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Collins under fire

Written By: - Date published: 10:06 am, April 16th, 2014 - 115 comments
Categories: john key, Judith Collins, national, same old national, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

Judith Collins stock

Judith Collins has gone from being one of National’s most assured performers and a likely future National Party leader to someone who is under increasing pressure and who must be one further disclosure away from being fired.

As Minister for ACC she has to take responsibility for policy which dictated that claimants who did not sign a form known as form 167 had their payments stopped.  The form is to authorise the release of information belonging to claimants to ACC.  The form is extraordinarily wide and some claimants have taken exception to it.  But even attempts to negotiate the terms of the authority has resulted in claimants’ entitlements being cancelled.

Judith Collins claims that she has only known about the problem for the past five days.  This seems unusual as Bronwyn Pullar amongst others raised this as an issue some time ago.  And Denise Powell, the woman whose appeal led to the ruling, has stated that the matter has been a live issue since at least 2009.

Collins’ ACC problems are dwarfed by the ongoing difficulties with Oravida.  Yesterday TV3 released details of a letter it had obtained under the Official Information Act in which Oravida director Julia Xu sought government help after Fonterra’s whey contamination scandal broke in July last year.  The letter to Tim Groser and Nathan Guy said that Oravida was facing “a marketing disaster.  On behalf of Oravida NZ Ltd I would urge the ministers and the NZ government to help us navigate through this difficult time.”

Which makes you wonder who the mysterious Chinese Government Official was who had dinner with Collins and the Oravida directors at the so called “private dinner” and was he there to help Oravida navigate what was a marketing disaster.

Winston Peters said yesterday that the dinner with the Chinese official was a result of the letter, and he claims he has official documents showing two cabinet ministers “rushed to do exactly as Oravida asked, including obtaining taxpayer funds to get special help for Ms Collins’ husband’s company”.

He suggested that Oravida received sterling support from the Government which the other milk companies did not.

He has promised further revelations today, presumably in Parliament.  It could be an interesting day.

John Key must be privately despairing. He has refused to disclose who the Chinese Official is. It should only be a matter of time before their identity is disclosed and then Key himself will face further questions.

And meanwhile Collins’ greatest cheerleader Cameron Slater is busily trashing Simon Bridges’ reputation (warning Whaleoil link).  I wonder if the intent is to damage the competition to Collins’ National Party leadership aspirations?  John Key and National must be becoming increasingly afraid what further reputational damage he will cause.

Update: And it is going to be a busy time for Collins during Question Time this afternoon.  Questions include:

1.  Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in the Hon Judith Collins and her handling of her relationship with Oravida Ltd?
3.  GRANT ROBERTSON to the Minister of Justice: Was the employer of the senior Chinese border control official, who she had dinner with in Beijing in October 2013 on her Ministerial visit to China, from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine also known as the AQSIQ?
6.  Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Minister of Justice: Why will she not identify the senior Chinese border official with whom she met on 20 October 2013, and disclose the business that was discussed at the dinner with him that evening?
7.  IAIN LEES-GALLOWAY to the Minister for ACC: Does she stand by her answers to Oral Question No. 10 yesterday?
9.  KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister for ACC: Have all of the recommendations of the 2012 Independent Review of ACC’s Privacy and Security of Information been implemented; if not, why not?

115 comments on “Collins under fire”

  1. Ant 1

    Judith Collins, couldn’t be happening to a nicer person. 😀

    On the second point, it looks like both Joyce and Collins have been going after Simon Bridges. Joyce has been leaking stories to Brooke Sabin recently, Collins is obviously going straight to Slater.

  2. Clemgeopin 2

    Mr Cunliffe gave a very clear message regarding Collins, Key and Oravida in his excellent interview this morning on TV3.
    Watch in link below:
    http://www.3news.co.nz/Cunliffe-Govt-clicks-onto-foreign-buyer-ban/tabid/1607/articleID/340325/Default.aspx

    • Tracey 2.1

      karol

      I agree. the acc story should be the big one. several people complained over a fews… took someone able to sue to force it. go to nine to noon and listen to the interview with helen kelly… a lawyer… and a community councillor and jp.

    • mickysavage 2.2

      Very interesting. From the tape Key and Cunliffe were both lined up to speak to an Institute of Directors meeting. Key pulled out late and sent Joyce and Cunliffe decided to honour his commitment.

      Then National comes out with a line that Cunliffe was afraid to debate.

