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Judith’s very bad two days

Written By: - Date published: 8:12 am, September 2nd, 2021 - 50 comments
Categories: act, covid-19, david seymour, grant robertson, greens, Judith Collins, labour, Media, national, Parliament, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

Parliament, or at least limited members of Labour, National, Green and Act MPs is now meeting.  And the experience has been totally underwhelming.  A well run Zoom meeting would have achieved more.

On Tuesday National’s problem was that they went for the knock out blow in Parliament.  Each attack was easily parried away.  Chris Hipkins and Jacinda Ardern chose to try and talk National through the intracices of mass distribution of a highly unstable vaccine that needs refrigeration at very low temperatures and where the supply has to be managed.

It was a waste of time but it provided a couple of brutal slap downs.  For Collins:

Hon Judith Collins: Did the Government ask Pfizer to slow down delivery of vaccine so, as her COVID response Minister told Newstalk ZB in June, “We don’t end up with a whole lot sitting in the freezer.”, and is her Government now asking them to speed it up again, as her associate health Minister told media yesterday?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: The member is sharing factually and misleading information. We have over 10 million doses of Pfizer for our country’s roll-out. That is more than the number of people who are even eligible for a vaccine. What the Minister for the COVID-19 Response was referring to was, as we reach the point where all of those vaccines are delivered, how can we ensure that we see no wastage for the fact that we have more doses than we have people who are eligible to receive them, and we have expiries for vaccines for the RNA vaccine that are, at best, four months. I wish that the member would pay more attention to the detail of the Minister’s statements, rather than misleading people.

And for David Seymour there was this zinger from Chris Hipkins:

David Seymour: How can he be satisfied that the current alert level 4 orders are working if he doesn’t know how many inter-bubble transmission cases there have been, and the whole point of a level 4 is for people to remain within their bubbles to the extent possible?

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS: Perhaps if we were doing this via Zoom, rather than with all the distractions of the parliamentary debating chamber, the member might have listened to my previous answer where I addressed that.

Then yesterday things did not start off well for Judith.  She went full blast on Breakfast’s Indira Stewart who asked her some pretty tough questions which is strange because Judith just wanted to get Parliament sitting so that she could do the same.

This is without doubt the most damaging interview of a senior politician that I have ever seen and I have seen a few.  Well done Indira Stewart who did something really important, she kept her cool and she asked short but precise questions.

The questions were perfectly reasonable ones to ask, why did Collins insist Parliament meet in person, did she get tested before travelling to Wellington from a Covid hot spot and which parts of the Pacific community had she met.  The response from Collins, coincidentally appearing by zoom, was incredible.  She did her usual version of giving back double.  Her problem is that it did not make her look strong, just weird and out of control and certainly not the sort of leader you would want to look after the country in the middle of a global pandemic.

What did Judith do after this?  She then accused Stewart of having a political agenda, thereby drawing further attention to her train wreck of an interview and ensuring that even more of New Zealand would have seen it.

Then onto Parliament where Collins’s questions were again battered away by Jacinda Ardern.  Like this one:

Hon Judith Collins: Can she rule out having to delay vaccine appointments that have already been booked due to an anticipated shortage of vaccines?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Actually, that is incorrect. It is not that we have had a shortage of vaccines; it’s that we’ve put in additional surge capacity to allow a considerable increase in vaccinations. Through this period that we’re in now and leading into over September, we’d always planned around the supply that we had, which would have enabled us to, on average, deliver about 50,000 doses a day or 350,000 across the course of the week. When the outbreak started, we saw, of course, as you may expect, some demand lift, and we decided to then increase the capacity to provide surge vaccinations. That has led to over 500,000 doses being delivered a week. What we’re now seeking to do is meet that additional demand by seeking additional supply. Our goal, if we are unable to do that is, as much as possible, maintain the bookings that we have, but also, in those areas where there is big surges in demand and it is particularly high needs for us to vaccinate, keeping that additional surge capacity in Auckland and the upper North Island.

