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Some thoughts…

Written By: - Date published: 2:04 pm, August 30th, 2014 - 113 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, corruption, crosby textor, election 2014, Judith Collins, kremlinology, Politics - Tags:

So Judith Collins is gone.

This is English’s faction taking control of dealing with the Dirty Politics mess. There’s no way Bronwyn Puller would have placed a privacy complaint against Collins without English knowing. She’s still tight with the National Party and with his faction.

I have no doubt the email that Key used to sink her came from inside the National Party. Why else would it go straight to Key’s chief of staff and why would it be taken so seriously if he didn’t know its provenance?

I’d say that since English deliberately distanced himself from Collins in his PREFU stand up – which was coordinated with Key changing his position to say she was
“unwise” – they have been working to get to this point and cauterize the wound.

About the same time Steven Joyce dropped away from commenting on it.

It’s not taken much for National’s factions to come to the surface as I’ve previously posted there’s been a cold war on for a while:

It’s no secret that the small but vicious Collins faction has been worrying the rest of the party for some time. Fran O’Sullivan points to her sacking of John Judge as a reason for this, but Collins has caused many other, less public ructions and her proxies, Cameron Slater and Simon Lusk many more again.

There’s no doubt now that English is running the show. The question is will the remnants of Collins’ crew fight back or is it all over for them? And what happens to Steven Joyce?

This will really be a test of that famous National Party discipline.

113 comments on “Some thoughts…”

  1. Paul 1

    Doesn’t this story actually present us with even more questions about Key’s role in the Dirty Politics saga?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      Yep. He’ll be hoping it’ll take the heat off, it’s more a case of “one down, now, who’s next?” The spotlight turns to point directly at the PM(‘s office). The Slater/Ede correspondence is yet to be released, unless I’ve missed something. 🙂

  2. adam 2

    I think the cold war, just became a hot war.

    • Kiwiri 2.1

      Those who live by “Dirty Politics”, die by “Dirty Politics”.

      [Paraphrasing Matthew 26:52]

  3. Paul 3

    Another thought.
    Jarred Savage and the Herald needs investigating for their role in the whole Dirty Politics saga.

    The Herald already has dirty hands with Glucina drip feeding gossip from these vile sources, now one of their journalists implicated.

    • mickysavage 3.1

      Questions should be asked about why Key got the chance to release the email and herald got to break the story. I wonder if it was related to Fisher’s mea culpa a couple of days ago?

      • Paul 3.1.1

        The Herald’s editors could be shown to have very grubby hands on this.

      • Ant 3.1.2


        Stuff are saying the SST were working on a story about these emails for tomorrow’s paper:

        Vigilante hacker Rawshark is the man who hacked Slater’s emails then gave them to Nicky Hager ​.​

        Since the book​ Dirty Politics release Rawshark has also been parcelling out caches of emails to media.

        Fairfax’s Sunday Star Times newspaper had flagged it ​was due to print a story about the emails tomorrow.

        The emails detail a covert public relations campaign including attacks on the credibility of the SFO and Financial Markets Authority.”

        • mickysavage

          So it was damage minimisation …

          • karol

            Well, Gower is till calling at a National Party inside job – Hager also, saying they wanted a reason to ax her, but not to blame it on Hager’s book.

            • Ant

              We’ll see tomorrow I guess, if whaledump releases an identical screen grab then it might explain the surprisingly shoddy cellphone picture that the PM’s office released.

              • karol

                Hager didn’t seem to think it was among the whaledump emails he received and used for his book.

                • Ant

                  Depends if Hager was given absolutely everything. The book barely mentions this, and the hacker seems pretty adept at media management and might have their own agenda.

                  Also, the SST seems well set to run with something big tomorrow, interviews with Adam Feeley etc. Will all depend on what runs tomorrow.

                  • karol

                    This is what Gower said tonight on 3 News – and it’s in print under the video:

                    The email was written by her friend, Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, and leaked to Mr Key’s office by someone whose identity the Prime Minister won’t reveal.
                    This message did not come from the hacker who took Slater’s emails for the book Dirty Politics.