      Talk about spin …

      • Clemgeopin 2.2.1

        I think the media, the blogs and political commentators should wise up and call Key’s bluff every time. We can’t let him keep trying to fool many people all of the time.

  3. karol 3

    So, no privacy for us ACC claimants, but Collins tries to claim her dinners with foreign officials and her hubbies business are private….!

    • mickysavage 3.1

      Aye …

      I wonder if the Chinese Government knows about the involvement of the official?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        I think you’ll find that it’s come as much as a surprise to them as to us which is, IMO, why National are trying very hard not to say who he is.

        • Tracey 3.1.1.1

          I dont agree. china will know exactly who it is imo. his name will reveal to kiwis that he was the key man to solve any border probs for oriveda.

          if they didnt know… they would have demanded it from key if they cared. key would have given it to them. imo

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.2

          If the Chinese government has official knowledge of the dinner that will make it very hard for Collins to continue her corrupt pretence that it was a purely private matter.

          • mickysavage 3.1.1.2.1

            And if the Chinese Government does not know that the official was at the dinner this will make it impossible for Collins to claim that it was all above board.

  4. Wensleydale 4

    National MPs would eat their own first-born if it aided their ambitions. It’s quite entertaining to watch, especially when it involves a gurgling drop-kick like Bridges. Honestly, after his performance against Russell Norman, he must have spent the rest of the day punching himself in the face.

  5. karol 5

    NZ Herald, “Have your say” responses to should Judith Collins atep down as minister?

    Yes- 72
    No – 16

    • Tracey 5.1

      women are eventually dispensable to the nats.

      in oz guillard was pilloried out by rudd and others… now they have a govt the polls say many dont want.

      • Daveosaurus 5.1.1

        Judith Collins’ problem isn’t her gender; it’s her deep corruption.

        • felix 5.1.1.1

          It’s her agenda…

        • Tracey 5.1.1.2

          i agree. but the nats have a history of throwing their women mps to the wolves with less prevarication than their men.

          • ScottGN 5.1.1.2.1

            Indeed Tracey. God knows I’m not in the business of feeling sorry for Judith Collins but it has been striking the way that she’s been left to fend for herself as the Oravida Affair has developed. Aside from some frankly lukewarm support from the PM (and let’s face it, given how close he is to the whole sequence of events he couldn’t really do any less than he has) she hasn’t had any backup from her fellow Nat MPs – no support during QT in the House, they all manage to look terribly busy with paperwork when she rises to answer questions, no support outside of the House and unlike other MPs she hasn’t had received the typical ‘honour guard’ to get through the Foyer of the House and past the waiting journos and so has been reduced to scuttling through the back door.

    • Clemgeopin 5.2

      NOW: (Last collated at 3:31 pm)

      261 – Yes
      56 – No

  6. Penny Bright 6

    Is Minister for Justice Judith Collins going to be CRUSHED with CORRUPT ‘conflicts of interest’?

    In my considered opinion – YES.

    What concerns me is from where do Ministers / MPs / the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC)/ the party political Office of the Prime Minister / the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Wayne Eagleson get their TRAINING / ADVICE / UNDERSTANDING about what constitutes corrupt ‘conflicts of interests’?

    Because, in my considered opinion, they don’t appear to have a clue.

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/business/qoa/00HOH_OralQuestions/list-of-questions-for-oral-answer

    Questions for Oral Answer

    Wednesday, 16 April 2014
    Questions to Ministers

    Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in the Hon Judith Collins and her handling of her relationship with Oravida Ltd?

    GRANT ROBERTSON to the Minister of Justice: Was the employer of the senior Chinese border control official, who she had dinner with in Beijing in October 2013 on her Ministerial visit to China, from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine also known as the AQSIQ?

    Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Minister of Justice: Why will she not identify the senior Chinese border official with whom she met on 20 October 2013, and disclose the business that was discussed at the dinner with him that evening?

    Penny Bright

    • Hayden 6.1

      GRANT ROBERTSON to the Minister of Justice: Was the employer of the senior Chinese border control official, who she had dinner with in Beijing in October 2013 on her Ministerial visit to China, from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine also known as the AQSIQ?

      Does he have glasses?

      Was he wearing a hat!?

      • karol 6.1.1

        And JC dancing on a pin in her answers.

        • Tracey 6.1.1.1

          with a smirk…

          bridges keeps tripping over the words conservation and consultation.

          • karol 6.1.1.1.1

            And skewered by Robertson’s last question about how her refusal to answer whether or not she met with the AQSIQ official, leaves open the interpretation that she did meet him?