Ardern has the perfect way of handling Collins.  She keeps her cool, yet chides Collins for any spin and at the same time shows she, Ardern, is on top of the details.  Collins was left floundering.

Then on to the general debate where Robertson absolutely monstered Collins:

Collins response was coup inspiring.

My major concern is that the last couple of days may be for Collins what this facebook post was for Bridges.

The difference is that back in April National’s large caucus really thought that it was born to rule and that the Government benches were just around the corner.  Nowadays you can tell that their morale is shot.  I have never seen such a bad day in the House for National.  All of their questions were brushed away and their speeches were appalling.

Chris Bishop was the only one who showed any spine and any sense of what opposition means and I sense a run for the leadership by him is building.  Interesting times …

50 comments on “Judith’s very bad two days ”

  1. ianmac 1

    I do hope Collins stays on. The country needs her don't you know?

    • Ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      A Queen St Tax lawyer at the helm can only lead to 'good things'… for the rich listers

  2. JanM 2

    I think these childish displays of vitriol coupled with her clumsy attacks on the few capable mps in her party are clear demonstrations that she knows she is on her way down and out. It looks to me as though rather than try and mount opposition to get rid of her, her fellow mps are wisely going to just wait until she implodes. Sadly for those of us who do not want to see the resurgence of National, this shouldn't take long 🙄

  3. Ad 3

    Hey thanks for that Robertson speech – truly excellent, and great to see Collins in the frame squirming throughout.

    Recommended watching for anyone with 5 minutes to spare.

  4. Patricia Bremner 4

    That picture of her alone, standing, reading from notes… I agree Micky.

    You are out of your depth Judith, believing your own spin about the current situation.

    Clearly you have attackers without and within, caused by your 'give double what you get'.

    Your inability to quell your combative nature and pose reflective questions shows in your blaming others. 'The interviewer had a political agenda." and "Jacinda Ardern could have over ruled that"

    There is a growing swell of frustration about the National Party, and Act is benefitting from that and from the loss of New Zealand First.

    Judith represents a demographic which did well before covid, but the new digital age is proving a challenge and her stresses are exacerbated by this.

    Her choice of support people is indicative.. "the old guard" Her time has passed.

    • Her choice of support people is indicative.. "the old guard" Her time has passed.

      Indeed, and I think you've hit it on the head, Patricia.

      It strikes me that the Nats are fighting a political game from last decade – if not last century – and have clearly not grasped the reality that a global pandemic has changed the psyche of Aotearoa by leaps and bounds.

      The old hyper-individualism – the cousin to neo-liberalism – has, by necessity, been largely swept away. New Zealanders look overseas and see disaster in New South Wales, Fiji, Inidia, UK, Brazil, etc, and they shudder at what could befall us.

      So we either act in solidarity and stay alive (hence the rancour shown at MIQ absconders or city-dwellers buggering off to holiday "baches" during a L4 lockdown) – or we all do our thing; Delta sweeps through; and we end up with a death toll in the thousands. And with a hospital system that collapses and would not even be able to treat a broken limb.

      The Nats don't get this. For them, individualism and the free market are still their DNA. But Kiwis have moved on and Nats have been left behind.

      The sad thing for the Nats is that they had younger, Millenial talent who might've understood that they they were being washed out with the receding tide. But those folk retired from Party politics, leaving – as you put it – "the old guard".

      National is in a worse place than Labour was during the Key years. Much worse. At this rate, the Right will be represented by two parties of relatively equal size (ACT and National). And if NZ First ever makes a resurgence, that rightwing vote may be split three ways.

      I seriously doubt Nats will ever get back in power whilst PM Ardern chooses to stick around.

  5. Alan Ivory 5

    Some weeks ago Chris Bishop was running very good lines on Covid-19, identifying places where the government performance could be improved, and how it could be improved, without sniping or ridicule. It was constructive opposition.
    But this line ran counter to the line Collins was running.
    So we saw Bishop change course and start to run the rubbish Collins wanted.
    Then both Bishop and Willis got demoted. Clearly they’re a threat to Collins and others.

