Collins apologises

March 12th, 2014 at 12:02 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Justice Minister has apologised for not being open about a dinner with the owners of a Chinese company associated with her husband during an official trip to China.

In a hastily arranged press conference this morning, Collins said the dinner came up in conversation with the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Wayne Eagleson last night.

He had advised her to tell media about it. Collins said she had spoken to Prime Minister John Key about it this morning.

She said she had private dinners with the company owner and his wife many times because they were close personal friends. But she added it would have been “smarter” to have mentioned the dinner last week.

Yep. Almost best to disclose everything up front. This disclosure was still voluntary (not something discovered by others), but it keeps the story going longer than it might have otherwise.

Newstalk ZB reports:

A rare apology to the media from Judith Collins this morning.

It’s over her trip to China.

She admits she went to lunch and a dinner with Oravida bosses in Shanghai, the company her husband is a director of.

The Justice Minister has told reporters at Parliament today, that she apologises for not broadening her answers.

No doubt there will be further questions in the House today.

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137 Responses to “Collins apologises”

  1. Mark (1,489 comments) says:

    Key has been defending her vigorously and she has embarassed him by not been completely candid. A rare act of stupidity from Collins and a shot landed by Robertson.

    Cant see that it does much damage but like all these things could have been avoided with a bit of candour. Accompanying her husband to a dinner is not at all an issue but Collins has made it so by not being open about it and just dismissing Robertson with a so what reply.

    Collins will not make the same mistake again and it is a rare slip up for one of Nationals more competent ministers

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  2. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (894 comments) says:

    I think this is the end of Judith Collins. Labour claims another one that too in the beginning of the election year. Big let down by Collins and Key will cop it.

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  3. alloytoo (571 comments) says:

    It’s a rather sad day when ministers of the crown have to disclose their dinner arrangements to the incompetent MSM.

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  4. stephieboy (3,386 comments) says:

    I agree Mark. Yes it was a rare error of judgment on her part and without question she is one of Nationals more adept ministers . Pales in comparison to DC’s botch ups.!

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  5. metcalph (1,433 comments) says:

    I’m struggling to see the big issue here. Clearly it hinges on the endorsement but IMO there is a huge difference between endorsing something for money (like say Bob Dole endorsing Viagra) and saying that your spouse’s company is top quality. It would be more noteworthy if Collins were to have said that her husband’s company was terrible. If Collins were to have been in a campaign of unpaid promotion of her husband’s company in the media, then it would have risen to a significant breach of the cabinet code.

    As for having dinner with close personal friends who are also in business with her husband? So what? One could hardly expect Collins to ask her husband to have business dealings only with her enemies.

    The Amy Adams accusation is similarly deranged.

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  6. thePeoplesFlag (256 comments) says:

    And now that Collins has admitted to crony capitalism, looks like it is Amy Adam’s turn.

    http://rebuildingchristchurch.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/special-investigation-adams-family-values/

    The cosy cronyism of National was always going to unravel in scandal.

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  7. Elaycee (4,404 comments) says:

    I think this is the end of Judith Collins.

    In your dreams, son. In your dreams. :D

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  8. Chris2 (770 comments) says:

    The only people really interested in this are other politicians, and the media. The average voter couldn’t give a toss, whether it be National or Labour Ministers. It’s even more trivial given the “endorsement” by Collins of the milk was written in Chinese, in China.

    The people beating up on this will be the same people that defended Len Brown’s undeclared $30,000 plus hotel upgrades.

    Does anyone know if Grant Robertson ever condemned Len Brown?

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  9. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    She has being hiding this all along. I suppose the risk of a reporter doing it as an exclusive on the news tonight was too much.
    I find it despicable she said she only paid a visit to the company on the way to the airport. She cant take over from Key now. Key is looking dodgy for not treating her with proper judgement, he looks like he supports doing corrupt practices that Judith her and her husbands do too.
    She also said the dinner was with old good friends and that the chinese diplomats were just there, as though incidentally.
    This womans showing herself to have poor judgement and should be dropped down the list.
    PS good on DPF for posting on this

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  10. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    Pretty epic fail by Collins given the recent wall to wall coverage of Silent T’s gaffes. Key will be incensed.

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  11. Manolo (14,044 comments) says:

    She was hiding this all along, and was forced to come clean when caught.

    Another case of a tactless politicians enjoying perks and a free ride.

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  12. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Chris2
    No i hated Len Browns hotel rooms and i hate this minister doing activities to financially support her husband and lying about it and being obtuse to the public who actually put her in that postition. Shes abused our trust by abusing her position for financial gain

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  13. Ross12 (1,454 comments) says:

    What big yawn !! If her husband was not a director and she had diner with the head people of the company would there be this “big deal” ? What is the difference ?
    Robertson has no idea how business works and especially how it works in China.

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  14. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    NIckb
    Do you think Collins hid the dinner from Key or Key knew about it all along but has just made her admit to it as it was going to leak?
    Ie DO you think Key is implicit in Collins cover up? I do which is why she is so pissed off about owning up now

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  15. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Ross12
    Her husband is the director thats the whole point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  16. Lance (2,708 comments) says:

    @Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    The end of Collins?