            And JC dodged that one, too.

            Bridges slamming Greens as being anti-“growth” and thus anti- jobs, etc, is just scurrilous.

            • Tracey 6.1.1.1.1.1

              agreed.

              at least he has realised norman was not in govt nor a minister but tries to imply he could have influenced the labour govt.

              bill english on interest rates and housing was very slippery.

            • srylands 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Which Greens policies are not anti-growth? That is a serious question. Every single policy I can see on their website will reduce prosperity and reduce growth.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Ah, so what you’re saying is that the Greens don’t follow The Sacred Book of the Holy Market.

                I’m not an economist but the IMF and the World Bank say that reducing inequality boosts economic growth, and the Greens have pledged to tackle inequality, so they are clearly pro-growth.

              • aerobubble

                You idiot. When the oil dries up growth globally will end unless we divert the growth now to build the future. And we are, windmills now heat homes. How can you be blind, deaf, and stupid all at the same time, are you Slater?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Only in your ideologically driven heart that has no room for anything else – such as reality.

              • Tracey

                could you post your evidence that all their policies will reduce prosperity and growth using the growth in the gap between rich and poor in the last 35 years as your yardstick. tia.

              • Macro

                What is so important about “growth”???
                Continual growth is an impossibility only feasible to economists who live in ivory towers insulated from reality.
                1% growth per annum represents doubling every 72 years.
                2% – every 36 years
                and 3% – doubles every 24 years.
                In Adam Smith’s day with a world population far smaller than today and a vast undeveloped continent in North America it was possible to think of “unlimited growth” but today things are very different. If the people of Asia for instance were to “achieve” the life style of the western world it would require almost 16 times the current usage of the worlds resources.
                Your reverence for growth is the undoing of the economy. It simply is an unsustainable dream.

                • mickysavage

                  Growth is not necessarily a bad thing.

                  I would like to see a growth in happiness levels, a growth in the levels of satisfaction with life, a growth of library usage and book reading, a growth in the number of volunteers helping sports teams and historical societies and environmental groups, a growth in the numbers of people gathering together to sing, and a growth in the numbers of people attending local cultural events.

                  It is just that our current concept of growth is completely about consumption …

                  • Macro

                    Agreed Micky. There is a also a place for growth in renewables and efficient insulation of houses – both dependent upon the use of resources. But rylands, mantra and the mantra of many who harp on about growth is nonsensical in that it is no longer seen as the means to an end, but the end in itself.
                    Interestingly the originator of the concept of GDP Simon Kuznet, warned against the very practice that Politicians of both sides now indulge in. Kuznets helped the U.S. Department of Commerce to standardize the measurement of GNP. He disapproved, however, of its use as a general indication of welfare,[14] writing that “the welfare of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a measure of national income.”
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Kuznets
                    Making growth an end in itself is one of the pitfalls of many on the left as well as those of the right. So often we hear – “ah! we were better than you in having a bigger gdp!” But what all these people fail to see is that the western world is now at the limits of its growth trajectory. We are running out of resources. Every year Earthovershoot day falls earlier and earlier.
                    http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/gfn/page/earth_overshoot_day/
                    What we need to be doing is working towards a more equitable distribution of those resources. Not growing our consumption of them.

              • framu

                you paint yourself as so smart then say something so chronically easy to pull apart as that

                your a joke mate

                heres a clue – theres more than one way to do business, theres more than one way to have growth and theres more than one kind of growth – the fact that the greens policies dont fit into YOUR paradigm is your problem not theirs

          • Clemgeopin 6.1.1.1.2

            [@Tracey who said: Bridges keeps tripping over the words conservation and consultation]

            and Consummation.

      • srylands 6.1.2

        The whole thing is ridiculous.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.2.1

          Do you think so? I thought you were dead set against government interference in the market. What could be more “interfering” than selling audiences with Ministers and using Ministerial influence to get special favours for your husband’s company?

          Or special favours for your party’s owners donors?

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2.2

          So, you think having corrupt MPs is Ok?

          • North 6.1.2.2.1

            No. It is you who are ridiculous SSLands, viz. richly deserving of ridicule. More so for the fact that you are not ‘connected’. Notwithstanding your dishonest pretensions. You are not an economist let alone a Gold Coast one. You are not a former diplomat. You are not Dame Edna’s estranged husband Sir Les Patterson. That Melbournian matron of supreme taste and style judged you immeasurably inferior. Yes. Dame Edna herself confided that to me. No prompting. Straight up.

