Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Payout for rape victims affected by ACC leak

ACC Minister Judith Collins. Photo / NZPA
ACC Minister Judith Collins. Photo / NZPA

Victims of rape and other forms of sexual abuse who had ACC claim information leaked to Bronwyn Pullar are to receive compensation from the corporation but some may be shocked to learn how little value the state accident insurer puts on their distress.

ACC last night confirmed it was writing to claimants affected by the privacy breach which sparked a purge of senior figures at the corporation, with the latest being board member Murray Hilder.

The information leaked to Ms Pullar last year was reportedly limited to claimants' names, a case number that can identify them as having a sensitive claim related to rape or other forms of sexual abuse, and an indication of the outcome of a review of their claim.

At least some claimants who complained about the breach to the Privacy Commissioner have been told it was "at the lower end of the potential breaches" and was "mostly inoffensive information".

Last night ACC said it was "proactively writing to clients who have been impacted by the breach and where a remedy is appropriate, and considering requests for remedies sent to us by clients".

"We are still receiving these requests and cannot say how many letters in total will be sent out."

However while ACC would not confirm it, the Herald understands the corporation believes only around 250 sensitive claimants should receive financial compensation, and the amount they will be offered is less than $500 each.

Meanwhile key ACC staff are continuing to leave the corporation in the fallout from the the leak to Ms Pullar.

Well-regarded actuary Murray Hilder quit his board position last week, 3News reported last night.

Mr Hilder left just a day or two after fellow directors Rob Campbell and John McCliskie - an old friend of Ms Pullar - were told their services were not required. The boardroom purge began with Ms Collins pushing chairman John Judge out of his job and the resignation of chief executive Ralph Stewart at the start of the week.

- NZ Herald

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