Written By: - Date published: 12:59 pm, June 11th, 2016 - 100 comments
Categories: Judith Collins, law, national, paula bennett, police, useless - Tags: bad week, illegal, irresponsible journalism, police, train wreck
Good piece by Jo Moir on Stuff this morning, about National’s train-wreck week:
Cabinet Ministers tipped as possible PM successors derail over homelessness and police
Two ministers touted as heir apparent to John Key did themselves no favours this week, derailing spectacularly. Not just a wheel coming off the track, but the carriage flipped on its side, smoke and flames kind of derailing.
For Bennett, it’s been more than just a bad week. The ongoing headlines around homelessness and a shortage of emergency housing for the most vulnerable Kiwis has plagued the minister for months. Attempts to get back on the front foot haven’t worked and Bennett has been left drowning in a pool of kneejerk policy.
To add insult to injury, Key was comfortable throwing her under the bus when she got things wrong about the Ministry of Social Development’s flying squad accompanying the Salvation Army to offer help to homeless living in cars.
Where’s a competent government when you need one? But enough of Bennett…
As for the other train wreck, perhaps more of a car crash – exhibit two is Collins.
The minister usually known for her hard and crusher-like approach seemed to have a minor meltdown following the horrific road toll at Queen’s Birthday weekend – the worst in 27 years.
Labour’s Stuart Nash was quick to put out a predictable press release on Tuesday saying police underfunding was at fault. He also blamed Collins’ announcement that 100 cops were being taken off the road. But instead of simply pointing out that Nash was ahead of himself given the 100 police hadn’t been cut yet and his argument was redundant, Collins went a bit rogue and blamed men talking on their mobile phones.
Given there’s no proof any of the crashes at the weekend had anything to do with men talking on mobile phones, it’s just odd to even go there.
But that’s not where it stopped. The following day Collins, who has been noticeably withdrawn and quiet in the House over recent weeks, threw a grenade at police efforts to reduce speed on the roads by saying she didn’t agree with their zero-tolerance approach.
I’m not sure if Collins momentarily forgot she’s the Police Minister, but to criticise the police’s flagship policy as far as road policing goes and tackling excessive speed was just bizarre, especially given how unheralded her position was.
Collins undermining the police was not only spectacularly stupid, it was also borderline illegal. Andrew Geddis at Pundit:
Perhaps Judith Collins needs to slow down just a wee bit
Judith Collins let us know what she thinks about how the Police currently enforce speed restrictions on our roads. Not only did she actually get this wrong, but she probably shouldn’t be telling us anyway.
The first wrong thing is that (in her Parliamentary comments, anyway) she flatly misrepresents the Police’s policy on ticketing for speed. …
The second wrong thing is that the claim “too much focus on speed makes people unaware of other dangers” appears to be an “I reckon” rather than objectively proven fact…
Which brings me to the third thing that may be wrong with Minister Collins’ statements. In saying “I do not agree with giving people speeding tickets for driving … even 3 kilometres over the speed limit”, she is coming dangerously close to telling the Police how to enforce the laws of New Zealand. Which is something that, as a Minister of Police, she is both statutorily and constitutionally forbidden from doing.
…there are very, very good constitutional reasons for why the (politically elected) Minister ought not to be able to tell the Police how to go about investigating offences and when and how to respond to lawbreakers.
As Minister of Police Judith (up-to-my-neck-in-dirty-politics) Collins is a disgrace.
@LloydBurr *quietly raises hand*
— Grant Robertson (@grantrobertson1) June 10, 2016