                    The Prime Minister’s office says the source wasn’t anonymous, but confidential; they know who it is.

                    • Tracey

                      redacted? if it isnt one of the recipients isnt the pm worried it has been sourced illegally.

    • Inky 3.2

      I really can’t recall reading any of Savage’s stuff. Does he show a bias to the right or does he play it straight down the middle? And by bias, I don’t mean simply break stories that don’t help the left, I mean clearly and unfairly slant his writing?

  4. Paul 4

    As this article says, serious questions for Jared Savage and the NZ Herald.
    Remember the Herald’s Glucina’s role also in Dirty Politics.

    A quick search of Savage’s articles in the Herald show a lot of reporting on the Donghua Liu story.
    Wonder who his sources were?

  5. disturbed 5

    Of the dirty dozen Collins is first off the rank next could be either Ede or another shadowy Office of the PM figure, but Key will burn anyone in his sights to stay on top of the pile.

    It’s in his genes, remember the smiling assassin case where his job was to sack 300 Merrill Lynch employees, when stock market crashed in 2007?

    While at Merrill lynch in 2001 “Some co-workers called John Key “the smiling assassin” for maintaining his usual cheerfulness while sacking (some say hundreds) of staff after heavy losses from the 1998 Russian financial crisis.”


    These are mean assed people we are dealing with, they eat each other.

  6. Ad 6

    I seriously thought the impact of Hagar’s book would be limited. Now the floodgates of revenge are unstopped within National.

    I predict -5% from National
    +3% to New Zealand First to about 8%
    + 1 to Labour to 27%
    + 1 to Greens to 14%

    Also a Cabinet-wide ban on using Whaleoil, whoever is in power

  7. disturbed 7

    Next Gone Key please
    Back in Wikapeadia filles ShonKey was hauled before SFO.



    Key forestalled the accusation by declaring that he had left Elders months before the event, that he had no knowledge of the deal, and that his interview with the Serious Fraud Office during the investigation into the affair could only have helped to convict the people involved. This statement was supported publicly by then-SFO director Charles Sturt.[24][25]

    Labour MPs criticised Key for not releasing specific policy information at their annual conference. Key responded that National would set its own policy agenda and that there was adequate time before the next election for voters to digest National Party policy proposals.[26]

  8. disturbed 8

    Next thought,

    This was also on the link I sent above,

    Wikipedia records Key hauled in front of the same SFO that Collins interfered with, any similarities?

    Key forestalled the accusation by declaring that he had left Elders months before the event, that he had no knowledge of the deal, and that his interview with the Serious Fraud Office during the investigation into the affair could only have helped to convict the people involved. This statement was supported publicly by then-SFO director Charles Sturt.[24][25]

    Labour MPs criticised Key for not releasing specific policy information at their annual conference. Key responded that National would set its own policy agenda and that there was adequate time before the next election for voters to digest National Party policy proposals.[26]

  9. outofbed 9

    How strange I was just dropping off a billboard in Karori.
    And drove past a very grey looking Bill English going into his house just as the news came on RNZ about Collins,
    It was quite surreal

  10. Not a PS Staffer 10

    Time to cancel you NZ Herald subscription?
    To speak to a Customer Representative, call 0800 100 888
    between 6am & 5pm Monday to Friday, or 6am & 10am Saturday and Sunday
    Or email them on subscriptions@nzherald.co.nz.

    If you want to make a stronger complaint contact the two APN Directors who control the NZ Herald. They are

    This information came from the NZ Herald site and from The Companies Office.
    It was not supplied by Judith Collins or Cathy Odgers.

    [lprent: Don’t put people’s names and *home* addresses up on the site. ]

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1

      Dont be silly.

      Did you know subscriptions are a money loser for the Herald, so they save money when they dont have to print and deliver a newspaper.

