When Bronwyn Pullar blew the whistle on ACC's massive privacy breaches, she was outed. We don't know who, but it was most likely someone within ACC who fed her name to the media. Or someone in the Minister's office.
When Natasha Fuller dared to criticise Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Development published private information about how much money Fuller was receiving.
When Ira Bailey discovered the security problem at MSD and asked if there was a reward for finding a security vulnerability (as there is with many companies), someone within MSD gave his name to the media.
In the latter case, there was no justification for publishing Bailey's name. What exactly did he do wrong? The person he told (Keith Ng) behaved entirely properly in bringing the matter to the media's attention. Had Ng just told MSD on the quiet I suspect they would have done nothing. It seems they did next to nothing when they were told of security problems 12 months ago.
What this demonstrates is a pattern of bullying and intimidation by the government and its agencies when someone dares to criticise them, or to expose their incompetence. It also displays a complete lack of respect for the privacy of individuals, which goes a long way towards explaining how the ACC and MSD clusterf**ks could have happened in the first place.
And that's without mentioning the Kim Dotcom debacle (police and security agencies ignoring the law and proper process at the behest of another country's law enforcement authorities), Bradley Ambrose (our PM using the police to deal with a political problem), or the Urewera raids and subsequent court cases (perhaps the most extreme of all these abuses of power).
You don't have to like all of these people victimised by our officials and politicians, or to think they're all blameless (I certainly don't), to realise there is something rotten at the top. It's not corruption with a Capital C, but nor is it healthy.
Is this how we expect our institutions and politicians to behave? For how long will we remain a functioning democracy, where the rule of law is paramount?