14 Aug 2014

Collins under spotlight over ACC leak

11:29 pm on 14 August 2014

Justice Minister Judith Collins is facing fresh scrutiny over whether she leaked information on ACC claimant Bronwyn Pullar, despite her denials she did so.

Author Nicky Hager's latest book, Dirty Politics, which is based on information and emails hacked from right-wing blogger Cameron Slater's website Whale Oil, details contact between Mr Slater and Ms Collins, who are long-time friends.

Judith Collins.

Judith Collins. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The book says that just under a week before news broke that Ms Pullar had mistakenly received the ACC files, Mr Slater was assuring a friend who was worried the files might contain information on her, that he had spoken to Ms Collins about it.

Judith Collins has denied that she or her office leaked the email that prompted the story.

Dirty Politics also suggests that Cameron Slater told Ms Collins while she was Police Minister that he was going to be leaked police video of the Urewera raids carried out in the Bay of Plenty in 2007.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The book claims Ms Collins tipped Mr Slater off about the name of a Ministerial Services staffer who Mr Slater said leaked information about Deputy Prime Minister Bill English's accommodation payments to Labour MPs.

The book suggests that Mr Slater asked Ms Collins to intervene on getting a prisoner moved to a different prison while she was the Corrections Minister.

Prime Minister John Key said today that he hasn't seen Mr Hager's book, but will get advice about claims regarding Ms Collins.

Ms Collins has so far not responded to requests for an interview, but said in a statement today said the Mr Hager's book is based on stolen emails, what ifs and fanciful speculation.

The Green Party is demanding that Mr Key immediately stand her down as a Minister until serious allegations in the book are investigated.

"There are serious allegations allegations of misuse of her ministerial power, the leaking of information about her own ministry ... We would expect the Ministerial Services and State Services will take those investigations very seriously too."

Ms Turei says the Greens have laid a series a complaints with authorities, including police and Privacy Commissioner over allegations made in the book.

Labour MP Grant Robertson says Judith Collins has questions to answer about whether she breached her ministerial responsibilities by talking about confidential ACC matters.

More on this story