20 Mar 2012

Boag emails minister about ACC privacy case

5:33 pm on 20 March 2012

A former National Party president has contacted a government minister about the privacy breach at the Accident Compensation Corporation.

The corporation is investigating how its staff dealt with the accidental release of details of thousands of people's claims to one of its clients.

The Herald on Sunday has reported that the public relations specialist and former National Party president, Michelle Boag, acted as a support person for the client in a meeting with ACC last December.

The corporation claims that at that meeting the client threatened to go to the media about the privacy breach unless she was guaranteed a benefit for two years.

ACC has referred the matter to police.

The Herald on Sunday says Ms Boag sent an email to ACC Minister Judith Collins last week, outlining her recollection of the meeting.

Ms Collins has confirmed she received correspondence from Ms Boag and passed it on to the corporation, but says she has no further comment.

Asked if Ms Boag's presence at the meeting was appropriate given her political connections, Prime Minister John Key said on Monday that she no longer holds an official position with the National Party and there was nothing stopping her acting as an advocate for her friend.

Ms Boag has not returned calls from Radio New Zealand.