The strange case of the Judith Collins support website

Written By: - Date published: 1:17 pm, February 19th, 2018 - 51 comments
Categories: Judith Collins, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

The leadership campaign for National is getting strange.  A support website for Judith Collins has spontaneously appeared.  And it is registered to what looks like a false identity but Collins’ Parliamentary office has been provided as a contact address for the site owner.

From Stuff:

An anonymous website backing Judith Collins for National Party leader is registered to her electorate office address, has a fake phone number, and what appears to be a fake identity.

The website BackJudith.nz said it is “in no way endorsed by the National Party formal hierarchy, or Judith Collins” – a view Collins echoes.

The electorate office address is publicly available and there is nothing to stop a person not associated with the office using it.

But a domain name lookup on the service whois has the website registered to her office address with the phone number +64 123456789.

The name associated with the registration is Raquel Ray.

There is no online or ownership records of a Raquel Ray in New Zealand, save for a recently set up Facebook account and a smattering of Official Information Act requests to Callaghan Innovation.

That Facebook account – which has posted a link to the BackJudith website – has a profile picture also found on a photography website.

That photographer told Stuff the person in the photograph was someone else not named “Raquel Ray”.

Stuff has sent an email to the address listed in the website’s domain.

Collins herself said she and her office had nothing to do with the website.

“Well I know that nobody in my office would actually be able to do that,” Collins said.

She assumed it was someone who really did want to support her and simply remain anonymous.

“I presume it’s not someone trying to cause difficulty for me.”

If her office had set it up secretly “using my work address would be a really dumb thing to do.”

The address for the site was set to Roselands Shopping Ctr, 98 Great South Road, Papakura, Auckland which is where Collins’s office is located.  This is either evidence of extreme ineptitude or of a possible smear campaign.

And there is reference on twitter to the site being a Nationbuilder site although reference to this on the site itself has been removed.

No comment has been made yet by the person most likely to be involved.

Nationbuilder sites allows for collation of supporters data and they have some nifty integration tools for social media.

It will be interesting to find out who is actually behind this site.  And if Parliamentary Services resources were used.

Update:  And the site has now disappeared.  But clearly was a Nationbuilder site …

51 comments on “The strange case of the Judith Collins support website”

  1. Maria Sherwood 1

    The site seems to have been taken down now.

  2. ‘Cos it did the job it was supposed to do — it’s a publicity stunt to keep her name in the headlines and it worked .. has a true stench to it, like so much of Collins’ history. It’s clickbait at a national and National level. Odious. Watch for more of same.

    • Sacha 2.1

      Nothing like a handy media distraction on the day another opponent puts his hat up (at 2.30pm, in Orewa).

      • mickysavage 2.1.1

        Yeah it is hard to work out, either it is incredible ineptitude, an attack by another party or a cynical ploy for publicity dressed up as incredibly inept action. Who knows …

        • mickysavage 2.1.1.1

          Actually it might be inept. There is an OIA request on the FYI website that contains a few clues.

          But I don’t know how they could set up a nationbuilder site …

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    a smattering of Official Information Act requests to Callaghan Innovation.

    What an amazing coincidence.

    Joining us in the studio is the executive director of the Taxpayers’ Union, Jordan Williams.

    Perhaps Raquel Ray is Jordan Williams’ hand. I wonder if she understands the true nature of their relationship.

  4. Here they come again !!! Must be marvelous being a legend in their own minds !!!

  5. It is 100% Luskian playbook. And OAB — I didn’t trust Collins’ denial either !

    • tc 5.1

      It’s the only book they know and her denial’s got the credibility factor attached to it that one can only get from being Judith Collins.

  6. Maybe it’s the Rachel Ray from the food network on sky.I used to admire her from afar and my wife even bought be a spatular with her name on it(wether she engraved it herself is in dispute) but I like to think she did.Anyhow she seemed quite normal,and not the sort of person to get involved in the squalor that is National party infighting.

  7. greywarshark 7

    These days someone seeking publicity just has to write a dastardly piece about themselves, sounding rabid with ridiculous claims, then she/he can write a devastating riposte back after the matter has been allowed to simmer for a while.

    There are so many opinionated people who can grab one out of the air that the whole thing is bound to bubble and will end with someone making death threats. It’s a tried and true formula, and works well in a climate where they ain’t no truth.

  8. james 9

    *sigh* anyone setting one of these up is an idiot because:

    1 – Its not going to make any difference anyway
    2 – Anyone stupid enough to think it will make a difference wont be smart enough to cover their tracks
    3 – It will always end in a negative result to what you were trying to achieve.

    • tc 9.1

      Like that’s ever bothered Williams, Lusk, Slater, Graham etc before.

