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Where’s Judith?

Written By: - Date published: 8:27 am, September 22nd, 2021 - 104 comments
Categories: Judith Collins, national - Tags:

Crusher Collins, the leader who has taken great delight in giving back double, has been too afraid to be interviewed by Radio New Zealand this morning.

She has a regular Wednesday morning slot but refused to turn up today after she was advised about some rather public resignations by three senior staff.

From Henry Cooke at Stuff:

Three senior staff have departed the National Party’s Parliamentary office in recent weeks as the party’s poll ratings have plummeted.

Digital director Francis Till, press secretary Julia Stewart, and head of data and insights Sophie Lloyd have all departed. All have years of experience in Parliament.

A comment on Till’s Instagram suggests he was dismissed rather than leaving the role voluntarily however.

Current press secretary Ani O’Brien will take on the digital director role.

A spokesman for party leader Judith Collins declined to comment on the departures, other than to say staffers leaving for opportunities elsewhere was not unexpected.

Till declined to comment, but wrote on his Instagram that he had been dismissed, writing that he had drank from a “poisoned chalice” despite being warned not to.

He has years of experience working for former leader John Key but only re-joined National’s Parliamentary wing in July of 2021.

In the meantime Collins has said she will not resign even if National’s polling dips below 20%, which it is in danger of doing.  This is a significant change from someone who had previously set 35% as her bottom line.

Collins has two weeks to bring things around.  Otherwise the next face to face meeting of the entire National Caucus could be her last as leader.

104 comments on “Where’s Judith? ”

  1. mac1 1

    Oppositional defiance disorder.

    Four symptoms only needed for diagnosis. (Courtesy of Doctor Google.)

  2. Ad 2

    You're doing the People's Work Judith and you just need to keep going until November 2023.

  3. Ghostwhowalksnz 3

    First Collins absolutely positively had to be in Wellington in live proceedings of Parliament – to hold the government to account. And she had to be 'essential worker' who could travel back to Auckland after the 3 days in the house.

    Then we find shes on a Tiki Tour of the South Island saving her job by meeting MPs and the Nomenklatura of the Party.

    Even the Royal family stayed in London during the Blitz, not licking icecreams in Blackpool

    • roblogic 3.1

      Personally I'm glad that the Government isn't locking up Opposition politicians. That would be an egregious violation of democracy. The principle matters even in a crisis. It's just unfortunate that JC has chosen the stupidest attack lines possible. There are plenty of valid criticisms of this Govt but its Covid response has been brilliant.

      If I was doing that job I'd be calling out their failures on housing, inconsistency of Covid relief funds, Grant's QE idiocy, continuing inequality and the fraying health system. This is a government that panders to middle class homeowners and leaves big loopholes for foreign $$ and Aussie banks to continue blowing up our housing bubble. That ignores the plight of renters and exploited workers. That has overseen a massive growth of homelessness suicide and people relying on foodbanks for survival. That writes piss poor legislation based on the demands of woke mobs on twitter, and wallpapers over the unintended consequences.

      But we are supposed to celebrate with distractions like the Americas cup and the All Blacks.

      I like Jacinda but can't stand this neoliberal centrist status quo crap.

      • Patricia Bremner 3.1.1

        Robologic Suicides? No that has been challenged before.

      • Ghostwhowalksnz 3.1.2

        Robertson hasnt done anything about Quantitative Easing.

        That was the Reserve Bank , it would be the only way to keep the OCR at 0.25%…which again was decided by by RB…not GR !

        The RB was buying government bonds with its QE ' money'

  4. Gezza 4

    "Till declined to comment, but wrote on his Instagram that he had been dismissed, writing that he had drank from a “poisoned chalice”.

    I posted about this in Open Mike or Daily Review the other day. Would love to know exactly what Till meant by that cryptic remark.

  5. Gezza 5

    Collins got a very bad review on last night's One News at 6.

    Basically the angle was that she's out on her ear, just a question of when.