  7. captain hook 7

    judith collins is a “big” thing and getting ridiculouser by the moment.
    she should just go now.

  8. aerobubble 8

    When a form is supplied and the fine print is missing, does that mean its illegal. Or does the plain english meaning apply where only the most generous reading can be applied by the less informed party. If so, surely its illegal for ACC to have assumed the privacy declaration would be anything but the most tightly reading from their point of view. And so the culture of impunity, that once you are their client they own your life and the most minimal transgression is serious, like flying to OZ.

    Put it another way, how can a document never be illegal. Surely it illegality depends on its purpose, and if it fails to meet its purpose then its inappropriate at best or unconscionable and worse. ACC used a now widely recognize mis-purposed document to do something unconscionable, deny ACC access.

    • Red Rosa 8.1

      I think this is getting close to the bone. Well said. Collins slid around the real point this arvo, which is intimidation and coercion.

  9. blue leopard 9

    Pretty crappy performance by Collins and Carter today in Question time – Collins getting the questioner to repeat the question on a number of occasions – which appeared to me to be giving her time to think of an answer, rather than not having heard the question and the biggest heap of rubbish being a comment from Collins saying she couldn’t be bothered answering the question – which she got away with. She also didn’t answer the extremely astute last question of Ian-Lees Galloway – yet got away with it due to a distraction in the house.

    Piss poor effort Collins and Carter – both making a joke out of question time.

    Good to see Labour, the Greens and NZ First working together on the truly incompetent rulings of the speaker.

    • Tracey 9.1

      collins tactic was to pretend the questions were too long so tgat carter would rule them out of order or allow any old answer to do.

      • Sacha 9.1.1

        And the reliable buffoon did exactly that. Despicable performance from both of them.

    • Clemgeopin 9.2

      I was quite dishoest and shocked at the blatantly biased attitude of the speaker! What a disgrace that he is quite harsh and often unfair on the opposition, but aids the government block unashamedly at the crucial rimes when serious matters are raised against the government!. Key get away with lots of crap. If the opposition MPs were to do that, Carter would be SURE TO RISE and threaten them.

      • Sacha 9.2.1

        Carter has never evolved from being a National Party MP. A real disgrace to the office.

        • felix 9.2.1.1

          Carter was given the job specifically because he could be counted on not to evolve.

        • aerobubble 9.2.1.2

          Carter disappeared up his own arse, between the butt cheeks of members asking short concise questions (which essentially mean more ability for ministers to run for cover with equally concise misapplied ineptitude) and the essential political creep into a long question (as the reality of government falsehoods are laid bare). Mercilessly Carter crossed over his checks, sorry cheeks, and a political precise concise question was too long for Carter tiny and now disappeared bum (due to his big head stuck up it).

      • Clemgeopin 9.2.2

        Oops, the first sentence should read—–disgusted and shocked.
        Third sentence——-crucial times.

        I wrote it while having a private dinner with a Chinese takeaway and sipping a little light Oravida.

  10. S Franks on with Mora – “why not concentrate on some real issues instead of Collins and this dinner” – “no one is interested”. Just listened to Collins getting Mary-ed and read the reports of Parliament today – Cunliffe may have it right, that Collins is toast – with Winnie on it as well as Labour I sense mortal blows being delivered.

    Labour leader David Cunliffe has used the protection of parliamentary privilege to attack Justice Minister Judith Collins over her links to milk exporter Oravida, labelling her the “minister of corruption”.

    Cunliffe accused Collins of lobbying for the interests of her husband’s business while in China on taxpayer-funded business and told Parliament she was “toast”.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9949636/Judith-Collins-dubbed-minister-of-corruption

  11. Paul 11

    NZ Herald running a forum on whether Collins should go.
    Vast majority who have entered a comment say yes and by the most popular comments are in favour.
    When Herald readers go against you, the Tories will be worried.
    Also 317 typed comments. Hardly a lack of interest. Corruption and the stench of it will cost this government.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11239082

    • logie97 11.1

      “… and it’s contemptible the way members in the house are using parliamentary privilege to ask these questions …”

      Of course she and Lockwood Smith and Hyde never did when they were in opposition. What goes around comes around. Ask Benson-Pope.