    Yea, just like it was the end of Shane Jones when he was caught watching porno on the taxpayers tab.

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  17. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Lance
    Shane came out and admitted to it, Collins has shown herself to be unreasonably indignant and quite an odd person actually

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  18. RJL (146 comments) says:

    @Metcalph If Collins were to have been in a campaign of unpaid promotion of her husband’s company in the media, then it would have risen to a significant breach of the cabinet code.

    Of course, that is exactly what has happened. Collins has used her office in a campaign of promotion of her husband’s company in the Chinese media *and* she has been privately promoting the company too. The later demonstrated by the (until now secret) dinner between herself and Oravida and a senior Chinese government official. Of course, we don’t know the substance of what was discussed at the dinner, but avoiding conflict of interest is about avoiding the perception that a conflict of interest is being taken advantage of.

    Unfortunately, Collins and Key (and many other National MPs) think that “keeping conflicts secret” avoids the perception of a conflict of interest. To an extent they are right. Until the secret conflict is revealed. Then any attempts to “keep conflicts secret” look exactly like attempts to secretly take advantage of conflicts.

    Collins should resign. She is unfit to hold public office.

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  19. Bovver (173 comments) says:

    This whole saga is starting to get very messy, time for JK to bring out the wet bus ticket to use on Crusher.

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  20. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Pretty bad when the Justice Minister lies isnt it?
    “All i did was take a brief visit there on the way to the airport.”
    Liar liar liar and Minister of Justice, how crooked is that, Zimbabwe perhaps.

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  21. alwyn (438 comments) says:

    In a surprise move today David Cunliffe revealed that he held regular, and frequent, secret meetings with a prominent blogger. The person has been identified as an Auckland lawyer. Cunliffe refused to release transcripts of the material discussed at the meetings, or to confirm that he passed on to him smears about his political opponents to be propagated in a deniable, for him manner.
    “I have no intention of letting people know who I speak to” he declared. “That is none of the public’s business”.

    Seems reasonable to me. Now what does the question of who Collins had dinner with got to do with anything. It is a silly a the ridiculous story line the Labour Party ran about Jenny Shipley going out to dinner with Michelle Boag.

    I don’t eat out as much as I used to but I used to see, regularly, Ministers eating out at restaurants in Wellington. I don’t believe they were paying the bill but I never saw them declaring the hordes of people who had been entertaining them.

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  22. Tautaioleua (313 comments) says:

    Probably not a good idea to call an early election after all?

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  23. earlyfknsettler (10 comments) says:

    Judith Collins is a classic example of “once a lefty, always a lefty”…

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  24. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Alwyn
    Why didnt you take photos and post it. You are allowed to do that with MPs
    If you dont understand why its important to know that she had dinner with people from a company her husband is director of and a chinese diplomat then you need to go back to school

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  25. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Judith Collins wins an award!

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/t1/q71/s720x720/1981847_10151983120506592_602936437_n.jpg

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  26. dirty harry (514 comments) says:

    The whole things a non event..move on nothing to see here..

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  27. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    So either Collins hid it from everyone thinking she would get away with lying or she told John Key and he said this would blow over but in the interim there was a leak and the dinner was about to be exposed. Key said Judith i cant back you anymore we will say you have just admitted this to my chief of staff to clear me.
    Hence Judith looks like shes had to swallow a rat, protecting the person whos job she wants.
    Which one is it?

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  28. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    If her husband was not a director

    Yeah and if Collins wasn’t a Minister etc. But she is a Minister and her hubby is a director of a company she has promoted (at taxpayers’ expense), the same company having donated heavily to the National Party. It’s weird that neither she nor Key could see a conflict of interest when it was staring them in their kissers. Such is the arrogance of born-to-rule Tories.

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  29. dirty harry (514 comments) says:

    “Probably not a good idea to call an early election after all?”

    Why ? JK would piss in . Big picture , NZ can see what a dogs breakfast Liarbor/Greens etc would be and they don’t want a bar of it. This sort of ” news ” story , in the scheme of things , is a non event. Nats are going to win the next election and Liarbor will be consigned to the opposition bench…again. They are in no fit state to govern.

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  30. Bovver (173 comments) says:

    A non event DH that is on the front page news websites, in Joe public’s face, making the Nat’s look a bit dodgy. Not the look you want going into election year.

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  31. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    “Probably not a good idea to call an early election after all?”
    It would be only because Cunliffe is shown himself to be such a imbecile. Pity Jones cant roll him, that would make things more interesting

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  32. Peter (1,723 comments) says:

    Seems pretty inept.

    Why not just declare all these things last week and say “they’re friends and business colleagues”? Most people, apart from slobbering LabGreen hacks, would have shrugged their shoulders.

    Now it looks like she has something to hide.

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  33. metcalph (1,433 comments) says:

    Of course, that is exactly what has happened. Collins has used her office in a campaign of promotion of her husband’s company in the Chinese media *and* she has been privately promoting the company too.