    • mickysavage 5.1

      My post tomorrow. I think that Bishop will be their next leader.

      • Sacha 5.1.1

        Disposable after the election – that fits.

      • Billyfish 5.1.2

        I recall a while back reading , I think on Kiwiblog, a reference to a future nat leader being part of the group just elected that election and being young and some other criteria (sorry for being vague). Of that cohort 2 have left the party in disgrace so only Bishop is left to fulfill the prophecy. Unfortunately he isn't that sharp and will , as mentioned above, languish and fail if elevated too far

  6. Sanctuary 6

    Collin's has hoped to profit from the sort of exasperating whataboutism and two-sidism you get from the horse race commentators of the gallery's court journalists. She has gambled she would get some publicity and her contextless sound bites would get airtime. She has actually succeeded, but unfortunately she is now in the position the Luftwaffe found itself in 1945 – increased sustained effort simply leads to higher losses.

    Collins mis-reads the public mood at every step and I've concluded she really does actually believe she has has the mood of the public. She has a public persona loaded with all the brittleness of the ever the bully, ever the victim mentality she portrays. If she was running the local pigeon fanciers club she'd wreck it, let alone a major political party. She is self-pitying, whiney, malevolent and cracks easily under pressure whilst demanding not just loyalty but mindless obsequious worship from her colleagues, where being talentless lick spittles is the prime qualification for promotion.

    The publc have seen enough of Collins, the trouble for National is she won't go quietly.

    PS – I reckon Bishop and Erica Stanford will be the ticket to run against Collins, not Luxton who smells to much like a potential disaster (like Muller).

    • Ad 6.1

      What are you seeing in Erica Stanford? I'm not familiar with her.

      • I Feel Love 6.1.1

        Bishop? The guy who snap chatted teen girls? Dear gawd.

        • Bishop? The apologist for cancer? Gawd save us!

          • Billyfish

            And that's gotta be the campaign against him if he gets to be leader. Anti research and bollox wafflee supreme

        • Michael

          Stanford could neutralise Bishop's sexual gaucherie. She seems smart, poised and to possess reasonable judgment. So a real foil to him. OTOH, she did work for McCully before inheriting his seat, so perhaps she's too good to be true. I think she did a good job hitting Kris Faafoi over visas for nannies (an issue dear to her support base). Not sure if she's capable of more.

      • Sanctuary 6.1.2

        Nothing really, beyond she appears relatively normal, looks good from a central casting perspective, seems to come from the liberal wing of the party and was apparently a sufficient a threat to Judith to be part of her caucus meltdown when she had a go at Bishop.

        • Michael

          "relatively normal" – that's it. Stands out in a caucus straight out of American Horror Story.

          • I Feel Love

            It dawned on me Bishop has a Boris Johnsonesqe-ness to him, ineptitude & boofoonish.

    • swordfish 6.2


      unfortunately she is now in the position the Luftwaffe found itself in 1945 – increased sustained effort simply leads to higher losses

      A better analogy would probably be the position the French Womens Auxilliary Balloon Corps found itself in towards the end of the 1870-71 Franco-Prussian War.

      I'd also suggest Collins is in almost precisely the same position as the German High Seas fleet after the Battle of Jutland in 1916, of which an American journalist observed – “the German fleet has assaulted its jailer, but it is still in jail”

      Not to mention a marked resemblance to the situation of Duke Leopold of Austria’s much-prized mercenaries in the 15 November 1315 Battle of Morgarten against the independence-seeking Swiss … of whom Louis X of france exclaimed: “They appear outraged by the ban imposed by the Bishop’s emissaries yet are reluctant to act for fear of Schwyz violence”.

  7. Reality 7

    Collins type of bombastic vindictive politics is back in the Muldoon era. NZ has long moved on. She is looking ridiculous now.

  8. Byd0nz 8

    Well I think Collins did a good job with that interview with Indira Stewart, her total ineptness must have inspired more viewers to tune into Parliament sitting time, the more people that tune into Parliament TV and see how useless the opposition parties perform will surely see the current Gvt win the next election with an increased majority.