    The embedded video newsclip suggested to me that political editor Jessica Mutch-Mackay (who I presume put the video clip together) might be hoping to convince National it needs to dump her. Certainly didn't do Collins any favours.


  6. Pete 6

    I have no problem with politicians who for whatever reasons choose to not go on media interview slots. When Moses handed down the tablets on Mt Sinai the Politicians' Edition did not have on it, "Thou must always go on every media interview at all times," or "Thou must never refuse to go on a regular slot unless you are dead."

    The footnote right down the bottom though, bears noting: "Thou would be wise to have a bloody good reason and be prepared to put up with the look if thou refuseth to turn up for a regular media booking."

    Francis Till's “poisoned chalice” remark is cryptic. Saying that he had been "dismissed" is not. Dismissed: Sacked, chucked out, fired, given the arse, told to leave, thrown out, axed, given a bullet, given the old heave-ho. Not cryptic.

  7. gsays 7

    Where's Judith?

    Under Bridges.

  8. bernard 8

    ships deserting the sinking rat?

  9. veutoviper 9

    "She has a regular Wednesday morning slot but refused to turn up today after she was advised about some rather public resignations by three senior staff."

    Not a criticism, Micky, but RNZ report that as " She pulled out of her usual Wednesday interview on Morning Report after we said we would be asking about the departure of three staff from the party's parliamentary office" – ie she presumably already knew about the departures but did not want to talk about them, especially as Till claimed he was dismissed rather than resigned.

    In place of Collins, Suzie Ferguson interviewed Jane Patterson, RNZ's longstanding Political Editor and IMHO the short interview of 5 min 40 secs is worth listening to – https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018813336/judith-collins-vows-not-to-resign-no-matter-the-polls (Link also contains the quote above in my para above). Patterson thinks Collins' departure from the Leader role will happen but not for another week or two.

    It seems Collins did do other usual Weds morning media slots on TVNZ Breakfast (link in Jenny's comment @ 1 on OM 22 Sept) and on the AM show – https://hu-hu.facebook.com/TheAMShowNZ/videos/watch-full-interview-with-judith-collins/422947469045995/

    [Re the AM show, the big news this morning is not Collins but rather that Amanda Gilling and Mark Richardson are both departing the show – but discussion on this is a diversion from this OP and better on OM. https://www.odt.co.nz/star-news/star-national/mark-richardson-amanda-gillies-resign-am-show]

    • Gezza 9.1

      “Richardson said it had been a blast. “I will still be yelling ‘tools down’ and annoying people on The Project once a week, I just won’t be annoying people on this show.” He said in the meantime it was still business as usual.”
      … … …

      Good. Flippant beggar. He bloody annoys me. Often think he & Hosking might be cut from the same cloth from some of his commenting.

      Ryan Bridge, the few times I’ve seen him interview Collins, seems to give her a fairly good hearing without interrupting her too often or asking “difficult” questions.

      TVNZ Breakfast presenters seem to grill her pretty well. (Although I find John Campbell’s excessively unctuous manner off-putting, so don’t watch Breakfast on One very often.)

    • Gezza 9.2

      I've now had time to watch Collins in this TV1 Breakfast interview this morning. She says in here that "there's another variant coming called Boo". ???

      As far as I can make out from her answers to John Campbell, Collins' "plan" is to "still try for elimination, but we need other measures in place" like "rapid antigen testing", "better Covid tracing apps", & "people being better educated about why vaccinations are important".

      Also says she's very concerned about this "no jab: no job policy that seems to be coming up now" & further, that: "we have 1/3rd of the number of Intensive Care Units per capita that the UK has": "We are in the appalling situation of not being protected by the government."

      Anybody else heard of a new Covid variant called Boo (or Bu)? [Around 6.44 on the video.]

      She couldn't really be so flamin dense that she's mistaken Mu for Boo, could she? 😳

      • McFlock 9.2.1

        Ah, the old "I have no real ideas, so will just do things better" strategy

        • Gezza

          I can't find anything at all with Google about yet another new Covid variant called Bu or Boo.