    Look up campaign in the dictionary. A single website mention does not qualify. And “privately promoting” makes as much sense as fucking for virginity – promotions have to be public to be effective.

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  34. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Peter
    Yeah me now all know she lies, shes now over the peak of her political career

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  35. metcalph (1,433 comments) says:

    It’s weird that neither she nor Key could see a conflict of interest when it was staring them in their kissers.

    Where’s the conflict of interest between Collins’ ministerial portfolios and the so-called endorsement?

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  36. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    I presume it would be entirely fair to refer to the PM and the Justice Minister as especially tricky? To be fair, John Key has told so many lies it is hard to keep up with them all.

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  37. Ross12 (1,454 comments) says:

    Ross69
    I suppose Cunliffe and co never have a drink or meal with the leaders of the Unions who have donated to the Labour party for years or the head of Fletchers who have donated to the Labour Party for decades ( along with many other businesses).

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  38. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    metcalph.
    Her conflict was supporting her husbands business hes a director of, financial gain for him and thus her from that.

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  39. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Where’s the conflict of interest between Collins’ ministerial portfolios and the so-called endorsement?

    I gave you info about this earlier this week. There’s plenty of info about conflicts of interest online…

    Do you think that Pansy Wong needn’t have resigned and that Richard Worth was simply misunderstood?

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  40. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Ross12
    Well ask them and see if they lie about it like judith did

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  41. dirty harry (514 comments) says:

    ppfftt you guys have got nothing..keep digging , hey bring back Mike Williams he’s good at going through peoples rubbish bags looking for dirt..pathetic bunch of loons.

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  42. Brian Smaller (4,024 comments) says:

    Given all the crap over New Zealand milk in China in the past few years having a NZ cabinet minister drink a glass of it was probably worth a lot to all companies selling dairy products in China.

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  43. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    I suppose Cunliffe and co never have a drink or meal with the leaders of the Unions

    Oh I’m sure they have…but Judith told us that she had merely dropped in for a cup of tea. Must have been a bloody long cup of tea. :)

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  44. unaha-closp (1,180 comments) says:

    This sort of “scandal” is not really unexpected.

    The public elect Nats to be pro-business and pro-farms – so when they go about being pro-business and pro-farms it is entirely expected that in some way they are profiting from it.

    Likewise the public elect Labour politicians to be pro-civil service and pro-union – so scandals where they capture the civil service (like Clare Curran’s entry into DOC) aren’t perceived as unexpected either.

    Are these really scandals?

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  45. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Its a scandal when a Minister of Justice says she only dropped in on the way to the airport yet its found out the Minister of Justice is actually lying about that

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  46. metcalph (1,433 comments) says:

    Martinh

    Her conflict was supporting her husbands business hes a director of, financial gain for him and thus her from that.

    That’s not a conflict of interests as it doesn’t involve her ministerial duties. So what if she gains financially from supporting her husband? It only becomes a manner of concern if she were to abuse government office to do so. She was accused of endorsing – one can endorse something without having a conflict of interests.

    Ross69

    I gave you info about this earlier this week. There’s plenty of info about conflicts of interest online…

    In other words, you haven’t got shit and won’t provide a reference.

    Do you think that Pansy Wong needn’t have resigned and that Richard Worth was simply misunderstood?

    Wong’s problem occurred from the fact that her husband was promoting his business expenses while on travelling with her at the taxpayer’s expense. Significantly different from what’s alleged with Collins. And Worth’s problems was sexual harassment related.

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  47. Bill (94 comments) says:

    Collins treated all New Zealanders with contempt and should be fired immediately.
    Collins and Key tried to brush it off as a 20 minute quick chat on the way to the Airport. They lied to all of us.

    The MSM swallowed the line that as Collins hubby was only a Director and not a shareholder there was not benefit gained.
    FFS what a load of S$&t! Directors are paid to look after the interests of the shareholder!

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  48. Nookin (3,462 comments) says:

    Ross69

    Pansy Wong had the taxpayer paying her husbands travelling expenses on private business.

    Collins’ husband was appointed a director in 2012. Do you really think that a cup of milk had any affect on his ongoing engagement?

    Which particular section of the cabinet manual applies to private dinners? (Give me the rule number)

    What governmental interests conflicted with personal interests when she had a cup of milk? He is a director. Not a shareholder, FFS.

    At the very most she made have offended the endorsement rule by failing to point out in advance that they could not use her to promote the product but that really is a stretch.

    Perception is important but it has to be a reasonable perception. exaggeration of a trivial incident by unscrupulous politicians intent on taking the heat of their master’s own failings does not cut the mustard.

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  49. wreck1080 (3,956 comments) says:

    she fucked up, give her the benefit of the doubt and follow her closely in future.

    I disagree this is a sackable offence.

