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Judith Colllins has some serious explaining to do about her involvement in a police complaint against an ACC claimant following the release of fresh information from police showing answers she gave in Parliament today were wrong, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Andrew Little.
“The information raises serious questions about whether the Minister has misled MPs and New Zealanders. In Parliament today, I asked her what meetings or discussions she had with the ACC chief executive or chairman about the agency laying a complaint over the Bronwyn Pullar affair.
“She stated that ‘the matter was referred to the police on 13 March” and that ‘the 16 March report clearly states, on page 3, that the matter was referred to police on 13 March’.
“Later when asked whether in a conversation with the ACC chair or chief executive she had described the conduct of Ms Pullar and Michelle Boag as extortion or blackmail, she stated that ‘the actions were referred to the police before this matter was discussed with me as to what had actually happened’.
“Judith Collins said she called a meeting of the chair and the chief executive on 14 March to be briefed on what was known about the privacy breach ‘a day after the matter was referred to the police’.
“But police tonight have released a different version of events.
“They say there was ‘contact’ between ACC and police on 13 March ‘regarding a privacy matter’ and again on the 16 March about a matter ‘of a potential criminal nature’. But they say a ‘formal complaint’ was not received by police from ACC till 19 March.
“This is in direct contradiction to the claim by Judith Collins that a complaint was laid with police on 13 March.
“The facts provided by police show that Judith Collins had ample opportunity to discuss and influence a decision to lay a complaint about Bronwyn Pullar and Michelle Boag.
“It’s time she gave some straight answers. New Zealanders are entitled to know what discussions and influence the Minister had over referring a criminal matter about an ACC claimant to the police.
“The answers she gives will determine if she is a fit and proper person to lead ACC and to rebuild public trust and confidence in an agency that is suffering its worst crisis since its creation 38 years ago,” said Andrew Little.