  11. Bill 11

    Geoff. Judith Collin’s isn’t gone. She’s simply no longer a minister and JK stated quite unequivocally that when/if her name is cleared, she’s back on board. Also National got the opportunity to go into damage control and kill a story before it was published by the SST. That’s no small thing to be gifted on a plate.

    I’ve no idea where you’re getting ‘Camp English’ on the ascendency from. Key is (still) king of the castle and is (still) untarnished and (still) has all his players in play.

    • weka 11.1

      Bet SST still run a story tomorrow. I doubt the story is dead. Both Key and Collins are running the line that she will be cleared. From Key’s pserpective all he has to do is defer things until after the election. But if more comes out tomorrow that will be harder to do. Twitter speculation is that there will be a full whaledump tomorrow.

    • weka 11.2

      Bet SST still run a story tomorrow. I doubt the story is dead. Both Key and Collins are running the line that she will be cleared. From Key’s pserpective all he has to do is defer things until after the election. But if more comes out tomorrow that will be harder to do. Twitter speculation is that there will be a full whaledump tomorrow.


    • Inky 11.3

      I heard Key say she wouldn’t be back after the election. Sounded to me like he felt it was a hanging offence.

  12. Rodel 12

    Step 1 During the debate Cunliffe asks what Key is going to do about Collins.
    Step2 Winston claims that Collin’s people ask if he’ll join them after ousting John Key.Collins denies.( ‘He’s a liar’)
    Step 3 Key suddenly releases an old (2011) email from Slater implicating Collins
    Step 3 Key sacks Collins- well… accepts her resignation
    Step 4. Collins unfriends Slater
    Step 5. Benson Pope relaxes over a whisky.
    Step 5. I have a whisky too.

  13. Steve 13

    Sorry but this looks very suspicious. Key has now been given the excuse to get rid of Collins without backtracking on his previous stance. If he had changed his mind, without new information, he would have looked weak and given credence to the seriousness of the allegations in “Dirty Politics”

    Collins, in particular, has been his achilles heel for the last couple of weeks. In addition he says this new email is ” far more serious” than the matters, relating to Collins, that have gone before. So in one hit he has:

    1. Appeared to be a strong leader.
    2. Got rid of his achilles heel that is Collins
    3. Re-inforced the mantra that the other allegations in ‘Dirty Politics” were “not serious” and ” a left-wing smear”.

    Sadly, to me, looks like the Nats knew this info was on the way anyway and have used it to benefit Brand Key. What we don’t know yet is how deep the fissures in the National Party are and whether they’re enough for them to eat their very own darling Mr Key.

    I suspect things are about to become even more interesting over the next 3 weeks as the NATS appear to be now donky deep in this stuff.

    • Weepus beard 13.1

      Some rumours about that Cactus Kate delivered the email.

    • Kiwiri 13.2

      Damage control. But that won’t lessen the unease but deny the disease.

      With all respect to Geoff who said:
      they have been working to get to this point and cauterize the wound ,

      I had suggested what Nats need is political chemotherapy.

  14. disturbed 14


    Today we call officially on all opposition parties.

    They must join together and must meet in an emergency forum to set the discussion surrounding the whole matter of political corruption within the Hager book and the laying of the grounds for the public interest in a truly independent commission of enquiry into the whole Slater gate affair with Team Key and His “black ops” “Dirty Politics” scandal reaching right back to when the records start with the Key Government and before.

    There will never be a more correct urgent time to jump on this issue and destroy the cancer before it destroys us all.

    • Martin 14.1

      fully agree.

    • dave 14.2

      couldn’t agree more there needs be a royal commission to restore confidence in the system the key government needs investigating there corrupt they are not of good character they need to take close look at what these vile people have been up to it needs to extended to the media ,corporates and cronies .

  15. BLiP 15

    I call bulshit. The email, most likely, did not come from inside National Ltd™ and nor has National Ltd™ any intention of cleaning up this shit heap of FAIL. Right now, inside National Ltd™, even as I type, its about cover your arse, duck for cover, or head for the hills and wait for a cushy job to come up. Any National Ltd™ member who has been selected to stand for the party and won their seat since Nicky Hager’s “The Hollow Men” is now suspect. Any National Ltd™ MP who has been involved with John Key’s dirty-ops department is now suspect. The rot starts at the head and, when it comes to National Ltd™, the rot is complete, from gills to tail.