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  50. Harriet (5,120 comments) says:

    “If you call what Judith Collins said ‘lying’ – then wait till you see how Labour go about it.” – National PR HQ. :cool:

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  51. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Metcalph
    You need to read the rules, endorsing is not allowed for something your family is involved in.
    “So what if she gains financially” What you are saying here is that you support a corrupt political system, its the antithesis of what i want so im happy to agree to disagree with you on that.
    Ive lived in corrupt countries and it really sucks

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  52. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Nookin
    What do you think about her lying by saying she only dropped in for a cup of milk on the way to the airport?
    Ps private dinner included a government official from customs…. last i knew importing milk required officials from customs to assist, thats quite a coincidental appearance for just a private dinner with good friends isnt it Nookin???????????
    having dinner with officials does need to be disclosed of course.
    According to Judith they didnt talk about work,,, mmmm what does this remind me of… oh thats its winston peters and saying he didnt ring Owen Glenn someone else used his phone.

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  53. Bill (94 comments) says:

    Collins was told to reveal the dinner by Prime Minister John Key’s chief of staff Wayne Eagleson.!

    John Key is distancing himself as much as possible from Collins. He won’t be seen in the same room or the same photograph with her: Collins is toxic. I bet she will be gone within a week. Key is not going to let Collins or anyone to ruin his dream of matching Helen Clark’s three terms.

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  54. Manolo (14,044 comments) says:

    I disagree this is a sackable offence.

    How times have changed. Gone are the days where ministers and public officials had the necessary dignity and humility to resign if they fell short or were caught red-handed.

    Nowadays, our politicians and top bureaucrats attempt to hide, lie, and obfuscate in the vain hope the incident goes away. Each country get the government it deserves.

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  55. SHG (318 comments) says:

    This is bush-league stuff from Collins. Key must be ropable.

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  56. dirty harry (514 comments) says:

    How much do you want to bet Bill ?

    Put your money where your frothing mouth is.

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  57. publicwatchdog (2,810 comments) says:

    In my considered opinion as an ‘anti-corruption Public Watchdog’ – Minister for Justice Judith Collins is not ‘fit for duty’ – is corrupt and should be sacked.

    FORTHWITH.

    I hold the same considered opinion of NZ Auditor-General Lyn Provost.

    (More on that one later ……)

    Seems that Wednesday 12 March 2014 is going to go down in NZ history as QUITE a day in the fightback against corrupt, corporate control!

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright

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  58. Bill (94 comments) says:

    Was Collins hubby made a Director after she became a Government Minister?

    If so it is very very very likely that he was made a Director because she is a Government Minister.

    Why? The Chinese expected him to deliver benefit which derived from her position as a Government Minister.

    And Collins played ball!

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  59. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Collins is toxic. I bet she will be gone within a week.

    Yeah nah, she’ll be the next leader of the National Party. :) Seems National is destined to have leaders who like insulting the public’s intelligence.

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  60. smttc (761 comments) says:

    martinh, you should be a pundit. You clearly have a good eye for those important non-beltway issues so important in determining the outcome of elections.

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  61. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Perception is important but it has to be a reasonable perception. exaggeration of a trivial incident by unscrupulous politicians intent on taking the heat of their master’s own failings does not cut the mustard.

    Jesus you’re making her out to be a saint. So, why did she feel the need to apologise?

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  62. metcalph (1,433 comments) says:

    You need to read the rules, endorsing is not allowed for something your family is involved in.

    You could try looking at the rules yourself. The cabinet manual doesn’t allow for any endorsements whether or not one’s family is involved. My argument is that her endorsement was too trivial to be a breach of the rules.

    “So what if she gains financially” What you are saying here is that you support a corrupt political system, its the antithesis of what i want so im happy to agree to disagree with you on that.

    WHat she has been accused of is not corrupt practice by any definition.

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  63. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Wong’s problem occurred from the fact that her husband was promoting his business expenses while on travelling with her at the taxpayer’s expense.

    Collins was endorsing a product made by a company that employs her hubby, at the taxpayers’ expense. Keep dancing on the head of a pin!

    To give Wong credit, she realised her error and resigned.

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  64. Nostalgia-NZ (5,276 comments) says:

    If there were any misgivings about the early election date it was the comparative ‘urgency’ of bringing the date forward to capitalise on the good economic data. On the other hand was the reduction of the opportunity to overcome ‘home made’ bombs that are certainly going to detonate between now and September. This looks like one of them. It’s all politics to some extent but in this particular instance it’s fruit high in the tree, a Minister of Justice no less. JK has been let down by this, Labour have a new life – but in the shorter period if the electorate were going to moved by a good economy there’s no exclusion of the possibility they will also be moved by arguments of self interest, and not ‘coming clean’ when ‘coming clean.’ Bloody mess really and an oxygen supply to Cunliffe when it seemed he was being pushed toward the emergency ward. Interesting to see how this is managed from here on in, by both Leaders of the prospective main parties and the minor party leaders. Right when the message was the economy is doing well and is in good hands, and justifiably so – suddenly there is a new question about who is doing well and at whose expense.

