The blackmail scandal lurches onwards

The soap opera continues today. Michelle Boag and Bronwyn Pullar are spinning crocodile tears now and only really have Phil Kitchin to shop stories to. He is trying valiantly but it is more out of self preservation than anything else.

Any day soon other journalists are going to compare his breathless reporting against the facts and find that the much vaunted investigative journalist has hyped a story that was fed to him by two women on a mission.

Meanwhile in the NZ Herald we find out more about the lengthy communications relationship between Bronwyn Pullar and Nick Smith:

Then-ACC Minister Nick Smith wrote a reference for his friend and National Party insider Bronwyn Pullar as she was battling to secure entitlements from the corporation.

Dr Smith said last night it was sent “as a friend” in July last year to provide evidence of his knowledge of her state of health before her cycling accident in 2002.

He said the letter was written only so Ms Pullar could give it to her medical assessors, and this morning told Radio New Zealand he’d be quite happy to make it public.

Why on earth would Nick Smith do that? He is an MP from Nelson, she is a marketing person from Auckland. It seems strange that a minister would compromise his position in such a way.

Dr Smith said Ms Pullar had emailed him many times seeking his intervention in her case after he became minister in 2008 but he had declined saying it would be inappropriate.

This morning he told Radio New Zealand he would be happy for the letter to be made public.

Oh good grief…emails, letter, multiple times….anyone would think they used to be lovers with all that carry on.

One thing is for sure, as more information filters out, is that Bronwyn Pullar cannot in anyway be called a “whistle-blower”. She only became a “whistle-blower” once it became apparent that her and Boag’s standover tactics had failed. That just makes her look like a petulant blackmailer.

It looks like ACC follows the same rule si have with blackmailers…never pay them, otherwise they just keep coming back for more.

This is now likely to play out in parliament, especially if Winston has gotten a whiff of the players involved in this tawdry affair.


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  • LesleyNZ

    Lesson to be learned Bronwyn Pullar .You should have done the honourable thing and deleted the email attachment that wasn’t meant for your eyes.  
    “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”Mark Twain (1835 – 1910) 

    • grandstream

      Just wondering – how did an attachment that size get throuygh the ACC firewall ? I am ssuming that a file with that much info woudl have been blocked ?

      • AnonWgtn

        Which staff member in ACC leaked this letter to another ACC claimant so she could bitch about preferential treatment, and contact the Herald ?
        ACC confidential security – bullshit, or an Agenda ?

  • rouppe

    Oh no… Now it turns out it was on ministerial letterhead.

  • Dutyfree

    Nick Smith, idiot. Those two phrases are interchangeable.

    • Bunswalla

      Nick Smith is a name, not a phrase.

      Idiot is a word, not a phrase.

      “Drinking too much duty free makes you pissed.” Now that’s a phrase.

      • kehua

        Nice pun B.

  • Dr Wang

    It seems that recently, anything that Michelle Boag has to do with seems to turn to shit, and she’s up to her neck with this one.

    No surprise though, ever since Koro Wetere, I have never trusted any politician with a comb-over.

  • BJ

    What is obvious here is that Bronwyn Pullar bullied Nick Smith by pestering and pestering him to write a reference for her. He has finally given in to the ‘the squeaky wheel’ and unfortunenately written what she could have had any number of friends or collegues  write without risking putting her ‘friend’ in a compromisings position.  He should not be hung and quartered for what was foolish but acting with integrity nevertheless.  Copy of the letter Nick Smith wrote to ACC re Bronwyn Pullar is on the Herald website next to Adam Bennetts article

    • Andrew Williams once wrote me a reference, but I didn’t use it- it smelt funny and the ink had run.

      • Bunswalla

        That wasn’t ink

    • Fozzie

      Oh poor little Nicky was bullied by a nasty girl…. give it over BJ – Nick Smith has a penchant for ‘bad decision making’ – his last little foray ended in an out of court defamation suit that cost you and me taxpayers nearly $400,000. The man is not stable and Key would be best to see this instead of cover his arse  using our money

    • politically unstable

       Not bullied…there is obviously something that has occured though, that she was able to get some “leverage” over Smith.

    • Kthxbai

      He was clear in the letter to restrict his comments to his personal experience of the woman.  But he should have had more sense and backbone than to have written it at all.

  • Deep blue

    Mistress Boag probably set up Nick ‘take the pills’ Smith with Puller. One can only imagine the state of Nick Smith’s office and I bet his staff will be ducking for cover as the phone books go flying around the office as the Minister walks past.

