for consideration of any sort in return for destroying the data or returning it is extortion, or blackmail. A good friend acting in a support role would have done that. Instead what happened is the support person actually went along with the whole set up. They attended the meeting, and knowing Michelle Boag she most certainly would not have been sitting there giving Bronwyn Pullar shoulder rubs and pats on the hand as she cried about how hard done she was. No, she went along and supported her friend, her is acknowledged as having a head injury in what has been described by ACC as an attempted black mail. The support person is now in a worse position than the bewildered, unstable, angry claimant….they are actually more responsible now for the perilous legal position of the claimant. Some support huh?

Now that the proverbial is hitting the fan large, Michelle Boag is running around pretending that she only barely knows Bronwyn Pullar…except Bronwyn and Micheel were virtually joined at the hip at every National party function, and Brownyn always skited to everyone about her good friend Michelle who helped her get a settlement with an insurance company and then who introduced her to one of the trustees of her fund set up to invest that settlement.

A support person helps, not hinders a distressed person and when times are tough they don’t abandon ship. The actions of Bronwyn Pullar and Michelle Boag have taken out a cabinet minister. Who else have they put at risk?

Both of these women need to shut up and put down the shovels. Someone needs to have a coffee with Michelle Boag and tell her just quietly to emigrate…she will never work in public relations again.

Michelle Boag has never delivered a single good headline for the National, but plenty of bad ones. It is time all her apologists carded her. Nothing good comes from her involvement.


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  • Tracey

    Some interesting comments. Can you clarify why someone waiting for a sign off on a $22m deal wouldn’t go out for some drinks at a bar? Often the negotiation is well over by the night before and all that is awaited is the signatures?

    Given your access to information in the past have you heard any whispers about who leaked the emails containing the private details of ACC people? Are the police investigating this, to your knowledge?

    In amongst all this scrutiny one point seems to be lost, that real people, with real problems (including abuse) have their personal details sent to a stranger. HOW that happened, and by WHOM, is surely as important (if not more so) than whether Nick Smith wants to clear his name?

    If I understand Nick Smith’s defense it goes something like this:

    “I resisted the temptation to kill someone 200 times, and only succumbed and killled them the last time”


    • joe bloggs

      “who leaked the emails containing the private details of ACC people?” = you’re ‘trolling’ for red herrings Tracey
      What’s with your attempt to reframe the emailing of the file to Pullar as leaking??? 

      and in amidst all your scrutiny – one point has been deliberately avoided by you. Pullar received something she should not have received. Had she one solitary moral or ethical bone in her body she would have returned it immediately – END OF STORY.

      But no, not only did she sit on the file and use it as a bargaining chip, but she sent it to a journo as well.

    • Peter Wilson

      Tracey, I understand investigations are ongoing by the privacy commissioner and the police, so it will all come out. I’m wondering now if this is a botched attempt at setting Bronwyn up. A file with names and no addresses; what would such a file exist?

      And I’m not sure why people think she should straight away delete or return(?) the files. She’s had an ongoing battle with ACC’s abuse of privacy, and she’s delivered absolute proof in her inbox. At the least she’d want to think about it, reflect on what she should do next.

      Yes, Nick Smith’s a done deal. Discredited and disgraced, it’s over to him now to rebuild his career, and the best of luck to him.

      • Most organisations with any sense cover themselvse with a post script rider stating if you receive this email in error please notify us immediately and/or return etc Like this:
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        it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material.  Any
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    • Cynic

      Tracey, it wasn’t a deal it was a proposal she claims needed finishing. For heavens sake the woman wasn’t the CEO she was a marketing consultant, you know the ones in charge of the fluffy brochures. Fantasist.

  • joe bloggs

    From Pt 5 in Pullar’s release:

    “I never threatened to use the file containing sensitive data at the meeting of 1 
    December 2011. I never threatened to use the file in any way at this meeting, or at any other 
    time … (and in the very next breath)… I subsequently passed on the file to a journalist, as evidence of this privacy breach”

    So no threats according to Pullar – but passing the file to a journo is a pretty unethical action, and one that was made without any warning, according to her own account.

    Clearly she has a axe to grind with ACC and has no scruples about how she goes about it.

    • Expensive mistake?

      It’s just as well the contents of the file were not libellous, just medical details and the like.  Otherwise the affected people, all 9000 of them could have a field day suing Bronwyn for publishing defamatory material.  Better, don’t forward or retain emails if you know you have no right to them, complain immediately to the Privacy Commissioner if you feel there was any deeper issue involved, but do it immediately.  I’m not sure why the ACC staff would be able to draw out names rather than anonymous claimant id numbers from a database to shove in a spreadsheet.  It seems that they are indeed a bit amateurish.  Why don’t they have a look at how the Ministry of Health and IRD prevent this sort of botch up?

  • Tracey

    Do we know if she passed the file to the journalist to prove the breach of privacy, rather than to allow the revelation of all those poor folks details?

    I’d liek the issue to be who the hell leaked or “accidentally” email this stuff to her.

    • Pete George

      It’s a bizarre story right through – and that is the strangest part, a very odd coincidence if Pullar just happened to be an accidental recipient of the email.

    • Kimbo

       “Do we know if she passed the file to the journalist to prove the breach
      of privacy, rather than to allow the revelation of all those poor folks

      Wrong question, that sucks one into the “how many angels can dance on a
      pin-head” shell game (to mix metaphors!) gambit Pullar is attempting.

