A classic sign that a Minister is in trouble is if they engage in a Friday afternoon drop of information requested under the OIA. And it seems that Judith Collins is in serious trouble. Because it has been disclosed that she asked for a MFAT briefing before that dinner that she keeps on insisting was a private dinner.
Justice Minister Judith Collins’ office initially asked for a foreign affairs briefing before a controversial dinner in China with Oravida representatives and an unnamed border official.
Collins has insisted the dinner was a private affair with no official business discussed.
However, documents released to Fairfax Media under the Official Information Act show that five days before the dinner her office sought the briefing from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Mfat).
An October 15 email from her office noted:
“On Sunday, October 20, the minister will be having a dinner that will include (redacted name). He has agreed to meet with the minister arranged by Mr Stone Shi, Oravida. The minister would like ambassador Carl Worker and his wife to attend this dinner. A briefing from Mfat will be required.”
She subsequently cancelled the briefing but you have to ask why she asked for it in the first place and why she then thought it best not to receive the briefing. Whatever the answer is the likelihood that she did not discuss official business with the unnamed Chinese Official which had a direct impact on the company her husband is a director of and who is a major donor to the National Party is becoming less and less.
Tick tock, tick tock …