    Really, all that can be said of this complete clusterfuck that continues to blow out of hand is this. Just fuck off michelle boag.

    • Fozzie

      Don’t think you can blame Nick’s ineptitude on Boag – he wrote the letter!!! He’s a big boy don’t you know prepared to wave the big stick at all the councils, but can’t stand up to one head injured mate …. please it is time for Nick to stand on his own two feet and stop getting everyone else making excuses for his dodgy decision making

  • Anonymous

    Madam Lash anyone?
    Why go to the ACC Minister and have him write a letter for you that doesn’t interfere in your ongoing case? Silly girl. And Nick Smith? What an idiot. Everyone knows you can’t write letters for your mates on letterhead. At best it should have been on plain paper. But preferably not at all.

  • MrV

    Whats the bet we see Winson try to wade into this despite his very blatant peddling of payola from the racing industry.

  • Jester

    Barring Pullar and Boags performance all the rest is all just rather ho hum. Wow, Smith gave her a reference on ministerial paperhead. Whoopty fucking do! I think everyone is forgetting that if there was a sinister coruptive strain amongst it all then Pullar would have her ACC payments streaming into he bank account quicker than Trevors Trade Me Account.

    Well at least this will get all the numpties over at the Strandard excited. They might not all shift to Finland afterall.

  • one_of_the_acc_6700

    I want to know how Bronwyn Pullar “who is the worst person who could have recieved an accidential file attachment from ACC” just happened to be the recipient of the latest ACC mistake of sending info to one of it’s clients, it’s very very odd. Further to that she sent a sample of the
    accidential attachment (6,700 clients info) to the Whale Oil Website and said here is proof but according to Whale Oil she sent him a sample of “another lot” of info that she was holding. So you have to ask yourself this, she has obviously been getting details/leaks from lots of people to
    build her campaign against ACC BUT HOW did Bronwyn Pullar just happen to be the latest recipient of the recent 6700 client files? It seems very odd that it just happened to be Bronwyn, one of probably very few people who is collecting leaked info to build up a case against ACC.
    One thing that is clear is that Bronwyn can not be trusted, everyone makes mistakes, the ACC case manager made a mistake when he/she supposedly sent the attachment to Bronwyn. 99.99% of people would simply call ACC and tell them what happened, delete the file and carry
    on. I certainly would anyway. So if you can think of a good explanation for “HOW Bronwyn just happened to be the recipient of the accidential email attachment about 6,700 ACC clients” please post your thoughts. Wouldn’t she have more luck winning Lotto? Something very dodgey is
    going on with Bronwyn Pullar, sounds like she left her brain on the street when she fell off her bike. One thing that should please us all is that when Bronwyn Pullar has finished making a complete cock of herself and messing with our/my private information including using it to blackmail ACC she is highly unlikely to ever get so much as a penny from them as long as she rides her buckled bicycle on this land. Your day will come Bronwyn and I can’t wait to see you go over the handlebars while everyone cheers with delight! I’m no doctor but I can see that your head did contact the pavement with considerable force.  

    • @BoJangles

        Is that you tamati?

      • one_of_the_acc_6700


  • Guest

    Typical psycho bitch who thinks she’s special, I’ve met many like that… If you don’t let them get away with the dodgy stuff they email your manager, their manager the GM the CEO the pope , etc. they’re normally from sales/marketing background

    • one_of_the_acc_6700

      Yep, bang on, cry baby attitude, “I’m telling on you” type little bitch. We have all met at least one!

  • Mark

    I don’t see too much wrong with the letter from Smith.. poor judgement perhaps but he was explicit in what he was not trying to do. And the Excel file.. no names, very little info. But yeah, sounds like an agenda somewhere, Winston’s probably got his grubby fingers in there somewhere.

    • one_of_the_acc_6700

      How do you figure NO Names?

  • MeHere

    But what better people for National to use (Boag and Pullar) as a justification for the privitisation of ACC – rather than the improvement!

    • Tony Twiss

      I think if Cameron was a real journalist and wanted to provide his readers with a balanced story he would have dug more into Bronwyn Pullars work history prior to her accident .

      For almost 20 years her career was one of corporate over-achievement – all that ended the day she was hit by a car and she suffered brain injuries that she struggles with to this day . 

      I would have thought Cameron of all people would respect that the brain is a fragile thing
      Many of the things that made her as successful as she was in the corporate world prior to the accident she still posesses .