    • Tracey 11.2

      but bm and slylands said no one cares…

  12. North 12

    Afternoons with Mora today. The Panel – former Act MP Stephen Franks and guffawing clown Joe Bennett. Collins and corruption. Franks asserts effectively that it’s the duty of a New Zealand Cabinet minister to promote New Zealand business, wherever, whenever. We should hope that our ministers are ‘connected’. The whole Collins business as an issue in Parliament and on the airwaves is a nonsense says Franks.

    Not a mention, not a skerrick about Collins’ husband being a director of Oravida and she besties with the beneficial owners. The elephant in the room but no one saw it apparently. Neither Bennett nor Mora said a word.

    So Franks’ softness on the now stark appearance of self-interest corruption, indeed proslytising for the same (the brown paper bag full of $$$ not proven) is let to pass ??? I look forward to your entertaining analysis Morrissey. To strengthen me. To have me optimistic that there are a few stops before banana republic. Or uprising.

    What have we become ?

    • Tracey 12.1

      he works alongside jordan williams, right?

      • felix 12.1.1

        He keeps Jordan on a leash. Only lets him out of the basement to talk to the media.

      • karol 12.1.2

        Some righties are probably so immersed in the ethos of the corporate dominated world, with its cronyism, sense of superiority (“wealth creators”) and entitlement/privilege, they probably have lost touch with what a lot of Kiws see as corruption.

        • Tracey 12.1.2.1

          i agree. so ingrained is the pursuit for money that many truly cant see what is wrong with the behaviour. slylands mantras reflect this well.

    • Paul 12.2

      Mora’s Panel is overrepresented by ACT and its acolytes.
      Money talks on RNZ.

      • Morrissey 12.2.1

        Money talks on RNZ.

        Actually, when you listen to the likes of Jordan Williams sounding off, you realize pretty quickly that it’s more a case of stupidity talks on RNZ.

  13. dave 13

    it looks like the labour party have woken from the long slumber today cunliffe,robertson on fire today a government in waiting flexed it musles cunliffe is going make a great PM

    • marty mars 13.1

      Cunliffe needs to get even more morally outraged by this – I hope he gets absolutely disgusted and red with rage and then releases it in a controlled and determined way on target – that’ll bring in the votes.

  14. felix 14

    5 questions on Collins’ scandals in the house today.

    4 that she can’t answer without incriminating herself and 1 that the PM can’t.

    Just to be clear, she is utterly, utterly fucked isn’t she?

    • ScottGN 14.1

      Yep felix, I think she is. Her performance in the House today was easily the worst we’ve seen from a Minister in a very long time.

    • srylands 14.2

      Yes sure looks like she is. I guess you will be buying up large on those underpriced ipredict stocks then. I have shorted them so we will match up nicely. List your buy order.

      I still think it is a load of crap. Hence my shorting the stock. I back me to make money out of this over you Felix. So pony up that gorilla son!

      • felix 14.2.1

        What stock are you talking about? Collins for next National Leader? I shorted that 18 months ago when you idiots were all rubbing yourselves into a frenzy over her.

      • Tracey 14.2.2

        cos everyone has spare cash to gamble with aye slylands

        • felix 14.2.2.1

          stylands is allowed to gamble half his pocket-money* as long as he cleans his room.

          *it’s a kiwi term, stylands. It means “allowance”.

  15. vto 15

    I picture a lot of noise

  16. So collins is trying the “you are attacking my family” defense – not really much of a get out of jail card that one imo

    “I am absolutely disgusted at the way in which some people want to make an issue out of something that is not an issue.”

    When asked why she would not front media she said “if people want to speak to me then they can make an appointment to see me in my office and do an interview. But I am not going to put up with these filthy allegations about my family.

    “I am a family person and I am so disgusted at the way that people like you and your colleagues have used my family in such a disgusting manner.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9949636/Judith-Collins-dubbed-minister-of-corruption

    Bit of filthy and lots of ‘disgusted’ there – but Judith we want to know what was discussed.

    • felix 16.1

      lol we used her family?

      Would that include her husband who uses Judith’s self-drive ministerial car to commute to Auckland daily, with the petrol tab picked up by the taxpayer for the last 5 years?

    • McFlock 16.2

      lol

      But sometimes the shit just seems, everybody only wants to discuss me
      So this must mean I’m disgusting, but its just me I’m just obscene
      Though I’m not the first king of controversy
      I am the worst thing since Elvis Presley,

  17. Clemgeopin 17

    Shakespeare’s message for Judith and Key:

    ‘This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man’.

