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ACC used police as smokescreen, say Greens

Wednesday 6 Jun 2012 8:19 a.m.

Kevin Hague

Kevin Hague

The Greens have accused ACC of smokescreen tactics in accusing Bronwyn Pullar of extortion, saying the corporation needs to be reminded what it's there for.

Police on Tuesday said they found no evidence of any offence after ACC complained Ms Pullar had threatened that unless her benefit was guaranteed for two years she would go to the media, after she was mistakenly emailed more the details of more than 6000 ACC clients.

Green Party ACC spokesman Kevin Hague says ACC's complaint was designed to divert attention away from its own failings, which were under considerable scrutiny at the time.

"ACC has lost public trust and confidence and change is needed," he said.

"A necessary first step is to remind everybody in the organisation why it exists: to provide a service to people who have been injured."

ACC should then be audited against those objectives and changes made, Mr Hague said.

Some board members would find that intolerable as it would reverse ACC's direction of the last three years, he said.

However, ACC was standing by its decision to lay a complaint with police, with chief executive Ralph Stewart saying Ms Pullar had refused to return the emails.

Ms Pullar claims ACC leaked information about her case to the media, which the corporation denies.

The privacy commissioner and auditor-general are investigating the case.

ACC Minister Judith Collins is also taking legal action against two Labour MPs over allegations she leaked a confidential email.

MP Nick Smith resigned his cabinet portfolios after writing Ms Pullar a letter supporting her long-running compensation claim, and later signed off a letter to her from ACC without declaring a conflict of interest.

However, Prime Minister John Key, in London, says he has not ruled out Dr Smith returning to cabinet.

"We just need to see how this thing completely plays out."

NZN

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