The ACC recording

Phil Kitchin at Stuff reports:

A recording of a critical meeting between senior managers and the whistleblower who exposed a massive privacy breach reveals the corporation misled its minister and the public.

The corporation has alleged that client threatened at the meeting to go to the media unless she was given a guaranteed two-year benefit.

It also alleged she said that she would withhold details of the breach involving private details of 6500 other clients – including sexual abuse victims – if her demands were not met.

Once details of the privacy breach were revealed by The Dominion Post, the ACC referred its extortion allegations against Ms Pullar to police.

However, a recording of a key meeting in December between Ms Pullar, her support person Michelle Boag – a senior National Party figure – and two ACC managers is at odds with the corporation’s claims that were included in a report ordered by ACC Minister Judith Collins.

The ACC was given a transcript of the meeting more than three weeks ago, but has refused to correct its report.

Ms Pullar said it was outrageous that, having been provided with the recording, the corporation was refusing to correct a “blatant lie” on a public report. …

The Dominion Post has heard the recording and had obtained an accurate transcript of it. It contradicts several key elements in the ACC report.

The transcript shows:

Neither Ms Pullar nor Ms Boag threatened to go to the media or withhold the data if Ms Pullar was not given a guaranteed two years’ compensation.

ACC’s statement that it was not given specific details of the breach is misleading. ACC was told the data was “highly sensitive information”, including names and details of 6500 claimants.

If ACC have filed a complaint with the Police based on incorrect information, then this is a serious matter.

But Ms Pullar said that the allegation was a misuse of power and “an attempt to smear Michelle Boag’s and my reputation”.

“Had I not recorded this meeting, it would have been ACC’s word against mine.”

Media lawyer Steven Price said the tape was recorded legitimately because Ms Pullar was a party to the conversation at the meeting.

Parties to a conversation cannot be guilty of illegally recording a conversation using an interception device.

I look forward to the completion of the various reports and inquiries so we the public get a better understanding of what actually has happened.

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