  18. framu 18

    the thing i find odd with collins insisting that no business was discussed at the dinner means that…
    A) she was paying attention to the conversation enough to recall this
    – and –
    B) she was aware of the problem of oravida being discussed at dinner given the people attending

    neither of those things gel with the fact she was incapable of spotting the problem with going to an arranged meeting at oravida itself during the same trip

    so either collins is really staggeringly thick, senile or telling porkies

    • Clemgeopin 18.1

      She was ACTUALLY on her way to the airport, but then it dawned on her that she was a little too early and decided to just drop in for a QUICK cup of tea. That’s all there is to it. She explained all that to Key anyway.

  19. fisiani 19

    I attended a private meal last week with John Key. He has not revealed my identity. I actually had a private meal last year with Judith Collins. Questions must be asked to reveal who fisiani is and what we talked about. What nonsense. 18 sitting days to go and how many questions will Labour waste on trying to pin down the next PM as to who poured the wine.15,000 people came off benefits and found work in the last yea. The economy is booming and wages are growing. The phone is off the hook for Labour. Smear and baseless allegations are apparently all that is left. There is an entire war room at Labour HQ in Parliament presumably searching desperately for more smears. Have a Happy Easter.

    • felix 19.1

      No-one cares who you have dinner with though fisiani.

      What we care about is a Govt Minister using her position to advance her own private business interests, and a PM helping her get away with it.

      • fisiani 19.1.1

        Got any proof Felix and I do mean any proof of “advance her own private business interests” or are you just smearing. How about a link to such proof?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1.1.1

          Tell me, are there advantages in having that sort of access to senior government ministers?

          Other than Chinese border officials coming to dinner, that is.

        • not petey 19.1.1.2

          All Felix does is smear, bluster and play to the locals here Fisiani, you should know that by now.

          Although having done a bit of research on the poor chap that does at least spare us from his musical efforts.

        • felix 19.1.1.3

          “Got any proof Felix and I do mean any proof of “advance her own private business interests””

          If there were “proof” she’d be gone. The “evidence” however is mounting daily in the house, not that I’d expect you to know the difference.

    • Weepu's Beard 19.2

      Was Wayne Eagle there at dinner? What about Margaret Malcolm?

  20. Ross 20

    Margaret Malcolm has a vested interest in Collins keeping her job. If Collins loses her job, Malcolm could lose hers. Of course Malcolm is going to support the Minister’s version of events. But Malcolm – given her vested interest – should be keeping her mouth shut. I note that almost six months have elapsed since the dinner. Malcolm must have a very good memory if she can remember everything that was said at the dinner.

    • Morrissey 20.1

      Only ACT party members and the likes of John Key are dim enough, or dishonest enough, to “not remember” significant encounters. Of course Malcolm can remember what was said at that dinner, just as Collins can. Not every last word of course, but certainly the gist of the conversation.

  21. Tanz 21

    lawyers should back each other up, she was a top lawyer.

