This has had a run today, the blog is apparently still up notwithstanding Dr Jansen saying it is down and canceling his legal action.
For those without broadband, the Hansard is below:
11. CARMEL SEPULONI (Labour) to the Minister for ACC: Is he confident that victims and survivors of sexual abuse are getting fair treatment from ACC?
Hon TONY RYALL (Minister of Health) on behalf of the Minister for ACC: I am advised that since introducing the 16 hours of support sessions recommended by the independent review of the clinical pathway, there has been a good uptake of these sessions, and ACC has made positive gains in this area. ACC has also engaged Dr Barbara Disley, who chaired the initial review, to perform a 6-month progress report on ACC’s implementation of the recommendations, and that report is expected shortly. The Minister is confident that this progress review will confirm that ACC has made positive gains.
Carmel Sepuloni: Does he think fair treatment includes a senior medical adviser at ACC, Dr Peter Jansen, suing an ACC claimant, a victim of sexual abuse, for $250,000 for speaking her mind on a blog about the appalling treatment of sexual abuse victims under his watch?
Hon TONY RYALL: I would say the Minister for ACC is very concerned about the victims of sexual abuse, and he goes to great lengths to see that ACC handles them sympathetically and fairly at all times. If the member has some information that she would like me to raise with the Minister, I would be more than willing to do that.
Carmel Sepuloni: Will he investigate how Dr Peter Jansen accessed private information about a victim of sexual abuse and used it to initiate legal action?
Mr SPEAKER: If this is a matter where legal action has been initiated, I think we need to be fairly careful about that. I do not believe I should allow that question.
Hon Trevor Mallard: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I think the matter is relatively simple as to whether the matter is before the court. If it is not before the court, it is my understanding that it has been the practice of the House for a question to be allowed on an issue. If it is before the court, I think the practice has been developing, at least, of your being consulted before the matter is brought up.
Mr SPEAKER: That seems to be a reasonable argument. I will allow the Minister to answer.
Hon TONY RYALL: I know the Hon Nick Smith is always concerned about the victims of sexual abuse. If the member has information that she would like to bring to me on that case, I am sure the Minister will deal with it. It is completely unacceptable if ACC staff have not been dealing with the victims of sexual abuse in a sympathetic and professional way.
Carmel Sepuloni: Does he think it is fair treatment for a senior adviser at ACC not to have the resourcing to provide counselling to a victim of sexual abuse, but to have the resources to sue her for a quarter of a million dollars?
Hon TONY RYALL: I have no information about who is funding any of the suggestions that the member opposite is making in respect of legal action. I do know the Minister is very concerned to make sure that all victims of sexual abuse are dealt with sympathetically and professionally by the ACC
Carmel Sepuloni: Does the Minister think it is fair treatment for ACC claimants to be subjected to that type of legal action by ACC employees, and can other ACC complainants expect the same “fair” treatment if they dare to speak out?
Hon TONY RYALL: I invite the member to immediately bring the information and concerns that she has to the Minister’s attention. The Minister is always concerned to make sure that the victims of sexual abuse are dealt with sympathetically and professionally by the ACC. If she can show that that is not the case, I am sure the Minister will seek to take action.
Carmel Sepuloni: I seek leave to table a letter by the legal representation for Dr Peter Jansen to the sexual abuse victim accused by Dr Jansen of defamation, dated 12 April 2011.
Mr SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? Did I hear objection? There is objection.