          She's made a complete fracking idiot of herself on national television – again!!

          National really has to move quickly to put her out of their misery, imo. She's run their ship onto the rocks & just keeps calling for more revs.

      • gsays 9.2.2

        I took reference to Boo strain playing into the narrative of government keeping the population scared.

        I understand this is a popular theme on talk-hate radio.

  10. veutoviper 10

    "She has a regular Wednesday morning slot but refused to turn up today after she was advised about some rather public resignations by three senior staff."

    Not a criticism, Micky, but RNZ report that as " She pulled out of her usual Wednesday interview on Morning Report after we said we would be asking about the departure of three staff from the party's parliamentary office" – ie she presumably already knew about the departures but did not want to talk about them, especially as Till claimed he was dismissed rather than resigned.

    In place of Collins, Suzie Ferguson interviewed Jane Patterson, RNZ's longstanding Political Editor and IMHO the short interview of 5 min 40 secs is worth listening to – https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018813336/judith-collins-vows-not-to-resign-no-matter-the-polls (Link also contains the quote above in my para above). Patterson thinks Collins' departure from the Leader role will happen but not for another week or two.

    It seems Collins did do other usual Weds morning media slots on TVNZ Breakfast (link in Jenny's comment @ 1 on OM 22 Sept) and on the AM show – https://hu-hu.facebook.com/TheAMShowNZ/videos/watch-full-interview-with-judith-collins/422947469045995/

    [Re the AM show, the big news this morning is not Collins but rather that Amanda Gilling and Mark Richardson are both departing the show – but discussion on this is a diversion from this OP and better on OM. https://www.odt.co.nz/star-news/star-national/mark-richardson-amanda-gillies-resign-am-show]

    • veutoviper 10.1

      Oops – sorry for duplicate comment. Have not worked out how to edit comments after submission … Please delete duplicate. thanks.

  11. mac1 11

    I reckon there's someone in the National caucus who's playing a very cunning game.

    Now, who's unknown, says nothing, has done nothing so has no past failings to haunt him, held no position on the front bench, a minor spokesperson and never advanced beyond his middle rankings despite every leadership change and reshuffle thus being equally acceptable to all factions.

    No. I'm not asking you to guess who this person is. That would be unfair, as he is, well, unknown after all.

    No the real question is what do National need in a leader of the party, a leader of the opposition, a leader of a factionalised party, under pressure from a resurgent Right, bereft of talent and where its MPs are selected and promoted by party functionaries, a party that is unrepresentative and losing ground?

    On second thoughts who’d take that job on and drink from that poisoned chalice?

    • Stephen D 11.1

      And that is their big dilemma.

      The Nat's hierarchy has a decision to make. Do they stay with Judith, drop into the teens, sacrifice some current MPs on the promise of a reselection in 2026?

      Or do they roll Judith as soon as practicable, install Nicola Willis and Chris Luxon with the nod that they'll get a second go in 2026, and not just be sacrificial lambs?

      • Gezza 11.1.1

        I think it’s far too soon for Luxon. A totally unknown quantity as yet, as both MP or leader.

        The last time they tried that was Muller. Crashed & burned.

        Collins got the hospital pass & the job she probably always felt one day was rightfully hers. Going down to the bottom with all hands.

        Bridges should be a non-starter. (Unless he’s maybe had elocution lessons to cure that dreadful diction of his that makes everybody wince.)

        Toby Manhire, a week or so ago, had these potential alternative leadership picks:

        “The National Party caucus is not short of talent. While Collins was hurling poison across the benches on the day the house resumed last week, Chris Bishop (recently demoted by Collins) opened his speech by celebrating the increased rates of vaccination and praising essential workers.

        (But Chris will probably never live down his PR stint as defender of Big Tobacco.)