  9. roy cartland 9

    TBH I don't get the slapdown in the first example; aren't the two of them just saying more or less the same thing, albeit JC in a flippant and colloquial way, but JA in a measured and detailed way?

    Is that the slapdown?

  10. Tricledrown 10

    After demoting others for lesser misteps Judith should demote herself.National supporters I know are spewing at how incompetent She is.

  11. gsays 11

    National have really missed a trick. Instead of going full wing nut and opposing everything they should have used Covid as a bi-partisan opportunity.

    They could demonstrate initiative show their imagination and, who knows, perhaps appear to be fit to govern!

    Instead they are stuck with this ego driven [email protected]#t show.

    • AB 11.1

      Doubt that they could do that. They'll be too internally conflicted by the methods needed to fight Covid – state-led action, collective sharing of the pain, and explicit recognition of the mutual obligations and dependencies that bind us all together. Those thing are all pretty lethal to aspirational individualism.

      • gsays 11.1.1

        Good point about aspiring individualism.

        If they had a time machine, I wager they would do it differently, even if it were to only improve their individual chances of re-election.

      • Patricia Bremner 11.1.2

        Yes they have no real sense of community.

  12. Robert Guyton 12


    I tried to resist looking and only managed a minute or 2, but Judith's Collins' appalling performance was so much worse than anything I've ever seem from her, that it's worth saying and having watched.

    Just icky!

    Thoughtful National supporters must be despairing!

  13. Michael 13

    Crusher seems to have nipped Bishop's latest plot in the bud, by demoting him and promoting Woodhouse. One problem: that won't be enough to buy Woodhouse's loyalty if he calculates his fortunes are better served by switching to someone else. The glue holding the Nats together, for now, is money from the Party's backers, and muscle from the Dirty Politics crew. The latter are solidly behind Crusher, of course. With Peter Goodfellow hanging on as Party chair, the money might be solidly behind her too. Political donations are tax deductible so immediate pay off not essential. Even so, the money men must be doing their sums?

  14. coreyjhumm 14

    National is a disgrace. We have no opposition. Twice in national emergencies in 2020 and 2021 they have sought to cause division and thought only of themselves. Nzers will not forget this…. A lot of tory friends think all they need is a new leader and they'll be able to govern in 2026.

    Labour in opposition never politicized a national crisis, never hid information about potential covid threats just to attack the govt, never used insider info to attack the health system, make conspiracies… Kiwis will never forget that in their time of coming together national instead of cooperating attacked, attacked the govt, the health system civil servants and rolled their leaders twice because all they cared about is themselves.

    Then in 2021 in the middle of a pandemic demanded parliament sit in person putting the entire country at risk and shout and screech.

    Nzers won't forget this. It's not just a case of the leadership either , the liberal key wing is decimated the rural and bible thumpers who have nothing but contempt for middle moderate nz are in complete control

    I have a lot of tory mates, good honest moderate kind people, I disagree with them on economics and a lot of stuff but they are good people, ever since English left they've been ashamed of the party, they had a glimmer of hope when Muller and Kay tried to take the reigns (Kaye should never have gotten involved, she was one of the few genuinely likable tories ) then their entire lib wing pretty much resigned the wipe out was so bad and they are not focused on rebuilding and winning over the regions or suburbs they are focused on consolidating the right vote and keeping Judith in.

    Every Tory or swing voter I know now despises national now. They think they are dangerous. Former nats who voted lab last year are going to act nzf and top rather than National it's poisoned.

    I know any party can rebound look at Trudeaus libs and Arderns labour but this… This is different… It's like being in war with this virus and they are our weak link.

    I hope national gets it together for the sake of this country, we need an opposition to hold govts to account especially in times of crisis , work together when they can and keep them honest. What I think is going to happen is having one large labour party (for awhile) a medium nat party in the teens % and a bunch of small to medium weird right wing and center parties.