    • weka 15.1

      Russell Brown’s theory is that Key needed a reason to dump Collins that wasn’t from Hager’s book, and then this email appeared.

      I’m not sure though, because presumably Hager and/or his informants had this email too? And more to come tomorrow from whaledump.

      • karol 15.1.1

        It isn’t a whaledump email. Gower said it was sent to news media and JK from a known source who prefers not to be named.

        • weka

          Do you mean the information meant to come out tomorrow, or the email from today? Both?

          • karol

            The email that caused Collins to resign; copy of it was sent from someone known to Key.

            • Ant

              Wouldn’t they just use it as a threat to make her to resign without the rigmarole then so she could take stress leave or whatever on her own terms? She might be super cray and resist, but this seems way too pyrrhic to be anything other than last minute harm minimisation.

              If this email is the best case scenario then what was the worst case?

              • karol

                Yes. It seems a lot of people think it’s harm minimisation.

              • weka

                “Wouldn’t they just use it as a threat to make her to resign”

                Not if the media also has the email and it was about to be published tomorrow.

                “It isn’t a whaledump email.”

                I could be an email that whaledump has as well. Which begs the question of why Hager didn’t use it. Didn’t have it?

            • Rodel

              Wouldn’t be KFC, sorry I mean KDC would it?

            • Kiwiri

              At the end of the day, and then …

              Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
              Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
              To the last syllable of recorded time;
              And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
              The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

              As in that dark and powerful Shakespearean tragedy, the lady went first …

              ’tis thought, by self and violent hands / Took off her [political] life

              and then Macbeth was defeated.

              • Clemgeopin

                “and then Macbeth was defeated.”

                ….muttering the words, ‘Et tu, Slate?’

              • A bit of an aside, but I bet there’s not extensive quoting of Shakespeare on WhaleOil.

                I’m from working class origins yet embrace literary and artistic insight (i.e., I don’t see it as ‘elitist’ but, rather, something to have access to and enrich myself from). I despise the attitude that determinedly does not want to enlighten and improve itself.

                I think St Augustine said something similar to some Greek/Turkish fishermen who asked him whether or not they’d be sent to hell for being ignorant. His response? “No, but God will punish you for not wanting to be less ignorant” (or words to that effect).

                • Inky

                  Slater’s into hunting in a big way, isn’t he? Does he have his own guns?

                  • Murray Olsen

                    Yes. He often writes about them. For some unknown reason, he is considered a fit and proper person to hold a firearms licence.

    • joe90 15.2


      Laura McQuillan @mcquillanatorz · 3h

      Asked if the redacted email recipient is John Key’s source, Cameron Slater says “I doubt that she passed it on” –


      • karol 15.2.1

        So who is it they they claim we all now know is the source? – [feeling stupid]

        • BLiP

          Whaledump, surely? He/she gave it to the media which, in turn, provided a copy to John Key so that he could comment on an upcoming story. Rather than simply wait until publication, John Key is trying to seize the situation and hamper any momentum it has before it reaches him personally. As Mr Gould has pointed out, we can now expect lines like “National Ltd™ has recognised there is an issue and it is being dealt with”, “move along now, nothing to see here”, “we are focussed on the issues that matter and New Zealanders will judge for themselves who is behind all this”, “its time to talk about law and order, health, education, and the economy” . . . never mind the fact that this issue is now the defining issue of the election. It is John Key’s legacy, after six years, this is what he has left New Zealand to deal with.

          Well, that’s my guess.

          • karol

            Gower reckons Key’s office know the name of the person that sent this latest email. Whaledump would not be disclosing any real name to Key.

            PS: check the comments below the tweet linked to above.