        Dr Shane Reti has been a conscience and critic on issues including the failure to fully include GPs in the Covid response.

        Erica Stanford has led the charge on the important, unsexy work of families split apart by the Covid immigration rules.

        Simon Bridges was judged to have cocked up the National response in the first outbreak, but watch his performance on the epidemic response committee in 2020: there was a leader.

        Louise Upston has been asking timely and important questions about the wage subsidy.

        Matt Doocey has done a heap of mahi on mental health, and is asking hard, important questions on a sector where the government, in my view, has let us down really badly.

        Gerry Brownlee started a podcast, and it’s pretty good!”

        … … … ….

        Hmm. When Toby says they’re not short of talent, I might beg to differ.

        • Stephen D

          While 2023 might be an election too early for Luxon, don't discount him.

          A Willis/Luxon ticket ticks a lot of National Party boxes. Urban, liberal, female from the list. So can take on Ardern without the sexist implications a male leader would have.

          White, male, business experience in a safe seat.

          Willis is doing a good job as Housing Spokesperson. One of the few MP's actually pulling their weight. Luxon is obviously bright, and will learn quickly enough, especially if coached by Key.

          The question really is a matter of timing. +- 20%? With Judith probably <20%. Anybody else would get them into the mid 30s. Saving jobs and face.

          The last thing the party would want is David Seymour being the de facto Leader of the Opposition.

          • Gezza

            Looks from that like you know your political onions & are not just a pretty face. 😉

            If Luxon was to have any shot at the top job by 2023, they’ll have to give him a high value spokesperson role & give him some experience & public exposure. Doubt that can happen until Collins is rolled.

            And someone would have to be prepared to do the donkey work as a temp leader until he gets promoted into the role at the right time.

            A hard ask. The media will be forever telling viewers & readers that’s obviously what’s happening. Soul-destroying.

            Maybe you’re right that he’ll have to wait this next election out. Then “Et tu,, Brutē?” as it were, soon afterward.

            • alwyn

              "If Luxon was to have any shot".

              Take your mind back a few years and try and answer this question honestly.

              Prior to August 7 2017 had you ever heard of anything that Jacinda Ardern had done in Parliament? Had you any idea of what she was spokesperson for or anything she had ever said. Did you even conceive of her as becoming PM? Reply honestly now?

              Let's face it. The only reason she became the leader was because people knew who Andrew Little was, and really, really didn't like him. Ardern was an unknown and that was better for Labour's chances than having someone as leader who was a known quantity.

              Even then she only became PM because she, and the major figures in the Parliamentary Labour Party were willing to give Winston Peters anything at all that he asked for and Bill English wasn't.

              Why does Luxon have to have a major role? It isn't, as history has shown, a necessity.

              • Gezza


                Paras after: “Take your mind back a few years and try and answer this question honestly”:

                1. No. No. And No.
                2. Yes. Disagree that Ardern was unknown. She was known IIRC by some (like me) for being a young Labour MP who had I think already been in one or more Women’s mags. Labour was struggling to connect with Labour after a series of not very popular leaders. Someone clearly decided Ardern might appeal to women voters, particularly young women voters. She had absolutely no noteworthy track record that appeared to outsiders to qualify her for Labour leadership.

                I heard that she’d crashed a tractor once & this was about all I had to go on.

                1. Absolutely. I was expecting to see a fourth term National / Te Pāti Māori coalition government with ACT & possibly Peters mob in there to, either in coalition or either one giving confidence & supply – with Peters being an occasional disruptive wrecking ball.
                2. National has to win back the female vote. I generally get on well with most folk I know. Asked everyone I knew who they were voting for in 2017. To a woman, the females ALL said ” Jacinda”. When I said: “That’s interesting. Why?” What
                  i got back, typically was along the lines: “I don’t know. I just LIKE her.” Even from a couple of well-heeled, middle-aged women who I expected might perhaps normally vote National.

