Salient interviews Collins

October 1st, 2012 at 5:33 pm by David Farrar

Asher Emanuel of has an extended interview with Judith Collins. It is an interesting read. A couple of extracts:

A: I’ve read that you were once a staunch Labour supporter—

J: Oh, well that’s what happens when you grow up in a family that is [chuckles]. Everyone’s allowed to be stupid once, I always say!

A: On Labour, you once said that it’s a group of people “who think that policy papers can change the world”—

J: They do. Actions speak louder than words.

A: How would you characterise the difference?

J: They think that having a strategy paper [...] followed by a work plan paper, followed by a consultation document should take up about three years of government and then they can say that they’ve done something. [...] It’s a bit like those people who say things like ‘one day I’m going to run a marathon’, and then never actually put their running shoes on to go and start. I guess I’m someone who feels very aware, Asher, that I have a certain amount of time on earth, I have a certain amount of time and I don’t believe I get to come back here to earth, so—not a buddhist. [...] And I am absolutely aware that every single minute has to count.

I think you could apply that to the health system. Labour had dozens of strategies, goals, targets and objectives. Tony Ryall came in and set six or seven clear national goals for the health sector, and we’ve seen some real tangible and important improvements.

A: How does your gender affect you media portrayal?

J: Well, there’s no point moaning about it, because you won’t get anywhere with it, but women politicians are quite clearly judged on an extra set of characteristics than our male counterparts. Our clothes are criticised, or sometimes ever MARKED. Hair, weight, age; all these things are up for grabs, and to the extent that our male colleagues don’t get the same sort of scrutiny. However, that is also an opportunity for us to actually show ourselves as different from what is the norm, and so every difficulty or every problem is actually an opportunity.

A: You’ve said before that you’re “pro-women” rather than describing yourself as a feminist.

J: I’ve never had a problem with saying that I am actually someone who is pro-women, and the trouble with the label feminist, is that it’s used in a derogatory way by many. It’s also used [in] a celebratory way by many. [...] Far too often—and not just in Parliament, in business and particularly around boards—we have far too few women. Or the women that some of the men feel comfortable with are the women who play supportive roles. Well… I’m not a supportive role player. Unless it’s part of the team—I’m very happy to be part of the team. But I’m not a handmaiden. And I think that some men, who feel threatened by that, that that’s a bit of a shame, because they hold back the best people, and they spend their time worrying about someone being threatening.

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9 Responses to “Salient interviews Collins”

  1. berend (1,631 comments) says:

    DPF: And I think that some men, who feel threatened by that, that that’s a bit of a shame, because they hold back the best people, and they spend their time worrying about someone being threatening.

    Help me out here a bit National apologisers, what’s Judith’s greatest achievement? Crushing cars of boy racers? Anything else she did in government? Ah, yes, enlarge police surveillance upon the citizens of this country. What else?

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  2. Gosman (335 comments) says:

    Ummmmm… how about overseeing the lowest crime figures since electronic statistics were introduced. Not that I am implying she is responsible for all, or even most of, that but it is still an impressive achievement. You kind of picked the wrong day to ask that question.

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  3. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    Judith has been a lion in opposition, but a lamb in government. She spent most of her time as Minister of Police defending the police against the public and not firing Howard Broad. Poacher turned gamekeeper. She personifies this weak National administration to a tee.

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  4. berend (1,631 comments) says:

    Gosman, the only crime statistics I’m interested in are moving averages, and victimisation surveys.

    First, in case you forgot: A police decision to drop family violence as a category in crime statistics will obscure a nationwide rise in domestic abuse, Women’s Refuge says.

    Secondly, under Labour we got crime is dropping headlines all the time too.

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  5. RF (1,261 comments) says:

    JC Got rid of Broadsword and Pope without them sucking severance pay from us for not extending their contracts. Good job.

    She has my vote.

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  6. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    I ought to tell a story about Judith Collins also. She used to be my facebook friend. I once put a post on her page asking her how she felt she was living up to National’s founding principles of 1936 in government. I was not snarky, just asked the question. She responded by calling them archaic and defriended me.

    I thought this was interesting. I asked the same question of Sam Lotu I’iga and his response was completely different – positive and affirming, and he even invited me to his office for a discussion (which I would have taken up had I still been in NZ). But once again, it confirms that in my experience of politicians, the public image is often completely different from the private person. I’ve met hated politicians who I would trust with my life, and loved politicians whom I wouldn’t trust with the spare change on my desk. C’est la vie.

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  7. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    I think your posters have summed it up nicely. Unbelievable she can say labour does nothing hiding behind white papers and the like.

    I remember her in opposition going to all the anticrime rallies. Where is she now? Doing nothing and ducking for cover.

    Crime statitistics have only fallen within the margin of error on a background of falling petty crime. Meanwhile violent crime, intimidation and generall lawlessness on the streets continues unabated.

    And its a really interesting concept to say Ryall has done anything except buy ever more expensive flowery bow ties.

    The health serevice is still as inefficient as ever, with billions wasted on “pilot studies” and “public health initiatives” that invariably come to nothing.

    If these so called social science driven “evidence based” (puke) social service policies actually worked how come not a single social indicator statistic ever improves either under national or labour?

    Does anyone other than Steve Joyce do anything at all in National? If he wasnt an aging overweight balding white male he’d be a shoe in for toppling jonkey. but unfortunately in our sexist, racist, discriminatory country he has no chance…

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  8. berend (1,631 comments) says:

    Isn’t it a bit shocking that no one can come up with anything remotely important that Judith Collins has done?

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  9. Martin Gibson (226 comments) says:

    I spoke to a person who had been high up in Corrections and she said Judith Collins was a great proactive and supportive minister, especially compared to Damien O’Connor, who she said had been an absolute prick — shouting at staff, ducking for cover and evading responsibility when there was a problem.
    It is great to see a woman in power who retains her femininity and doesn’t feel the need to pretend to be a man.

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