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  65. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Apparently Key has given Collins a final warning. So much for the non-story that some commenters were saying this was a few days ago.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9818950/Judith-Collins-comes-clean-about-dinner

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  66. Bill (94 comments) says:

    August 2011: Oravida purchased Auckland waterside Headquarters.

    November 2011 and after: Oravida’s $56k donation to the National Party shows up in returns.

    October 2012: Oravida make Collin’s hubby, David Wong-Tung, a Director.

    October 2013: Oravida opens its Auckland Office with a Spectacular Party. Guests include Minister Anne Tolley, “Dame” Jenny Shipley, Sir Don McKinnon, Melissa Lee MP, Paul Goldsmith, Don Brash, John Banks, Peter Goodfellow ( soon to be Sir) and of couse hersel, The Honourable Judith Collins.

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  67. lazza (382 comments) says:

    Make mine a shake with frys.

    Sooo … How does that differ from a glass of Milk and a No; 33 (OOps … Chop Suey)?

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  68. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    “What’s probably extraordinary is I am saying ‘I apologise’,” she said.

    “That is extraordinary for me.”

    Haha she doesn’t usually apologise when she stuffs up. What an arrogant tart.

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  69. metcalph (1,433 comments) says:

    Collins was endorsing a product made by a company that employs her hubby, at the taxpayers’ expense.

    Factually wrong. Her statement does not rise to the level of an endorsement nor was her statement made at the taxpayer’s expense.

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  70. dirty harry (514 comments) says:

    “Collins is toxic. I bet she will be gone within a week. ”

    How much Bill ? How much are you willing to bet on that outburst ?

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  71. burt (8,310 comments) says:

    ross69

    Stark contrast to Labour eh. Why oh why didn’t Key just tell us that the business of government is whatever government define it to be followed by Move on.

    Personally – I think she should resign immediately. Like Winston did when he misled parliament – Doh… Like Cunliffe did when he misled parliament about his secret trust – Doh !

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  72. burt (8,310 comments) says:

    ross69

    Haha she doesn’t usually apologise when she stuffs up. What an arrogant tart.

    Perhaps, till now, she’s been channeling Clark – Clark never apoligised ever!!!!
    But she wasn’t an arrogant tart right – she was the best PM ever !

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  73. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Her statement does not rise to the level of an endorsement nor was her statement made at the taxpayer’s expense

    Wrong on both counts. She was on a taxpayer funded trip. Why do you think Key has given her a final warning?

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  74. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Why oh why didn’t Key just tell us that the business of government is whatever government define it to be followed by Move on.

    That’s exactly what he did in the beginning, until he was informed that Collins was being economical with the truth.

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  75. burt (8,310 comments) says:

    ross69

    Why do you think Key has given her a final warning?

    Because unlike Labour ‘Move on’ isn’t sufficient to deal with this kind of thing ?

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  76. burt (8,310 comments) says:

    ross69

    So once fully informed he changed his response – very unlike Clark – quite refreshing don’t you think ?

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  77. RightNow (6,995 comments) says:

    Did I hear that right? Her hubby is David Long-Tung?

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  78. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Corruption within the NZ judicial system is a matter of fact because of the way that the department of justice misrepresents the nature of the law of the land, with the effect of injury of the rights of New Zealanders. Collins has shown herself to be philosophically aligned with this corruption with her proposal to unlawfully destroy cars, ie criminal damage of private property. The argument that the destruction of the cars was justified by the antisocial behaviour of the drivers hold no water when the antisocial nature of the state is considered – rather than honour the law of the land and recognize the right of ordinary use of public roads, the state victimizes people who exercise this right, and agents of the state – district court judges – may knowingly commit fraud as part of this process of victimization. While Collins is not the author of this corrupt state of affairs she has shown herself to be comfortable with it and has shown herself to be without honour in rejecting remedy to wrongs arising from it.

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  79. burt (8,310 comments) says:

    ross69

    Contrast this situation to how Clark handled King (Health minister at the time) when Peter Hausmann was found to have worked on a $50m RFI he was awarded without a tendering process while King’s husband was working for his company ……

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  80. Nostalgia-NZ (5,276 comments) says:

    I thought drinking a company product publicly was an endorsement, a staged endorsement – particularly in their offices when ‘just’ stopping in because there was the available time to do so. That part of the ‘story’ has never seemed to fit.

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  81. David Garrett (7,533 comments) says:

    This is not good…Collins is indeed “an outstanding Minister” in a lot of ways, and in my view, she is the person to succeed Key.

    But it’s a huge no no to have your boss publicly defend you on the basis of incomplete information…it’s obvious from the news report that Key is indeed furious. It is also obvious from his reaction that a less valuable Minister may well have got the DCM.

    However, all of that said, it’s hardly the crime of the century…having dinner with someone who is a close enough personal friend to spend Christmas with…but as always in politics, it’s the PERCEPTION that is the problem. I remain a strong Collins supporter…she was excellent to work with, and always did what she said she would…not so the duplicitous Mr Power…

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  82. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Burt
    He changed because it was being leaked about the dinner she had with a top official and so he had to have that put out there before it was released exclusively as a top item on the news.
    I think Key knew all along, he just thought it would blow over.