                I realise that’s a totally random, non- professional survey of a tiny group of unrelated folk, but none of these women have subsequently changed their minds. If anything, they respect her more for how she’s handled Covid, been “tough”, kept up with stats & developments, fronted the national comms, & kept everyone safe.

                To get cut-through with likely largely Jacinda-manianised, mainly female msm reporters & political editors, I just think Luxon will need to make a fairly big impact & steadily build his profile with female voters.

                Might be wrong. We’ll see.

                • Gezza

                  PS: I think Ardern is likely to pick up a significant portion of the young, idealistic male vote too.

                  • Gezza

                    (Stuffed if I know how my carefully typed-in para numbers 3 & 4 somehow morphed into another 1 & 2 again after I hit "Submit Comment" ?


                  • Patricia Bremner

                    Not just the idealistic either Gezza. The Right wing Bozos might cast aspersions, but the intelligent rate her highly.

                    • Gezza

                      That may be so for some younger males but (and this may depend on how much they’re influenced by their parents’ political leanings) of those 6 in their 24-29 years range that I’ve I’ve talked to, 2 rated Ardern personally as excellent (one a property lawyer; the other a plumber who’d just started his own business partnership) but were not so much enthused by the rest of her government.

                      That said, I don’t think either one is in any current danger of voting National while that party’s in the leadership mess it’s in now.

              • Muttonbird

                I knew JA had the party's youth portfolios and that she had narrowly lost to Nikki Kay twice in Auckland Central at the height of the John Keys era.

                I also knew the National Party were so scared of her in the 2016 Mt Albert by-election, they didn't even stand a candidate.

                It seems they knew what was coming…

                …and then of course she was deputy leader of the Labour Party from 07 March 2017.

                Anyone who follows politics would know this stuff.

              • observer

                Fact check

                Ardern had featured far more prominently in "Preferred PM" polls than any current National MPs have. This started years before she became leader, and increased further after she became deputy leader.


                The false analogy between National today and Ardern then is an oft-repeated myth which relies on false memory and/or being too lazy to go back and check. But now you know.

                • alwyn

                  She really didn't show up as anything but noise in the polling until the start of 217. That was when the Mt Albert by-election was happening and not much else was happening in politics for the public to take any interest in. Just after that by-election she was elected deputy leader and she started to show up in the polls for PM.

                  That wasn't years before she became leader. It was about six months.

                  I see that Muttonbird commented that she had the "youth" portfolios before Winnie made her PM. That is something a newbie bank bencher has, if they even bother to designate anyone.. By then she had been in Parliament for more than 8 years and done nothing. Hardly the roles for a major player were they?

                  • McFlock

                    I dunno. Towards the end of 2015 she seemed to be as preferred as the leader of the opposition is currently.

                    But now we've gone from nobody even conceiving her as a prime minister prior to August 2017, to her just being "noise" in 2015/6.


                    • observer

                      Always fun to dive into the details of the Colmar Brunton polls (all online, PDF). Less than a year ago the mighty Luxon was on 0.2%, outpolled by John Key (already gone for 4 years), James Shaw and Leighton Baker (who?).

                    • alwyn

                      I suppose I could offer this comparison.


                      Toward the end of 2015 Ardern was as preferred as PM about as much as Collins is today. Two years later Ardern became PM.

                      If history repeats that would suggest that in 2 years from today, say September 2023, Collins will become PM.

                      Can't see it myself but you seem to accept is as a perfectly reasonable conclusion. Take note. McFlock proposed it here.

                    • alwyn


                      You do realise that less than a year ago Luxon wasn't even in Parliament! How many people get to be considered for the position of PM so early in their career?

                      I'm biased of course. I think the National Caucus should, when English stood down, have chosen Stephen Joyce as their leader. He was far and away the best person in Parliament to be the leader of the country. Still is I should think.

                      However, not being a member of any party I don't get a say in the matter. Neither will all the rank and file members of the Labour Party, or the affiliated Unions, if the rumoured changes in the election of the Leader come to fruition.