      She is still highly intelligent , she is still a strong & forceful woman, she has a huge passion for family & friends  , and she is still very blunt , frank , open and honest communicator  as would be expected from a farm girl from Southland . She still has all of these attributes BUT yet  she will never reach the career heights she achieved previous to her Brain Injury .

      There in lies the problem for ACC . Bronwyn was good at what she did and she got paid very well to do what she did .

      I don’t know all the details of the case  but I do know that ACC is there for ALL New Zealanders – NO matter how much they earn / NO matter what their personality is .
      It would be good if Cameron could give his readers more details on the injury , when it was and why it is still an issue so many years later – Then we might get some more balanced insight into what the real story is .

      Where there is smoke there is often fire as many contributors to this thread have already outlined  and sadly it actually detracts from the great stuff that ACC has done for New Zealand over almost 4 decades .

      And as for Michele Boag – In my “Old School” New Zealand even people like Michele Boag are allowed to have good friends and Bronwyn and her are good friends of long standing . Not just political or business acquaintances but real good mates .

      And in my “Old School” New Zealand my mates know that if they have a problem then I will be there for them and I will do what I can even if its bugger all except moral support .

      Its not Bronwyns fault that her mate Michele is good at what she does .

      Instead of cutting down some Tall Poppies just focus on doing your bit to make sure that
      Central & Local Government are working for the people needs  and not for Central & Local Governments needs .

      Integrity is doing the right thing even when you know no one is watching
      My view on Integrity is a fairly pure one . I think if there was an “Integrity scale” my definition would be at the top  with No integrity at the bottom. I don’t profess to have always lived my life at the giddying heights of the top of the scale but I do sincerely try One only has to look at World events over the last 4 years to understand that what we are experiencing is predominantly the result of 20 -30 years of corporations and governments operating ever closer to the bottom of the integrity scale .If Bronwyn Pullar’s case had been treated with integrity somewhere back towards the beginning of her 9 year battle with ACC we would not be having this conversation .If our political system  had integrity (I appreciate the oxymoron) then they would lay their concerns about ACC and its affordability out in the open for all to debate. Politicians make so much of the need to “upskill”and “think/act smarter” to face future challenges but they continue to treat us like retards when it comes to our ability to handle open and frank debate .Much is made of people “gaming” the ACC system for their own benefit .However , is the whole “degenerative” strategy by ACC in collusion with our politicians not “gaming” the system to their own idealogical benefit .Two wrongs do not make a right . If you have a system where both sides are gaming it then you have a system that is lacking inate integrity .So in a system lacking integrity if Cameron Slater had a friend who was being shafted by the system I woould ask him this  “If you were a  good friends with Michele Boag and if you knew she maybe able to get your friends voice properly heard in order to get what should have been hers by right – would you have sought Boag’s help ? “People  in Boags area of expertise (and Cameron Slaters/ Whaleoil blog  by extension ) exist only because of an increasing lack of integrity in the system . If everyone on both sides of the spectrum is gaming the system then there is always a strong market for the consummate performers in that game – no different to the the All Blacks and Rugby .  As for Bronwyn Pullar  – over 100’s of thousands of years mankind  has been instilled with an inherent survival characteristic – that being fight or flight . Pullar has decided to fight for her rights and she is made out to be a pariah for it .Wheres the integrity in that ? 

      • one_of_the_acc_6700

        I have no idea what all that was about, can you translate? How about having a brief crack at answering my question above about “HOW” Pullar got her grubby mits on the 6,700 files? Coincidence… come on!

      • Did Bronwyn tell you how pissed she was when she had her accident and why she was riding a bike?

      • Euan Rt

        I got as far as “if Cameron was a real journalist…” Wrong premise so the rest must be irrelevant.

      • one_of_the_acc_6700

        Cam, do you mean pissed as in drunk or angry? I’m guessing drunk.

      • Fozzie

        Interesting long defense of Bronwyn Tony, whom I am guessing is a friend. The problem with all of this saga is that nothing really seems as it is……
        Bronwyn has a long battle with ACC over what I gather is a loss of earnings claim.
        After such a long time in July Nick Smith writes a letter on Ministerial letterhead backing her claim.

        In August (we are told) ACC email her – by ‘mistake’ a file with lots of names and sensitive data. Why Bronwyn ? About the same odds as her receiving this as winning Lotto I hear some of the comments.