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  83. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    David Garrett
    Are you saying that the senior chinese customs official is a close personal friend who she has Christmas dinner with?

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  84. burt (8,310 comments) says:

    martinh

    That might be true, like Clark knew that Winston’s “NO” fiasco was all BS…

    I’ve said I think Collins should resign – this kind of BS is all too common and normally we just get told to ‘Move on’. Would be nice if government was actually accountable – for once !!!!!

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  85. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Burt
    yeah i thought Clark was duplicitous too, i couldnt stand the sight of her well before she got turfed out

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  86. David Garrett (7,533 comments) says:

    martinh: No…He was obviously someone who was associated with the Chinese member of the party…as someone else has pointed out Ministers and high level officials socialise together all the time…If there was any suggestion some kind of favourable treatment by customs for the company’s product was discussed then that’s a whole different ball game..but I see no suggestion of that…

    Again all of that said, she made a mistake…she has acknowledged it and apologised…if Clark was her boss we’d now be hearing choruses of “time to move on”… In our tiny little society – and parliament – we cant afford to ditch good Ministers for anything other than major failings…this isnt one of them…

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  87. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    we cant afford to ditch good Ministers for anything other than major failings

    Doing what you said that your would do says nothing about morality.
    Collins isn’t a good minister.

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  88. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    David Garrett.
    So she thought it ok to socialise with a high govt customs official over dinner involving other people from her husbands milk company and she chose not to declare that. I dont think anyone could be so naive to believe Judith (lying Judith) that all these people associated with this company could be at this dinner and that the company was not discussed
    Well thats nothing about perception, thats reality, shes bent.
    Ps i couldnt give a stuff what Helen Clark would of done shes luckily well gone!

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  89. David Garrett (7,533 comments) says:

    FWIW I also think her saying how “extraordinary” it is for her to be apologising is not a thundering good idea…the suggestion is “I NEVER apologise, no matter what the circumstances, but this time I have been forced to.” Far more “mea culpa” would be the better look I would have thought…

    Ugly: You wouldn’t know a good cabinet minister if you stumbled over one at a protest…I have had a bit to do with several of them…Collins is a good one…

    You also have to realise Collins has been a huge target for the filthy socilialists since this government was elected…the reason? They know she is a very strong Minister and it would be a huge coup if they could take her out..

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  90. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    You wouldn’t know a good cabinet minister if you stumbled over one at a protest.

    Why do you say that?

    Collins is a good one…

    No she isn’t. A good minister of justice would not block a lawful remedy for a wrong.

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  91. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    Ugly….let it go. Tell me where the common law touched you

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  92. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    I’m not going to let it go, nickb. It’s the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about.

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  93. David Garrett (7,533 comments) says:

    Ugly: What real or imagined sleight has Ms Collins done you in her capacity as Minister of Justice? “Lawful wrongs” are put right by the courts in this country…we don’t have – thank God – Ministerial interference with the judiciary.

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  94. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Ugly
    Whats the lawful remedy this lying woman revoked?

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  95. Bill (94 comments) says:

    Steven Joyce is LOVING this!

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  96. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    “Lawful wrongs” are put right by the courts in this country

    No. In my experience the judiciary will commit overt fraud rather than provide a remedy.

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  97. David Garrett (7,533 comments) says:

    Bill: Joyce is clearly a vry competent operator…he doesn’t have anything like her chutzpah though…the ideal next generation of Nat leadership is Judith as PM and perhaps Justice; Joyce as Minister of everything else he can handle…

    Ugly: So in your view the Minister of Justice is supposed to step in and “correct” decisions that in her view the Judges got wrong? Try China…or perhaps Cuba or North Korea.. you would feel much more at home in one of those socialist paradises…

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  98. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Whats the lawful remedy this lying woman revoked?

    She didn’t revoke the remedy, she blocked a it. The remedy was a settlement for wrongful imprisonment arising from judicial fraud. She was made aware of the factual nature of the fraud and not not contest that that the fraud had happened.

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  99. David Garrett (7,533 comments) says:

    Well that’s a rare sight! Stuttering in print! Have a nice cup of tea and a lie down…you’ll feel much better for it…

    But if you really feel the need to “let it all hang ou” why dont you, instead of talking in obscure riddles? You’ve got your little pseud to protect you…or are “they” watching you??

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  100. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Ugly: so in you view the Minister of Justice is supposed to step in and “correct” decisions that in her view the Judges got wrong?

    This wasn’t a matter of questionable opinion of law, it was an overt unlawful act committed in a district court. The judge admitted to having committed the fraud, and this admission was witnessed by court staff as well as myself.

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  101. David Garrett (7,533 comments) says:

    Ugly: If what you say at 4.12 is correct – and it almost certainly isnt – write to the Attorney General, Chris Finlayson, cc your letter to the Chief District Court Judge. Detail who when and where a DCJ “admitted [committing] the fraud” and then stand back and watch history being made as a Judge is removed from office for “misbehaviour”

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  102. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    What do you lot expect, her husband used to be a cop and she used to be Minister of Police, lying is a normal part of both jobs.