      They remind me of that old showbiz saying of ‘as long as they’re talking about you…’ i.e. any publicity is good publicity

  9. Carolyn_Nth 10

    Whoever set up the site has is a member of the Tax Payers Union

    The only Robert Preston of note in NZ that I can find is “Timothy Robert Preston” of the Preston Group based in Tauranga.

    • james 10.1

      Before the Tax Payers Union gets more blame than they desreve on this matter.

      They have said “It has no association or backing from our organisation whatsoever” and that “The only contact we’ve had with the person has been regarding tip offs about Auckland Council and Callaghan Innovation. They have never donated.”

      So really nothing to do with the Tax Payers Union at all.

    • james 10.2

      “The only Robert Preston of note in NZ that I can find is “Timothy Robert Preston” of the Preston Group based in Tauranga.”

      who may have nothing to do with this at all !!!!!! Since you are so quick to link to his details

  10. And while we are on PR stunts .. look at this whitewash of Mark Mitchell’s past as the owner of a successful company hiring out mercenaries in the Middle East before he was helicoptered in (like Key to Helensville) to steal the Rodney seat and he was mentored and guided by the odiferous Simon Lusk.

    Beware this man. Seriously. Here is the euphemistic whitewash from Stuff just now:

    “Mitchell came into Parliament in 2011 and is well-liked among National’s caucus, but is not well-known to the public. He rose to defence minister under the Bill English prime ministership, but it might be his back story before Parliament that captures the imagination of voters.

    A former police dog handler, and member of the armed offenders squad, Mitchell later went on to become a top international hostage negotiator and establish a successful security consultancy that operates in the Middle East. ”

    Security consultancy = mercenaries for hire. Please, no, no, no. Let’s not do this.

    • Ed 11.1

      A security consultancy that operates in the Middle East = a mercenary Group

      A successful security consultancy that operates in the Middle East = a mercenary Group that killed lots of Iraqis?

  11. mickysavage 12

    So lets review things:

    1. Someone sets up a nationbuilder site, something you can only do with an account.
    2. The site is perfectly functional and clean and the normal nationbuilder tags are removed, something you can do only if you can get into the code and know what you are doing according to my experience with the site.
    3. A whois search gives Judith’s office as the address for the site owner.
    4. The name Raquel Ray pops up.
    6. Someone sets up a fake facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/raquel.ray.1428)
    7. The name used was also used to make the OIA act request using the FYI website (https://fyi.org.nz/request/6649-expenses-beer-and-burger-joint)
    8. The request was made in the name “Raquel Ray” but the letter also mentions the name “Robert Preston”.
    9. Taxpayers Union says it was one of their supporters.
    10. The site disappears.

    As I said above the site was either incredible ineptit, an attack by another party or a cynical ploy for publicity dressed up as incredibly inept action.

  12. francesca 13

    Don’t worry its just the bloody Russians again, sowing discord and trying to confuse people

  13. Ken 14

    As long as it gets Judy the job.
    Then the questions about Oravida, swamp Kauri, Cameron Slater and the ruptured pipeline can start.

  14. savenz 15

    Speaking of Judith and makes you think of swamp Kauri exports – sad that one of our native timbers and about to be wiped out trees from the Kauri virus need some small local conservation group to point out the obvious, that someone is using a dodgy loophole to export the wood. It’s a bit like our ban on live exports of livestock that is not actually a ban on live exports if you tick the right boxes on the forms. Sadly in NZ anything and everything up for sale, these days.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/350624/northland-group-to-take-swamp-kauri-case-to-supreme-court

  15. Muttonbird 16

    The Raquel Ray gmail address was set up by Jordan Williams…

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/101604786/taxpayers-unions-jordan-williams-personal-email-connected-to-judith-collins-website

    It’s just not believable that someone would set up the Raquel Ray account using Jordan Williams’ gmail address as recovery, unless that person was Jordan Williams himself.

  16. SimonSays 17

    Taxpayers union nothing but a split/rebranding of Actite who abandoned the sinking ship of ACT. It is simply ACT 2.0 ACT [so-called Association of Consumers & Taxpayers started out as a political lobbying ‘ginger’ group that later decided it might be more effective as a full-fledged party. I won’t be surprised further down the track when Seymour leaves the scene and ACT dies if so-called ‘Taxpayers Union’ tries the political party route too. Or maybe they’ll keep on trying to fully take over Nats as they’ve tried in to in past with Brash and somewhat with Key. If TU is connected to this and support Collins then obviously they see her as most closely aligned to the ACTites. The only National leader contender that could bring soft left votes to National would be Amy Adams. Certainly I would only vote Nats if she was leader & Labour had done something super shitty or somehow ended up with a really crap leader after J.A.

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