I blogged yesterday:
As Nick has now conceded it was an error of judgement. You can quibble over the fact the letter was to independent medical assessors, not ACC. But the reality is Nick should have declined to write the letter at all, just as he had also declined to intervene with ACC. There were many other people who could write a letter about how Bronwyn was before her accident.
Doing the letter on parliamentary letterhead compounded the failure of judgement.
I also blogged:
While a failure of judgement, I was pleased to see a journalist tweet that David Shearer had declined to say he thinks the lapse in judgement was serious enough to warrant resignation.
Since then Shearer has changed his stance. Patrick Gower blogs on it, saying Shearer had a shocker.
I also blogged:
I’m not actually against a fuller independent inquiry, because while I do not think anyone has acted with malign motives, the perception is that it is very murky and sunlight is the best disinfectant. However it might be that the Privacy Commissioner inquiry will be wide enough.
I am now of the view that an independent inquiry, at a minimum, is necessary. The Privacy Commissioner can only cover the privacy issues around the data breach, and can not cover the wider issues. The speculation on the nature of the friendship does raise issues that need to be dealt with.
If the terms of reference were wide enough, it could in fact cover the entire history Pullar has with ACC (something she wants). Not often I quote Bomber Bradbury, but I think he is correct when he says:
Even National Party activists deserve to be treated with dignity and watching ACC throw Bronwyn to the Police over a faked allegation that she threatened to expose ACC negligence in return for compensation boils my blood. I say faked because the doyenne of the right, MFB (Michelle Fucking Boag) was in that meeting. Say what you will of ‘chelle, but she ain’t stupid enough to rock up to ACC in the capacity of a support person and threaten them with a bribery option. …
through their own negligence they release confidential papers and when called on it, bully and intimidate a woman who has an existing complaint against them.
This doesn’t change my view that Pullar shout not have retained the data, but it doesn’t mean ACC have behaved correctly either.
A full independent inquiry could cover:
- Consideration of Pullar’s grievances against ACC
- How the data breach to her occurred, and how it can be prevented in future
- Pullar’s actions with the data, and what happened at the meetings held with ACC
- Smith’s interactions with Pullar over her grievances
- Anything else the QC deems relevant
This may not be an attractive option to the Government. Personally I am of the view that Nick’s ill judgement was motivated by compassion, and there are no malign motivations involved. However others will suggest different motives, and for that reason I don’t think the issue will go away, unless there is a full inquiry, or some other form of accountability.
UPDATE: Cactus Kate has an interesting blog post on the issue. She picked Bronwyn up from the hospital after her accident, so speaks from some first hand knowledge.