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    Kua hinga he whatukura o Tauranga Moana. Kua hinga rangatira o te iwi Māori. Ka tangi tonu ana te ngākau nā tāna wehe kei tua o te ārai. E rere haere ana ngā mihi aroha o mātou o Te Rōpū ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • CYF reforms ignoring whānau based solution
    When approximately 60 per cent of children in state care are Māori processes need to change in favour of whānau, hapū and iwi solutions, said Labour’s Whānau Ora spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “Widespread concern about Government reforms of Child Youth and ...
    3 days ago
  • Hip and knees surgery takes a tumble
    The statistics for hip and knee electives under this Government make depressing reading, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Under the last Labour Government we achieved a 91 per cent growth in hip and knee elective surgery. Sadly under this ...
    3 days ago
  • Parata’s spin can’t hide cuts to early childhood education
    No amount of spin from Hekia Parata can hide the fact that per-child funding for early childhood education has been steadily decreasing under the National government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “In the 2009/10 year early childhood services received ...
    3 days ago
  • Nats will jump at chance to vote for KiwiBuild Bill
    National will welcome the chance to vote for a real solution to the housing crisis after their many, many failed attempts, says Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. Kelvin Davis’s Housing Corporation (Affordable Housing Development) Amendment Bill was ...
    3 days ago
  • Million dollar houses put homeownership out of reach of middle New Zealand
    35% of New Zealanders now live in places where the average house costs over a million dollars, and it’s killing the Kiwi dream of owning your own place, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Latest QV stats show that Queenstown ...
    3 days ago
  • Opportunity for political parties to back Kiwi-made and Kiwi jobs
    The First Reading in Parliament today of his Our Work, Our Future Bill is a chance for political parties to ensure the government buys Kiwi-made more often and backs Kiwi jobs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. The reading ...
    3 days ago
  • Solid Energy must open the drift
    Solid Energy is showing no moral spine and should not have any legal right to block re-entry into the Pike River drift, says Damien O’Connor MP for West Coast-Tasman.  “Todays failed meeting with  representatives from the state owned company is ...
    4 days ago
  • 20,000 at risk students “missing”
    A briefing to the Minister of Education reveals 20,000 at-risk students can’t be found, undermining claims by Hekia Parata that a new funding model would ensure additional funding reached students identified as at-risk, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    4 days ago
  • Crime continues to rise
    Overall crime is up five per cent and the Government just doesn’t seem to care, says Labour’s Police Spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury fritters $10 million on failed state house sell off
    The Treasury has wasted $10 million in two years on the National Government's flawed state house sell off programme, including nearly $5.5 million on consultants, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. "New Zealand needs more state housing than ever, with ...
    4 days ago
  • National slow to learn new trade lessons post TPPA
    Yesterday, the Minister for Trade misused economic data in order to try to make the case for more so-called ‘trade agreements’ like the TPPA which are actually deregulatory straitjackets in disguise. In welcoming a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    4 days ago
  • Skilled migrant wages plummeting under National
    Wages have plummeted for people with skilled migrant visas working in low-skilled occupations, driving down wages for workers in a number of industries, says Labour’s Immigration Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Documents acquired by Labour under the Official Information Act reveal that ...
    4 days ago
  • Child abuse apology needed
    The Government's failure to act on recommendations from Judge Henwood, based on years of work by the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS) will further undermine any faith victims may have put into the process, says Labour’s Children’s Spokesperson Jacinda ...
    4 days ago
  • Reserve Bank again highlights National’s housing failure
    National’s failure to deal with the housing crisis in New Zealand is once again being exposed by the Reserve Bank today, in a scathing assessment of the Government’s response, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson “Governor Wheeler is clearly worried ...
    4 days ago
  • Palm Oil Labelling: Possible Progress?
    On Friday, the Minister for Food Safety, along with her Australian colleagues finally looked at the issue of mandatory labelling of palm oil. We’ve been calling for mandatory labelling for years and we were hoping that the Ministers would agree ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    4 days ago
  • National: Fails to achieve
    The ineffectiveness of the National Government’s approach to schooling has been highlighted by the latest Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) report released overnight, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    4 days ago
  • Faster into Homes – a new pathway for first home buyers
    This week Parliament will select another members’ bill from the cookie tin (I kid you not, it really is a cookie tin) and I’ve just launched a new bill I’m hoping will get pulled – to help people get into ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    4 days ago
  • Selling off our state housing stock isn’t working for NZers
    I want to end homelessness and ensure that everyone has a warm, safe, dry home. This National Government has let down New Zealanders, especially the thousands of New Zealanders who are struggling with something so basic and important as housing. ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Government needs to ensure fair deal on EQC assessments
    Kiwis affected by earthquakes might not get a fair deal if the Government pushes ahead with secret plans to let private insurers take over the assessment of claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Under questioning from Labour the Government ...
    5 days ago
  • Key’s priorities the real ‘load of nonsense’
    The Prime Minister’s fixation with tax cuts, despite a failure to pay down any debt and growing pressure on public services is the real ‘load of nonsense’, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “We’re getting mixed messages from National. John ...
    5 days ago
  • Free Speech and Hate Speech
    Last week we were very concerned to hear that an Auckland imam, Dr Anwar Sahib, had been preaching divisive and derogatory messages about Jewish people and women during his sermons. It was a disturbing incident coming at the end of ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Young Kiwis struggling under record mortgage debt