    National needs to get rid of these Looney's who are "just asking questions" and do whatever they can to become a moderate, liberal conservative center right party of the key model, I never would have voted Key but he was about as centerist as a Tory world leader gets…

    Without an opposition labour will never have to deliver on much because there's no alternative, noone keeping them honest noone poses a threat to them.

    Recently I've been really angry with labour but the actions of national … Good grief…

    • Michael 14.1

      Good analysis there. National is further to the Right than I've ever known it. Channeling Trumpian politics. I find it revolting but I'm not sure how many others do.

    • Sacha 14.2

      The more liberal Nat MPs were taken out in their electorate drubbing, while the churchy and fascist ones made sure they were on the list. Any idea how the party's donors and officials feel about the ascendant caucus faction?

      • KJT 14.2.1

        It really does seem that National's owners, sorry, funders, are set on them getting into power on the back of the extreme polarisation indulged in by the US repubs.

        Having had an unfortunate personal glimpse of how the Nat' ms back end works, it seems the nastiness, backstabbing and "born to rule" delusions have been turned inwards.

        Brash with the Iwi/Kiwi was a forunner?

        It doesn’t seem to play as well in NZ. Hopefully?

    • roblogic 14.3

      This is what happens to an organisation when it is unable to get rid of toxic leadership like Dirty Politics Judith. The good ones are shunted aside and the amoral power hungry bootlickers worm their way into favoured positions. Anyone who tells the truth is quickly thrown out. The rot comes from the top.

      Can’t say I feel sorry after the shit they pulled to stay in power for the previous 9 years

  15. Stuart Munro 15

    Judithulhu's electoral prospects are dead – but she's still dreaming.

    And who knows but with strange aeons even sledging the covid response might win a few punters.

    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Judithulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

    • roblogic 15.1

      I hope the electorate of Papakura is not R'lyeh. It doesn't have a "hideous monolith-crowned citadel" as far as I know. Perhaps there is a blasphemous cult somewhere in the Hunuas doing repulsive capitalist rituals.

      • Stuart Munro 15.1.1

        Rlyeh lies on the Challenger Plateau – we scraped a roughy net over it back in the day, but did not awaken any thing of consequence. I wonder if the world is ready to make of it a tourist destination like Hobbiton – I'm sure our seafood industry could stand the plug. Some of the major players appear to have been on team eldritch horror for some time.

  16. pat 16

    Well thats a performance that would make even Puckish cringe

  17. Tricledrown 17

    My husband is Pasifica,Collins

    My wife is Singaporean. Brash

    That's shows how out of touch Collins is .

    Collins is living in the past her Orewa moment backfired even her parliamentary snarl bully session was out of touch no media outlet covered it .Once you attack the Media as Collins did the Media will not be your friend desperate and flailing is not a good look,maybe it's a strategy to make Chris Bishop look like the good guy.

    • North 17.1

      In Collins' mind it is quite proper to abuse "Talofa !" to make illusory claim to affinity for and knowledge of Fa'a Samoa. And to say 'So there and fuck you !' to the questioner. Ugly.

  18. The natz have never accepted MMP. Now reality bites. MMP does not accept natz.

    The wealthy smug "born to rule" capitalist british imperialist class mind set probably still works in Epsom and no doubt in .federated farmer electorates. It may have worked in fpp times. Pandemics, climate change, demographic changes, among other international power plays affect what is achievable.

    Smug natz need to realise that blingsh and shonkey syd holland no longer rule. douglas, prebble, moore are irrelevant.

    The natz were born out of a marriage driven out of desperation.

    The farmers walked to the polling booths to vote for Labour in the 1930's.

    Ever since then they have dumped on Labour ( and the Greens)

    NZ is a small country and along way from historical trading partners. Not all (closer) trading partners are reluctant to restrain power aspirations against small isolated nations.

    Maybe I expect too much of natz politicians.

    The only things that matter to them are PROFIT and GREED, Social welfare (what is that?

    Is it possible that natz politicians could behave like sane rational fair minded adults?

  19. Pandemics and climate change demand combined government behaviour not media attracting nonsense. The media need no assistance from politicians.

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