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  103. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    i agree with david cc the labour party too

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  104. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    If what you say at 4.12 is correct – and it almost certainly isnt…

    How would you know? It would have been a simple matter to prove that he was lying if he had denied the fraud. It was obvious to the court that I had not entered a plea, yet he recorded that a plea had been entered.

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  105. David Garrett (7,533 comments) says:

    Ugly: See above @ 4.17…and by all means cc. the Labour Party! And the editors of all the metropolitan dailies, and any journo you see as possibly sympathetic…A story like that would be dynamite!!

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  106. Rowan (2,521 comments) says:

    http://news.msn.co.nz/nationalnews/8812833/key-misled-the-public-labour-says

    Unfortunately I don’t believe that Collins will resign or be fired by the nats, despite Labours calls for it.

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  107. mikenmild (11,699 comments) says:

    DG
    A true story like that would be dynamite. From memory, Ugly took issue with a judge who checked him in for a mental health assessment and his grievance has festered thereafter.

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  108. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    it’s hardly the crime of the century…having dinner with someone who is a close enough personal friend to spend Christmas with

    You’re missing the point. She misled Key and everyone else. She should have apologised for the conflict of interest (instead of denying) and admitted that it was more than a “cup of tea”.

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  109. ShawnLH (5,720 comments) says:

    Ross69

    “Seems National is destined to have leaders who like insulting the public’s intelligence.”

    No, that’s Labour, such as Cunliffe assuming that people were so stupid they would buy his claim to live in a “do-up” in one of the most expensive streets in NZ, and at the same time attacking Key for living in something similar. Now THAT’S insulting people’s intelligence.

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  110. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Unfortunately I don’t believe that Collins will resign or be fired by the nats, despite Labours calls for it.

    I agree. Someone as arrogant as her needs to be pushed. She won’t go of her own volition.

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  111. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    Knocked her conceited arse in that’s for sure, no more smug one-liners from her!

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  112. ShawnLH (5,720 comments) says:

    Collin’s made a small mistake. That’s it. She’s is otherwise a good person and has done a good job. It is the arrogant Left who are, hypocritically crying foul.

    Has Cunliffe told us who his secret financial backers were yet? No? Now that’s arrogance :)

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  113. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    A true story like that would be dynamite.

    You would think. Strangely enough after I put a local journalist in touch with another witness to the fraud he decided to abandon the story.

    From memory, Ugly took issue with a judge who checked him in for a mental health assessment and his grievance has festered thereafter.

    Your memory seems rather selective, mikenmild. Like I said before, it is the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. A district court judge admits to committing fraud during routine proceedings and neither the minister nor the local press wants anything to do with it.

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  114. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Collin’s made a small mistake. That’s it. She’s is otherwise a good person and has done a good job.

    Except that she has behaved dishonourably as minster of justice by blocking a remedy to a wrong (see my 4:07)

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  115. Rowan (2,521 comments) says:

    ShawnLH
    Yes Cunliffe is exceedingly arrogant but so to is the Auckland tax lawyer who masquerades as the MOJ, so pointing out that Cunliffe is as well doesn’t change anything as far as Judy is concerned

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  116. freemark (615 comments) says:

    What a non-story. Is his all the Left & their Trolls have got? I think it show’s their sexism (a successful woman), racism (she’s not brown & doesn’t wear greenstone), and pure envy (she is successful, talented, gets to travel, and people like to be photographed with her) Not to mention that it was milk, and the Left hate farmers who produce that milk. Of course they like to take the spotlight away from their own corrupt, inept politicians, and their bludging mates. Compare Collin’s apparent crimes with The Mayor of Auckland’s, and the H word looms huge.

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  117. doggone7 (820 comments) says:

    jackinabox & ShawnLH: Arrogance?

    Is it arrogance to suggest that Cunliffe’s secret financial backers might have been the same people as the diners at the trusty dinner at Antoine’s secretly raising money for the National Party?

    Is it arrogance to think that Collins has had her conceited arse knocked in?

    Is it arrogance to think there’ll be no more smug one-liners from her? Is it arrogance for some to think that Collins’ ability to walk on water is only surpassed by John Key’s ability to do the same?

    Is it arrogance to think that behind the scenes Key will be congratulating Collins when he recognises her level of arrogance has reached that of his own?

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  118. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Freemark
    Im not from the left nor a troll i just dont like someone in govt benefiting financially by doing this and then lying about it.
    Is that allowable in your world?
    Its not on the right where i come from

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  119. dirty harry (514 comments) says:

    story’s over…storm in a tea cup, JC’s apologised to the bleaters..

    Now…lets wait ( not very long ) for silent T’s next foot in mouth episode..

    Bawhahahaha!

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  120. OneTrack (3,221 comments) says:

    freemark – “Is his all the Left & their Trolls have got? ”

    Yes, I think it is. Sad isn’t it. You would think they would be promoting their wonderful policies. Oh, that’s right – they haven’t got any beyond punishing the productive sector. And they haven’t even given any details on that.