        Bronwyn sits on her discovery for three long months – then after the election (!) goes to ACC with her ‘best friend’ Michelle Boag – who just happens to be best buddies with several members of the board and ACC minister Nick Smith, and according to her is desperate that the leak not embarass them – the same Michelle Boag who has had ‘nothing to do with the National Party since she resigned as President 10 years ago…….

        Yeah right ……… the Tui’s billboard has enough material for at least 12 months !

  • Balanced View

    Come on Whale, what is your position on this? I find it disappointing that John Key hasn’t made an example of Smith. It gives the left the rightful opportunity to attack Nationals/Keys integrity.

    • Jester

      Oh come on BV. Your no better than the numpties over at the Strandard asking for Smith to be burnt at the stake. He wrote a reference whilst making a point of raising his conflict of interest. As for ministerial letterhead…give it a break….if we sacked every minister who crossed that line there wouldn’t be many people left from either side.

      Your concern although admirable is transparent.

    • Euan Rt

      You can tell it was a letter written without conviction and under duress, and it was wrong to use govt letterhead; but so what? That letter is peanuts in the scheme of things and I am sure plenty of other similar ones have been written on all sides of the house. 

    • Adybombs

      It also gives Key an opportunity to get rid of a bit of dead wood, he should take it 

    • Balanced View

      Not really the point though. It was an “error of judgement”, in other terms – stupid. Does JK want a stupid minister that makes judgement errors in his caucus? I wouldn’t have thought he needed silly distractions like this.
      I would prefer that JK followed through with actions he would demand of the opposition if the shoe were on the other foot. Failure to do so makes him seem hypocritical.

  • Tony Twiss

    I don’t spend much time on blogs so I don’t know how to comment on comments on my post but as people bothered to take the time to comment I will try to repond .

    TO: one_of_the_ACC_6700 .

    I’m not the sharpest knife in the block but to me your pseudonym suggests you work for ACC . You seem to be very angry and I can’t work out if its because you have been working on the Bronwyn Pullar Case so you are taking the whole issue as a personal affront of your own integrity or whether you have had a long career at ACC and have just had a gutsfull of everybody bagging it without recognising the huge positive difference it has made to many New Zealanders lives for almost 4 decades  .

    In either case – fair enough – everyones human .

    There are are valid issues around the Bronwyn Pullar Case specific to that case and no doubt they will be answered including your question about the 6700 files . I hope the police do get involved as that will introduce a level of professionalism & impartiality that will allow all the facts can see the light of day .

    However my point is that  focusing on making Bronwyn Pullar a pariah for a bit of short term satisfaction detracts from actually digging deeper to find out what the root causes of these issues are in relation to ACC and solving those for the benefit of all New Zealanders  .

    My personal view is that the root cause is a lack of political will / integrity required to have an open , frank & transparent debate with New Zealanders on the new realities /challenges faced by ACC today and what role ACC has going forward in an ever changing world ?

    Instead ACC has been “softly corrupted” by political pressure to cut the cost of  delivering what the law requires of it and in doing so forcing ACC to move further and further from the founding principles on which it was set up . ACC isn’t the fundamental problem –  the Law that set it up is.  

    TO: Whaleoil

    NO – I have never had that discussion or privy to that information  . I would be interested as to your view as why that is relevant in the big picture in relation to ACC and its founding principles.

    Your view maybe clouded by your own idealogical leanings but they are probably similar to mine in relation to ACC giving pay-outs to prisoners that get the bash in prison.

    To: Euan RT

    My apologies that you were affronted by my suggestion that  Cameron Slater is a journalist which he is   – I personally have a preference for a more balanced in depth approach to Journalism which is , I appreciate ,as rare as hens teeth nowadays . Perhaps my expectations are bit naieve

    To: Fozzie

    I knew Bronwyn 30 years ago at Otago University . We have headed down our seperate life  paths as university acquaintances mostly do when they leave University until they crossed again as she formed a relationship with & recently married a dear friend of mine of 30+ years standing – So yes we are friends 

    For answers to your other points – see above  

    • one_of_the_acc_6700

      TONY TWISS, you said >>”I’m not the sharpest knife in the block but to me your pseudonym suggests you work for ACC”.

      I certainly don’t work for ACC, I am a client of ACC.