                    • McFlock

                      You missed the bit that Ardern does as well when you think people have never heard of her as Collins does as leader of the opposition.

                  • joe90

                    It was about six months.

                    You're confabulating, dude.

                    In the real world Ardern was getting under Bennett's skin in 2012 as one of two of the country's most prominent female politicians and polling as the public's second most preferred candidate for Labour leader in 2015.

                    • McFlock

                      fark I forgot how much she nuked Bennett in the House. Ardern served that ladder-kicker on a plate so many times…

                    • joe90

                      And the dopey pricks continue underestimating their opponent.

                    • alwyn

                      " describing Labour MP Jacinda Ardern as "a pretty little thing" who would "look good" as Prime Minister"

                      H'm. Oh well perhaps Lowe knew something.

        • Patricia Bremner

          Gezza you write interesting posts, but you are wide of the mark with Gerry Brownlie of "The rules at airports are not for important me" fame. You also say you are not "Left" So what are you? A distraction?

          • Gezza

            Those words about National’s ‘talent’, are Toby Manhire’s, P – not mine. (I only made the short intervening comment in brackets about Bishop’s Big Tobacco PR job.)

            Yes, I well remember “Barger Brownlee”. I seem to recall that he had to make a public apology for that piece of ratbaggery – probably Key insisted that he front up and do so. He was in such deep doggy-do over it with the msm.

            Re your: “You also say you are not “Left” So what are you? A distraction?”

            A distraction? I hope not. I’ve been enjoying reading the posts & the comments here. I think I might have something useful & / or interesting to contribute sometimes. Rather be here than on Kiwiblog. I learn stuff here too, always a bonus.

            I voted Labour religiously up until the Lange/ Douglas administration. After Douglas’s economic shenanigans, I decided that I’m not going to be politically tribal any more.

            I make my mind up on candidate or party when I vote each election. Labour’s got some of those votes. Māori Pāti has too, once.

            I thought from what I read on the site info that, although this is a Labour-
            oriented blog, other views are welcome.

            If this is incorrect, or if you think I maybe have too much to say, happy to be enlightened by you?

            • Patricia Bremner

              No that is genuine . Thanks.

            • Pete

              “Barger" Brownlee? I seem to recall he made a public apology, it was dead and buried, history. Later though an official report came out saying that what had been said was not actually accurate.

              I do not recall Judith Collins at the time calling him a "Big Fat Liar" but it did seem to me that he had been extremely economical with the truth.

    • ann wilson 11.2

      National may explode and maybe two parties formed,or a few more oldies as well as Judith find an urgent need to retire and do their gardens/look after a sick rellie. Watch out when Simon has his hair cut!

      • mac1 11.2.1

        "two parties formed". That's my pick. Forward to (both) Thirties. Rural National, urban libertarian ACT (maybe both renamed) and the small religious, socially conservative, gun-rightist, anti-vaxxing, Right floating between the two.

      • Liberal Realist 11.2.2

        Agreed! My pick is JuCo digs in and won't relent. Ultimately the Nat's have to get rid of JuCo and Goodfellow for anything to change and I don't see that happening. Nat's civil war might just breakout in public. I for one am well stocked with popcorn!

    • Adrian 11.3

      I think F.U Pugh is a shoe-in.

      • mac1 11.3.1

        She's got her gumboot in the door, you reckon, Adrian? What about the local boy? He'd have a cunning plan…. has a track record of deposing royalty!

        • Adrian

          You may very well think that but I couldn't possibly comment.!

          Although I think they are hamstrung in having done a quick whip around and finding that the result would be 35 MPs all getting 1 vote each. It would take a while to live that down.

          • mac1

            34 now with Muller excluded. Maybe they'd let him back in?

            All of them contenders, eh? Would Goodfellow have the casting vote in a 35 way tie? Or someone like Roger Bridge, the Canterbury chappie on their Board, who claimed to be from Auckland?