            • BLiP

              Patrick Gover and the rest of the MSM cannot be trusted with any speculation because we don’t know who’s feeding it into the narrative. I’m going for Occam’s Razor on this one. Whaledump has handed the media a portion of the emails and has shot off to Valuatu, probably at the MSM’s expense. Also, if Gover is correct, the fact that John Key knows the name of the person who sent the copy of the email he released does not mean that the person is a not journalist. IMHO.

              • karol

                Gower says this is what the PM’s office told him. See my quote and link above as to what Gower actually said.

                • weka

                  Hmmm, trust Gower and/or the PM’s office, tricky isn’t it.

                • BLiP

                  Hmmm . . . okay, fair nuff, and thank you. Now that I think a little more about it. an email like the one released by John Key would, I believe, have featured writ-large in “Dirty Politics”. So, yeah, I’m the the same boat, now; where did it come from?

        • Weepus beard


  16. Frida 16

    When you read the email, it reads as if Cactus was a party to it. Eg ‘Cathy can update separately….’
    There is a redacted name at the top. Put 2 and 2 together?
    Also, as Paddy Gower raised on the news tonight, who is the addressee ‘mark?’
    Full inquiry please. This stinks.

  17. joe90 17


    Patrick Gower ‏@patrickgowernz 11m

    Was Mark Hotchin involved in the campaign to get rid of Adam Feeley? If so, huge questions about state of NZ politics.


    edit: with bells

    Auckland’s most expensive house, the seven-bedroom mansion on exclusive Paritai Drive partly financed by former Hanover Finance director Mark Hotchin, has been sold to businessman Deyi Shi for $39 million.


  18. karol 18

    Tweet from David Lawson:

    @norightturnnz @JudithCollinsMP Feely investigates Hotchin,Colins takes out Feely, Hotchin sells Paritai to Collin’s Husbands boss Sone Shi?

  19. joe90 19

    with bells

    Auckland’s most expensive house, the seven-bedroom mansion on exclusive Paritai Drive partly financed by former Hanover Finance director Mark Hotchin, has been sold to businessman Deyi Shi for $39 million.


  20. joe90 20


    Patrick Gower ‏@patrickgowernz 11m

    Was Mark Hotchin involved in the campaign to get rid of Adam Feeley? If so, huge questions about state of NZ politics.


    Auckland’s most expensive house, the seven-bedroom mansion on exclusive Paritai Drive partly financed by former Hanover Finance director Mark Hotchin, has been sold to businessman Deyi Shi for $39 million.


  21. Rich 21


    703 comments, and on a read of the first 20 the only favourable ones will be paid for and as rare as hen’s teeth. It is not possible for this current government to win this election. It is possible for them to take it, but not to win it.

  22. Frida 22

    I just googled ‘Cameron slater mark hotchin’ out of morbid interest. Back in 2011 when crown law/FMA froze hotchin’s assets, whale oil ran a series of posts defending the guy…
    This is potentially huge.

    • Bill 23.1

      …when bubby toothy sharky things run out of chum….. 😉

    • Blue 23.2

      Slater needs to go hard on this one to cover his tracks.

      If Odgers was the leaker (and it’s hard to imagine that it could be anyone else) then that means a decision was made to throw Collins under the bus as a last-ditch attempt to preserve the right’s chances of an election victory.

      Slater professes a personal friendship with Collins, so he couldn’t be the one to swing the axe. Odgers had to do it. But the question is, was Slater complicit in it?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 23.2.1

        Nah, Odgers panicked. There’s no strategy here other than avoiding prison.

  23. joe90 24

    Peter Aranyi – 2 July 2011 :Hotchins Carrick Graham connection.(scroll down}.

    h/t Morgan Godfery.

  24. Pete 25

    And now Slater has laid a complaint against the PM. For those who can appreciate a good metaphor, this scene from Skyfall reminds me a lot of the current state of the National Party.

  25. RedBaronCV 26

    And from the NBR article.
    “Mr Hooton’s company Exceltium has had a longtime contract to promote the iPredict political marketplace, which is run by Victoria University and lets its 7000 registered users bet on the likelihood of various political events.”