    No, all they have is a glass of milk in China. FFS.

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  121. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    On a quick listen to the urgent debate, the absence of a defence from Government members is curious.

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  122. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    It isn’t the crime of the century having dinner, or even drinking a glass of milk. But it is a crime of absolute stupidity or sheer arrogance to lie about it (not revealing the truth is lying by omission). It is also sheer stupidity to keep lying and making the PM look as if he was involved in keeping that lie when the story hit the media.

    I actually respect Key for his stance on this one and totally understand his annoyance.

    IT is the lies that make this bad – and continuing the lies makes it disgusting.

    Key needs to watch his back, none so bad as a woman scorned. The arrogant Collins will not be pleased she has been put in her place.

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  123. dirty harry (514 comments) says:

    Dont be silly Judith..

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  124. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Judith
    Watch Key pathetically avoid all questions about his involvement in the house today and see if you still respect him. Also see if you think he wasnt involved and whether you then think Judith is dark as she is in trouble but Key is not
    http://www.inthehouse.co.nz/video/31938

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  125. ShawnLH (5,720 comments) says:

    doggone7,

    are you on some kind of medication we should be aware of?

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  126. doggone7 (820 comments) says:

    ShawnLH says: “doggone7,are you on some kind of medication we should be aware of?”

    Yes. It’s stuff which makes me see quite clearly when someone says that Cunliffe is arrogant while apparently not being able to see that if there were an Olympic event in arrogance, Judith Collins would be a serious candidate for the gold.

    It’s medication which gives me insight fantastic enough to appreciate the irony of someone saying Cunliffe is arrogant about not saying who gave him money while accepting the Prime Minister’s crap about a fundraising dinner at Antoines. Do you want the name of my supplier?

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  127. Warren Murray (313 comments) says:

    Im disappointed in Collins. That doesn’t mean i think she is a crook who used her position for her husband’s advantage. But it is a bad look. Shame.

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  128. freemark (615 comments) says:

    Where’d HueRoss69 go? Why don’t you tell us about any financial advantage you and your LB Member partner get on the tax & ratepayer Hue? Pleasure cruises around the Gulf..Slush funds from the Ratepayer funnelled to the High School Board of Trustees (head of which just happens to be Denise Roche’s Husband?

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  129. Bill (94 comments) says:

    “This disclosure was still voluntary (not something discovered by others), but it keeps the story going longer than it might have otherwise.” Thus comments DPF in this post

    Wow! Wayne Eagleson (aka JK2) asked her if there was anything else she wished to disclose. Do you seriously think that question was a bit of serendipity?

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  130. tvb (4,501 comments) says:

    She mislead the Prime Minister by not telling the whole story. Not a good thing to do. I suspect John Key does not have as much trust in her and for a Justice Minister it is very bad. I doubt she will make the same mistake again, Ministers who mislead the PM do not survive, she must know that.

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  131. Nostalgia-NZ (5,276 comments) says:

    She looks as though she will follow dear Len’s policy of keeping ‘mum’ and fading, somewhat, into relative obscurity. Lenny, wasn’t facing an election however.

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  132. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Judith Collins has been caught out not telling the truth.

    She has misled the New Zealand public; she has misled her boss the Prime Minister; and her best defence is that she lied to us, by omission.

    It is simply not good enough. She is no longer fit to be a Minister, she has failed the truth test.

    …It’s clear the Chinese saw her visit and subsequent website appearance as an ‘endorsement’. But the Prime Minister continues to claim it was just a ‘promotion’. There is absolutely no difference. It’s the same thing. It’s semantics Prime Minister. The John Key of old would have crucified Helen Clark for such garbage. He needs to step back and see this for what it is.

    http://www.radiolive.co.nz/Duncan-Garner-Judith-Collins-must-go/tabid/674/articleID/41142/Default.aspx

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  133. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    It wasn’t that long ago when it was implied that Collins leaked private information in an email from Michelle Boag. Now that Collins’ credibility is shot, that allegation can be seen in a new light.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10847321

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  134. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    It must be a proper bastard for the Nats to have their dear leader in waiting on her second strike.

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  135. deadrightkev (511 comments) says:

    I have never voted National and I am unlikely to. Even so I think Judith should give the bird to her detractors.

    This is the beat-up of the century and I am surprised that Key allowed himself to get sucked in by it.

    Judith should take it in her stride, sit and wait for the eventual leadership stoush when Key departs. She is the best.

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  136. Nostalgia-NZ (5,276 comments) says:

    Key had to explain that a senior Minister had omitted material of critical importance in her Cabinet report. I’m surprised he didn’t sack her because in the aftermath it emerges speculation as to why he didn’t – that she is powerful in the National caucus, in other words someone ‘too’ powerful to sack. Key is the PM, and Collins has mocked him by undermining him.

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  137. deadrightkev (511 comments) says:

    No one is too powerful, even JK. The vultures are circling.

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