            Such talent, such riches, such promise.

  12. dv 12


    National leader Judith Collins says the Government should be able to essentially rule out ever using level 4 again, as it no longer had the mandate to keep people locked down.

    The key is we can’t be rushing into a level 4 lockdown every time there are 20 cases in the community.”


    Heres the problem – The last lockdown was with 1 case, and that expoded to 325 cases in a few days

    So wait for 20+ cases that translates to a min of 6500 cases WITHOUT any exponential effect.

    That plan could have 10,000 case in several days.

    She even says no L4 even with 60 cases a day!!!! With simple arithmetic the gives in the order of 20000 cases and abt 400 deaths !

    • tc 12.1

      So much there she could've been taken to task over like the mutations being less deadly now she states.

      Dr Collins an expert with a crystal ball now, another fawning copy/paste effort from the msm.

    • Leighton 12.2

      Huh? There's still some debate amongst experts as to whether or not Delta is more deadly than the earlier variants of Covid but Dr Judith Collins PhD is the first I've heard opine that it is in fact LESS deadly. GTFO of here, Judith. You’re a danger to yourself and others.

  13. Chris T 13

    "Crusher Collins, the leader who has taken great delight in giving back double, has been too afraid to be interviewed by Radio New Zealand this morning"

    She is doing an Ardern/Hosking, is she?

    Politicians man. All the same, when the tough interviews come up.

    • mac1 13.1

      "She is doing an Ardern/Hosking, is she?" I don't think that Collins is concerned with being interviewed by a shock-jock, look at me, talk over the top, media 'personality'.

      She has other worries.

      I note that today Reti was the go to person for National on RNZ.

      Judith's not caught something, has she? We'll watch Question Time on a rainy day………

      • Gezza 13.1.1

        Dr Reti is usually a rock steady, solid interviewee. Does his thinking before he opens his mouth. Unlike his current leader. Probably would have been a better pick than "Sweet" Judy Blue Eyes …

        • mac1

          "It's getting to the point where I've no fun anymore"…….. She could take some advice from that song. "Fear is the lock and laughter the key to your heart. Are you still listening?" 😉

          • Gezza

            No. It’s just finished playing mac. I was grinning me arse off at the very apt lyrics too! Been a while since I last heard that song. Really enjoyed it.

      • mac1 13.1.2

        Judith Collins has had her moment with question number 1. Seen off easily having the PM explain to her how government has helped business and creative arts alike.

        The next question to Grant Robertson about actual expenditure under Covid pointed out the difference between Judith Collins' petty nit-picking on a sum of $26000 and what government has done.

        Earlier, James Shaw got in a nice dig at the Taxpayers' Union.

    • I Feel Love 13.2

      "Demand the debate!", Ha!!!!

  14. observer 14

    I don't usually like the chasing of MPs that TV reporters seem to enjoy, especially Newshub. It's a cheap shot (MPs walk past because they are going to work, or the bell is ringing, which is then edited unfairly to look like they are fleeing). Last night's news was an example (starring Maureen Who?).

    But it was Collins herself who insisted they had to be there in person, and those images of National MPs avoiding questions would not be possible on Zoom. So she's made a rod for her own back. The media are there because she wanted the coverage. She doesn't get to decide what kind of coverage.

  15. Jimmy 15

    She was on TV this morning but I don't know which channel it was as I made a hasty exit.

  16. Robert Guyton 16

    Doesn't matter what we here think, it's what they think. It's Luxon.

    • Anne 16.1

      He's very articulate but if you analyse what he is saying it doesn't amount to much. Just a lot of pretty sounding words. John Key was good at that and look how he fooled the fools. Luxon is the same.

      Btw, he wasn't liked by Air NZ employees when he was CEO.

