Gower on Collins

is doing a series of reports on the performance of key Ministers. He starts today with Judith Collins, whom he gives an 8/10.

Frontline police feel Ms Collins is on their side. On a macro-level, they have watched her preside over National coming good on its promise to put more police on the streets of South Auckland. She has also taken their fears about organised crime seriously, as seen in last week’s joint announcement with Commissioner Howard Broad about seizing the proceeds of crime.

On a micro-level, she is a proud Police Minister. Her empathy with police life was noted when Senior Constable Len Snee was murdered in the Napier siege, and she recalled her own time as a “police wife” when husband David Wong Tung was in the police and she wondered whether he would come home from work or not.

I didn’t realise until that siege, that Judith had been a “Police wife”.

Corrections is rated more difficult:

The Corrections portfolio has been a graveyard for many a minister, and at some point Ms Collins will have to start taking responsibility for its problems if she cannot solve them.

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