The Herald reports:
Ms Collins publicly apologised to television reporter Katie Bradford last night after attacking her on Twitter and telling a rival channel Bradford had inappropriately approached her when she was Police Minister.
Mr Key, while clearly unimpressed with Ms Collins’ attacks on the journalist, expressed confidence in her when asked if he had unequivocal confidence in her.
He again stated he had confidence in her this morning, and told Radio New Zealand Ms Collins had felt under pressure over the Oravida affair and the media’s scrutiny of former Cabinet colleague Maurice Williamson’s involvement with Chinese businessman Donghua Liu.
“She’s close to Maurice, and Maurice has clearly also been under a fair bit of pressure, and I think she’s felt a bit for her friend.
But Mr Key said Ms Collins had “over-reached”.
There’s quite a lot of emotions riding high at the moment, which is understandable. But discipline needs to come first. The Government has a great record to run on, and most of the fundamentals are strong. But as Bill English pointed out, you can lose on 47%.
A spokeswoman for Ms Collins said she had acknowledged she shouldn’t have brought Katie Bradford into the discussion.
“She’s apologised publicly and is hoping to talk to Katie shortly. Going forward, anything else she has to say on the matter will be with Katie herself which is the most appropriate thing to do.” …
The Budget is next week. Obviously issues around Maurice and Judith will be the focus in Parliament this week. The challenge for National is to not drag them out longer than necessary, so next week is about economic management.