      Take a look at my user name. That should be a good clue as to why I am angry, and yes I am for good reason. Everyone is going on and on about Nick,Bronwyn, JK, Boag, ACC etc… so just for 1 minute put yourself in my shoes and forget you know Bronwyn, the bitch who is holding personal info about “ME”. I am one of the 6,700 clients on that list and I am disgusted that she even looked at the file let alone used it to secure money for herself. If I knew where she lived I would drive my car through her front door and take to her computer with a large piece of wood. She has no right to mess with that info. I would like to hear more of the 6,700 clients sticking up for themselves on here. I hope she ends up behind bars where she belongs. What sort of complete fuckwit would go to ACC and try to cut a deal let alone taking Boag, bugging Nick non stop, get a dodgey 7 figure payout from a private insurer previously, be pissed out of her mind when she fell off her bike, bug Cam/Whale non stop to help her, suggest to Cam/Whale that he should try the private insurance deal she pulled off and last but far from least, HOW the hell did Bronwyn just happen to be the recipient of the biggest privacy breach in NZ history? There is a twist that no doubt is going to come out because this doesn’t make an ounce of sense that she by “chance” happened to be the recipient. As I said before, she would have more luck winning Lotto. Something stinks like a skunk and I look fwd to finding out the truth about how she got her rotten little mitts on that spreadsheet.

      I think everyone is too busy witch hunting and using this for an excuse to nail Nick, Boag, ACC.. and the rest when the actual problem is the fact that a member of the public has information about 6,700 clients and shouldn’t. So take a minute to refocus on what the actual problem is and why. The problem is Bronwyn and the fact that she is messing with personal sensitive info and she thinks that she can use it to put money in her bank account at the expense of 6,700 people. The victims are those people not all the people that feel hard done by because they have a corrupt minister. I wouldn’t put it past her to post the entire spreadsheet online for everyone to see, that is the problem, we have no control now that she has the file.

      How would you like your personal info in the hands of a complete and utter idiot?

      • Tony Twiss

        My apologies and thank you for taking the time to fill me in . I guessed wrongly  thats how many staff ACC had.

         Your issues regarding how Bronwyn Pullar was able to get the file details of 6700 ACC clients are valid and intensely personal to you and the others that have been affected directly .

        Firstly please also understand that I also fully appreciate & respect that what is contained in many of those 6700 files will delve far deeper into those indivduals lives than a list of old sporting injuries .

         Each file will tell a very personal story and there will be stories of great pain , both mental  & physical and for many of those 6700 that pain will be on-going as they try to re-build or simply just cope with their lives .

        I can only imagine the anguish that many of the 6700 are feeling with the simple fact that those stories are potentially no longer private .

        But I would also  respectfully ask that you try consider what was the real cause /issues behind Bronwyn Pullar on-going struggle with ACC going back well over 7 years before somehow getting hold of  6700 files and especially consider her subesquent actions in the light of the deep anger & resentment you now feel towards Bronwyn Pullar for potentially violating your right to privacy and what you would do , despite the consequences of their unlawfulness  ,given half a chance .

        If her case had been sorted and/or she had simply just given up after 3 months , 12 months or even 5 years then all this collaterel damage should never have happened

        So who is to blame .

        Bronwyn Pullar for fighting for what she perceived as her legal entitlement much longer than many others in the same situation would bother AND/OR a system that is encouraged to make it hard as possible for people to get their legal entitlements and has the advantage of time & resources on their side .

        My concern now is that you wont get the answers to your questions because our political system will think that Nick Smiths head is enough rather than actually trying to openly and transparently find out what really caused all this to happen and try to fix that . 

      • one_of_the_acc_6700


      • concerned for the 6700

        … I totally agree with the above… when is it likely (if ever) that the police will obtain a search warrant on this woman’s property and remove the computer etc holding this highly sensitive information? It defies belief that this has been allowed to continue, surely common sense will prevail and the data will be made secure ASAP (although there’s no 100% guarantee that it will ever be totally secure, what’s done is done unfortunately). What sort of person would attempt to pull off a stunt like this for their own financial gain, its not a good look…

  • one_of_the_acc_6700

    To Tony Twiss: No excuses for trying to win her case at the expense of 6700 innocent people. Selfish bitch. 6700, thats a lot of angry people!

    • one_of_the_acc_6700

      sorry no reply button to answer you,,, anyway I agree too, we will never secure the spreadsheet again its gone burger. Its amazing that she tried to blackmail isnt it… blows me away. She has either got big knackers or no brain or both. How would ACC ever compensate all the clients, cant see that happening in any way. Some may try to demand compensation for the breach using lawyers Im sure. if one wins it could get quite expensive for acc and totally outof control $$ wise. Maybe not?