ACC whistleblower Bronwyn Pullar has revealed she spoke to John Key in person about her battle with a private insurance company - but he did not offer to help her.
Pullar said today she had vented "my frustrations" to Key at a National Party Christmas event. At that time Key was the MP for Helensville and not in government.
"I was very distressed at the time and I took the opportunity to vent my frustrations. He listened politely, but I did not ask him to do anything and he did not offer to assist," Pullar said in a statement today.
She was responding to a Close-Up report that Key's name - and several other senior National Party figures including former Prime Minister Dame Jenny Shipley and former Defence Minister Wayne Mapp - were included in a letter which Sovereign Insurance had sent to Pullar's friend, former National president Michelle Boag, in 2007 referring to Pullar's $14 million claim for a 2002 accident.
The letter, written before Key became prime minister, referred to Sovereign being supplied with a list of 28 people in Pullar's ''claims support/advisory team''.
"Media have speculated about the reason why John Key and other senior National Party figures were mentioned by my insurer in a letter to Michelle Boag written by one of their senior executives," Pullar said today.
"One of my advisers had asked me to prepare a list of known people who were aware of my dispute with the insurer, and who the insurer may encounter in the course of their business. This was in the context of us entering into negotiations to reach a confidential settlement."
Provision of the list was necessary in case the insurer subsequently faced questions from these parties who had knowledge of the dispute, she said.
"The dispute between the parties was subsequently resolved to the satisfaction of both parties. The detail of the arrangement reached between the parties was subject to a confidentiality agreement."
Key said this morning he was not in a support group for Pullar's claim.
"People drop my name all the time and it's factually incorrect," he told Radio Sport.
Pullar was involved with National at the time and had been fighting ACC over her claim, so he was not surprised to see the names of so many party members involved.
Boag today said Pullar hadn't seen the letter leaked to TVNZ.
"It was a precursor to a meeting where I sat down with the person who signed the letter to have a negotiation which resulted in a confidential settlement where everyone walked away happy."
Mapp said he had "simply facilitated some meetings'' for Pullar. "They were very professional and proper meetings and they eventually led to a settlement.''
He said he had not seen the letter referred to by Close Up and was not aware of who put the list together.
Shipley said she had not attended any meetings and was not aware of any list, but did not want to get drawn into it.
It is understood Sovereign eventually settled with Pullar for about $1m.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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