    How much money are our young people having to borrow to pay fees to Victoria so they can support expenses of this sort?

    I was at a session at Vic some years back when a staff member appeared in the room to promote ipredict. I had a look and was sure it wasn’t operating as it should -possible to make money by placing a straddle – I’ve said so on here before.
    So what exactly does Vic think it’s doing?? Is it spending funds on ipredict, facilitating it, something else?

  26. From the link to the sale of the Hotchin mansion:

    Mr Shi [the purchaser] speaks limited English and is more at home on the golf course, playing daily. He has teed off with Prime Minister John Key, whose portrait hangs in the company’s boardroom.

    • fdx 28.1

      Well it has given me a shit eating grin from ear to ear.

      Can’t hardly wait for tomorrows instalment!

      Can it get any better?

      More popcorn anyone?

    • blue leopard 28.2

      Try this one c/- KDC’s Twitter:


      Perhaps might give fdx an even wider grin?

      [sans the http part]

      • blue leopard 28.2.1

        Ooo spooky the ‘http’ part added itself automatically

      • Clemgeopin 28.2.2

        Why is KDC mentioned in the headline?

        • yeshe

          think it’s because it came from his twitter account ..

        • blue leopard

          While I don’t read french fluently, it is pretty clear the article is a run-down of John Key’s leadership and the scandal regarding Collins, it goes onto explain about whaledump and Kim Dot Com’s involvement in politics and concludes by explaining another revelation is set to occur on the 15th of September with Greenwald present. (I guess they may have thought KDC was more of a draw card than a picture of Collins or Slater)

          • Colonial Viper

            Fascinating how these political happenings in little ol’ NZ are making waves around the world.

            Foreigners can see here in Aotearoa a pattern of political malfeasance interwoven with media complicity and the surveillance state, a pattern which has parallels in other western countries.

            • blue leopard

              Yes! Hager made that point too and I like it.

              At the moment I’ve been feeling a real pride in the people in New Zealand who are getting active in fighting past the spin to get the truth out. It has seemed that we have been collectively asleep for so many years and now there are people really pushing to get things cleaned up.

              We have much more chance of turning this issue into a positive shift because we are a small country and because of the nature of our voting system.

              I will truly be glowing with pride in NZ (for once) if New Zealanders really wake up to what is at stake and do something about it with their votes and get rid of this bunch of degenerates.

              We need a functioning democracy – not a bunch of loons deceiving people into voting against their own best interests. I hope we collectively are up to ensuring this trend is halted and democracy is improved.

      • Rich 28.2.3

        That was written by;

        Grégor Brandy (Journaliste)

        Can we get some of those in this country after the election?

  27. weka 29

    Here you go fdx, just up on twitter,

    Today’s front page: The minister and the money man, the real story behind @JudithCollinsMP’s demise – a @SundayStarTimes investigation.

  28. weka 30

    Here you go fdx, just up on twitter,

    Today’s front page: The minister and the money man, the real story behind @JudithCollinsMP’s demise – a @SundayStarTimes investigation.


    • yeshe 30.1

      thanks weka … wonder which ‘money’ man they mean ? there are so many …. should be quite a day tomorrow !

      • CM 30.1.1

        Poo, meet Fan. Fan, meet poo.

        • yeshe

          😀 nice one CM !

          • dv

            Maybe Jones WAS right.


            “Yesterday, Jones alleged Collins had been living at the Auckland mansion formerly owned by failed finance director Mark Hotchin, now owned by Oravida chairman Stone Shi.

            Collins had earlier said she and her husband had not stayed at the former Hotchin mansion, which is in Auckland’s upmarket Paritai Drive. Suggestions they had stayed there while their own house was being renovated were wrong.

            An emotional Collins said Jones’ comments were “hurtful” but she would not elaborate on what the comments might have meant.

            • Delia

              Well I doubt he came out with it just out of his head, same with Winston saying Judith sent a messenger to talk with him.

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