O’Sullivan on ACC fiasco

NZ Herald

Fran O’Sullivan opens up a can of blunt journalism and shines some much needed light onto the whole Bronwyn Pullar fiasco:

ACC whistle-blower Bronwyn Pullar has claimed another scalp with the precipitant resignation of respected businessman John Judge as the corporation’s chairman.

When Judge took on the top role he would not have expected to be brought down by a rogue ACC claimant who had sufficient pull with then ACC Minister Nick Smith to persuade him (against all political commonsense) to write letters on ministerial letterhead on her behalf.

Nor would Judge have expected that the ACC claimant would also have had sufficient clout to persuade another fellow director – John McCliskie – to organise a “face-to-face” meeting between herself and ACC management to sort out her long-standing issues with the corporation.

Nor would Judge have expected that an ACC claimant would roll up to the meeting accompanied by a former National Party president.

Nor would Judge have expected that the advocate would open the meeting by dumping a political bombshell that “an email had been sent to Bronwyn … and it contained thousands of elements of highly sensitive information”. Nor would Judge have expected the claimant to pump the email to friendly journalists, tape his officials …and so forth.

That is very strong writing from O’Sullivan. You can feel the enmity.

Sit for a moment in the seats of the two ACC officials who were deputed to meet Pullar last December. When Boag opened the meeting by dropping her bombshell, of course it would be seen as an implicit threat. Why do it otherwise?

Exactly. The threat was implicit, it may have been unsaid as the sneaky recordings show, but the threat was there, else why even mention it?

The ACC managers should have stopped the meeting at that point and immediately informed CEO Ralph Stewart of the massive privacy breach. That they didn’t do this attests to obvious pressure they must have been feeling when they knew a board member was the catalyst for the meeting. But it’s too late for the “what might have beens”.

And that presure came from McCliskie who was one of Pullar’s former bosses…he is now gone, but Fran O’Sullivan notes:

But the scandal over the privacy breaches has yet to be lanced.

It won’t be long before McCliskie – who is one of Pullar’s former bosses, also comes under pressure to leave the ACC board. McCliskie was the ACC director who she asked to intervene on her behalf.

By Judith Collins now ditching McCliskie, the boil is oozing puss everywhere. Unf0ortunately the CEO has also gone from ACC, but Fran O’Sullivan couldn’t have known that when she wrote her article yesterday.

I find it strange that TV3 and the Dominion Post/Phil Kitchin seem to have a different view on events than almost every other journalist including Fran O’Sullivan.


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  • Mark

    This is rapidly turning to a bigger clusterf… for National than the class sizes fiasco.  In fact what class size fiasco.  Boag has burned her bridges in the corporate sector one expects.

    The body count is growing at a rate I cannot recall seeing in NZ before.  

    Who the fuck would want to go on the new board? you would need a kevlar vest. 

    • Le Sphincter

      Rodney Hide ?

  • As one who has had personal good and atrocious experiences – plus being an associate and friend others others who’ve been shafted by ACC I am just glad this could see some fundimental change in ACC’s approach to it’s clients. If it had to take someone like Pullar and her little friend to get it to happen well and good – not sure I’m so keen on the desire to discredit those who have succeeded in getting this shake up to finally happen.

    • Bombast

      Neil – you’re a Pillock.
      Ralph Stewart was the best man possible to effect any change within ACC.
      Now he’s gone…. Client’s are screwed.
      All BP and her Pet PR lackey have done is air their own dirty laundry in public to try and advance their claims for more $$$$

      • I  don’t see where I suggested it was a good thing Stewart resigned….christ he was only in the job for – what – 8 months?

  • rolla

    “Sit for a moment in the seats of the two ACC officials who were deputed
    to meet Pullar last December. When Boag opened the meeting by dropping
    her bombshell, of course it would be seen as an implicit threat. Why do
    it otherwise?”

    Or opening the meeting by telling them that she had the documents was telling them they had a major problem on their hands, and that they need to fix it, because it keeps happening.

    Personally if she’d left it to the end I’d see that as an implicit threat, not introducing it at the start, which I see as just being up front and honnest about stuff.
    But I can see how some would view it that way, just depends on how you view peoples motives I guess.

    I guess regardless of when it was brought up, some would always regard it as a threat. I think this is a case of not being able to win.

    They always say how an organisation acts and its culture comes from the top, so perhaps its a good thing that the CEO has now resigned, and hopefully a few others in ACC senior positions also go, might send a strong enough message to the rest of them on what needs to happen

  • greybeard

    What I want to know is:
    1: Why was anyone in ACC mailing a list of 6000 records to anyone else in ACC in the first place ? Why use email instead of accessing via shared folders ?
    2: Why would Bronwyn Pullar’s email address be included with what should have been an internal mailing list ? 
    3: Was this list of records deliberately sent to Bronwyn Pullar ?

    • AnonWgtn

      3. Probably – there are many deceitful people in ACC and would do anything to embarrass the Government.
      Our public service are riddled with anti National sentimentists, a Helen Clark product of nine disgraceful years.
      And it will not change – it is too deeply rooted in many public service offices, not only in Wellington

      • Mediaan

        Agree. Suggest we bring back the death penalty for treason.

        It was the first thing got rid of by then-new-PM Jim Bolger. A Catholic, with a Typically Rome agenda, is what occurred to me at the time. Thinking of all the treasonous activity they had been up to. Mostly to discredit and remove the British Royal Family.

  • guest

    agree look at the MFAT debacle, ACC, Teachers Unions, any Unions for that matter plus MSM does not help either National need to grow some and start fixing the culture within these organizations. Stop the leakages, wrong emails sent etc etc, labour/greens members posing as parents to stop classes increasing its clear whats happening but what is National doing to stop it.

    • You also have to ask why it is the National Party encourages this sort of behaviour by it’s actions?

    • curmudgeon1

      What you are referring to guest is the massive inertia resisting change in much of public sector – the leakages are all part of the process of resisting. The only thing National could do to stop the leakages etc would be to stop the change agenda they are pursuing ( and it is to be hoped that they do not stop!) Ironically Collins, in this instance,  has a mandate and opportunity for change in ACC that McCully and Parata could only dream about with MFAT and Teachers.  

  • guest

    I don’t think so Neil they are trying to fix a problem in the public sector due to overstaffing by Labour and these people are trying to keep their jobs desperate even though they are not needed, its pretty simple.

    • I agree and can’t understand why those that set this up within the ACC aren’t the ones that were gone first – at least suspended…

      • Guest

        Yes begs the question doesnt it, Who leaked details to Bronwyn Pullar all very murky