    The Government needs to step in and start building affordable homes for first homebuyers now more than ever, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    5 days ago
  • Tairāwhiti says No Stat Oil!
    Tairāwhiti says yes to a clean environment for our mokopuna today and for generations to come. Tairāwhiti are have a responsibility to uphold their mana motuhake over their land and their peoples and are calling on the Government to honour ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    6 days ago
  • Swimmable Rivers tour – Ōkahukura/Lucas Creek
    When Environment Minister Nick Smith said in Parliament that some waterways – like Auckland’s Lucas Creek – are not worth saving because no-one wants to swim in them, he forgot to ask the locals we met last week who have put ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Wellington business relief package needs flexibility
    The Government’s Wellington business support package is welcome news but needs to be implemented so that all affected businesses get the help they need, says Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson. “Wellington businesses will be pleased that the Government ...
    6 days ago
  • EQC’s staff cuts show disregard for quake victims
    The Earthquake Commission’s stubborn insistence on slashing its workforce and its operational funding by nearly half shows callous disregard for victims of the Kaikoura earthquake and the thousands of Cantabrians still waiting to resolve claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan ...
    6 days ago
  • Maori Land Court job losses must be delayed
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must request that pending job losses at the Māori Land Court are put on hold until the Māori land reform process is resolved and the risk of losing centuries of collective institutional knowledge is ...
    6 days ago
  • Financial support needed for urgent earthquake strengthening
    The Government must provide urgent support to residents for important earthquake strengthening work so that it happens quickly, says Grant Robertson, Wellington Central MP.  "I support the call from Wellington Mayor Justin Lester to bring forward work to strengthen the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour welcomes equal pay
    Labour has long appreciated the value of women’s work and welcomes the Government’s decision to address pay equity for women, say’s Labour’s associate Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Sue Moroney. ...
    1 week ago
  • Surgeons’ letter a damning indictment
    A letter from Waikato Hospital’s orthopaedic surgeons claiming that hospital managers are stopping them from making follow-up checks on patients is a damning indictment of the health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s terrifying that one woman’s elective ...
    1 week ago
  • Out of touch Nats continue state house sell-off
    The Government should be focused on building houses for families to buy and more state houses for families in need, not flogging them off, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National’s state house sell-off does nothing to help people ...
    1 week ago
  • Joyce drags feet while Capital businesses suffer
     Wellington businesses affected by the earthquake are continuing to struggle while the Government drags its feet on getting a business assistance package up and running, says Grant Robertson, Wellington Central MP.  “Steven Joyce needs to front up with an assistance ...
    1 week ago
  • Health and Safety Act fails to reduce work fatalities
    After the Pike River tragedy, New Zealanders realised that workplace health and safety culture needed to change. Last Saturday marked the 6th anniversary of the tragedy that killed 29 miners at the Pike River mine on the West Coast of ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • What is the point of education?
    The proposed Education (Update) Bill is the Government’s statement about what the point of education is, and what it means to people. This week we had a day of Select Committee hearings in Auckland on the Bill. It’s a huge ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Earthquake exposes training shortfall
    Kaikoura’s earthquakes have exposed the Government’s under investment in critical building and construction skills training, says Labour’s Building and Construction spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Government needs to urgently ramp up the training of Kiwis in construction and engineering in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More cops needed to get P off our streets
    National’s cuts to Police funding and drug enforcement officers has seen a surge in cheap P on our streets, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s calling the shots? Bye bye surplus
    I would love to know who is calling the shots in the National government’s cabinet when it comes to deciding how best to spend taxpayers’ money.  On the evidence of the last few weeks, it definitely isn’t Finance Minister Bill ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent rethink needed on workplace safety
      An urgent rethink is needed on the Government’s new workplace safety laws with the number of deaths this year already at the same level as at the same time in the 2015 calendar year, says Labour’s Associate Workplace Safety ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rubble and rubbish: spending time in post-quake Kaikōura
    I visited Kaikoura over the weekend – basically to see how the community was coping with all the rubbish and rubble created by last week’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake, and to see my brother Rob. I may have mentioned before that ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Time to pull the plug on state house sell-off
    The collapse of the planned sell-off of state houses in Horowhenua is an opportunity for the Government to call time on its troubled state house sell off policy, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Treasury sounds warning bell – but National’s not listening
    Today's long term fiscal outlook issued by The Treasury is a welcome wake-up call on the need to dramatically improve and diversify our economy and properly plan for the future, Grant Robertson, Labour’s Finance Spokesperson says. “Through our Future of Work ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Don’t believe the hype – debt has skyrocketed under National
    The reckless dangling of tax cuts by the National Government is all the more irresponsible when it is put alongside the failure to pay down debt or put money aside for future superannuation costs, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our kids deserve better
    We don’t know how many children are affected by having learning support needs. I do know that far too many children are not getting the support they deserve for conditions like autism, dyslexia, and dyspraxia. When these conditions are not ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Talk of tax cuts is plain crazy
      John Key’s talk of tax cuts when the Government has $63 billion of debt, superannuation costs are rising by $1 billion a year and the cost of meeting another natural disaster, is just plain crazy, says Labour Leader Andrew ...
    2 weeks ago