      If Pullar ends up in court, her defence will no doubt be an attempt to muddy the waters regarding her “intent”.

      For now, however, it is really, really simple:

      She received the information, she
      should have deleted it on the spot/returned it to ACC. Instead,
      passive-aggressive games about how “I would never pass on the
      information” – and then she does!

      Louis the fish turns up at your business with two of his Sicilian mates
      talking about all the “unfortunate accidents” that have happened in the
      neighbourhood, which his local security service can ensure, for a
      monthly fee, will not interfere with your business. What’s really
      happening?! Pullar dragged Smith and Boag into her scheme. What was
      really happening?!

      Then again, judging on how the jury ruled/couldn’t make a decision on
      the Urewera Four trial this week, good luck to her beating the wrap if she
      is ever prosecuted.

    • politically unstable

      “”Do we know if she passed the file to the journalist to prove the breach
      of privacy, rather than to allow the revelation of all those poor folks

       the reason for passing the file to anyone is inconsequential. She should have returned the file or deleted it.

      But for Pullman….
      Very simple. the rest of the whys and therefores is for the womens
      weekly MSM

  • Peter Wilson

    Quite interesting this belief in the sincerity of the beloved ACC. Pullar seems to be someone with a few personality problems, brought about by her accident. Hence her repetitive behaviour(her words) and aspects of paranoia and obsession. So, some compassion required to start with.

    However her views on ACC and her dealings with them, not to mention their numerous privacy breaches do raise concern. Why were no records kept of the meeting? And why did they only refer this issue to the police now? Too many unanswered questions.

    Are we all so naive to not understand how these things work by the way. There would have been two listed agendas at the meeting: the privacy/files issue, and the ongoing problems with Bronwyn’s claim. Ms Pullar would have been smart to deal with her claim/benefit first. That’s not blackmail, but smart tactics.

    Most importantly, whats going on with the turning on Michelle Boag? Is this is some kind of ongoing internal National Party battle, or a feud? If so, this needs to be divulged.

    • Kimbo

       Knew I could depend on you, Peter Wilson, to respond to the claim of a plot theory.
      Pavlov’s Dogs!

      You were on the right track with, “Are we all so naive to not understand
      how these things work by the way”, but then took a wrong detour.

      Occam’s razor – the simplest explanation is to be preferred. ACC is a
      government department and a bloody inefficient and incompetent one at
      that. They stuffed up sending the email in the first place. They aren’t
      smart or skilled enough to do the set-up that Pullar’s double-bluff
      would have reasonable folks believe.

      But your post has some use as we’ve seem the trial-run of the third line
      of defence Pullar and her apologists will be running, especially if
      charges are laid against her. Which are: –

      1. She never had any intention of blackmailing ACC

      2. She is the victim of a sinister ACC set-up

      3. She is (to quote you), “someone with a few personality problems, brought about by her accident.
      Hence her repetitive behaviour(her words) and aspects of paranoia and
      obsession. So, some compassion required to start with”.

      However, I think I’m right that she is only allowed to run with one of these if she has to defend herself in court.

      • Peter Wilson

        The point is Kimbo, Ms Pullar is portrayed as some important player in the political scene, therefore worthy of attack. The truth, I suspect, is she is an unfortunate individual who was had some unlucky breaks – literally. We all know people who just refuse to let go of issues.

        What’s happened is that Boag and Smith have been been sucked into her world and are no doubt regretting the extent of their involvement. And to the ACC staff, well they probably regard her as normal, compared to the rest of their clientele.

        But that’s about it.

  • parorchestia

    The main issues are these:
    –   the ACC employee sent the list by mistake.  It is only too easy to make such mistakes when using email.
     –   Pullar’s acts were deliberate and considered acts of commission. She withheld returning or destroying the email, which is scurrilous.  She tried to use them to her advantage.-   Boag is culpable by not advising Pullar correctly and by being passively complicit during the meetings when Pullar tried to gain an advantage by blackmail.No doubt the ACC employee has suffered severely.No doubt Pullar and Boag won’t.There ain’t no justice, as they say in Lumsden.

  • Evan Johnson

    Bronwyn Pullar’s behaviour is so extreme I think we can blame the Bicycle accident for  a lot of what we see.  

    But what are the excuses for Nick Smith and Michelle Boag?

    • Cynic

      Whomsaid the head injury was to blame? By many accounts the woman was an irritating, name dropping dependent tale of social climbing destruction before falling off her bike,

  • Roland S

    Both of these women need to shut up and put down the shovels. Someone needs to have a coffee with Michelle Boag and tell her just quietly to emigrate…she will never work in public relations again.

    • Fozzie

      But Roland she has just launched a new PR firm – bound to have lots of Govt contracts…seems the more shit some shovel the better the deal esp if you have National Party contacts ….. and people that owe you …..ay John

      • Roland S

        Yes and I imagine her partners are reeling in their chairs to learn about her true involvement with Pullar and ACC, mind she will scuttle out of it again like she always does… I think Whale Oil is right she leave town now and go quietly…  but sadly she will  continue her smoke and mirrors routine someplace else.. We have one in Chrsitchurch also, recently contracted by the council without any discussion or approval to do a survey on themselves for $80K ratepayers money    I’d put that Felicity Price in the same dirty bucket as Ms Boag.

  • Meutaylor

    Surely the issue of interest is why John Key is trying to bury the whole situation.  What is he afraid of?  Who is he protecting?