      • JanM 16.1.1

        It will be Luxon I'm pretty sure. He's all fur coat and no knickers just like John Key. The nat voters will love him! It makes my heart sink 😣

        • Robert Guyton

          He's building his credit. The "Achilles' heel" we're banking on; his insane religious fundamentalism, might turn out to be his biggest draw-card. Stay alert 🙂

          • Pete

            If Luxon is to bank on his religious fundamentalism he's going to need to harvest the nutcase religious people in the same way it happens in the US. That means the popular pastors spreading the word, get their followers to support him.

        • Anne


          Both JanM and Robert.

      • Red Blooded One 16.1.2

        Yep, he saw staff as a liability rather than an asset (of course making him suitable for National Leader) I hope this "money-man" gets nowhere near the levers of power. I was glad to leave his employ as "Legacy Staff" his term for those he wanted rid of.

        • Forget now

          Did he not have have his name linked to that dodginess with ANZ repairing Saudi craft? Though to use RBO's phrase; such cosying up to militaristic despots is simply making him more suitable for National Leader.

          No; seems that he can't remember anything like that at all (though you could fly a 787 through the gap that "might've" gives his recollection!):

          Luxon, who is now National Party MP for Botany, told reporters on Tuesday that he was not aware of the contract at the time.

          "I have no recollection of it, it might've post-dated my time, but the bottom line is that these are really questions for Air NZ," he said.


          Early last week it was revealed that Air New Zealand’s gas turbine division was supplying the Saudi Arabian Navy with parts and engine repairs. After all, turbine engines undergo a lot of wear and tear zipping around the Red Sea, blockading food shipments intended for an estimated 2 million children under five on the verge of starvation.

          By the next day, work on the engines had stopped, albeit only after most were complete…

          Air NZ made further apologies before parliament. You see, they were very, very sorry. But no, they would not be answering questions about their other military contracts.

          On Friday even former CEO Chris Luxon emphasised his lack of involvement, saying that ensuring Air NZ executives are aware of military contracts – and thus possible complicity in war crimes – will be a “good challenge” for the company going forward…

          More than anything else, it is frankly bizarre that such a narrative was repeated uncritically when Air NZ chief executive Greg Foran stated he has knowledge of 10-20 other military engine contracts, but couldn’t reveal any details. As Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said during the parliamentary hearing on the Saudi revelations, it is galling to hear “they had no process in place to ensure that they weren’t literally committing war crimes via those contracts”. Was this not the responsibility of the chief executive?


        • Anne

          … "Legacy Staff" his term for those he wanted rid of.

          Shit! So that is what he thought of no doubt long-serving staff who had given their all to the airline. I am not surprised. Saw it happen in another government agency back in the 1990s.

      • Monty 16.1.3

        Hi Anne

        I worked at Air NZ during his tenure. Most of us respected him and what he did. I found him very likeable as did everyone in our team.

        He never forgot a name and always made time to get out on the floor and talk to the team.

        Did you work at Air NZ over that or just speak to a couple people who thought that way.

        • Anne

          I know a couple of senior Air NZ captains. One is married to a relative. They're not the sort to make things up. Red Blooded One confirmed it at 16.1.2

          Maybe your experience is the exception rather then the rule.

    • observer 16.2

      The problem is that Luxon genuinely doesn't want the job … yet. He wants to be PM, not another opposition leader who only gets one shot.

      Key only took over in the 3rd term. Brash in the 2nd. That's why Key ended up in the top job, while Brash was soon an ex-MP.

      Luxon doesn't want to be Brash to Bishop's Key.

  17. Muttonbird 17

    What a beautifully excruciating slow motion car crash this is.

    National leader Judith Collins pulled out of planned media appearances on Wednesday, leaving ACT leader David Seymour to field questions for the Opposition.

    For Newshub it all started at 1:33am on Wednesday morning, when National's chief press secretary texted Newshub Nation to renege on Collins' planned appearance on the show this coming weekend.

    Looks like Ani O'Brien has brought her gender wars style of PR to parliament. I cannot believe how arrogant these people are.


    • Forget now 17.1

      It really is hard to think of much worse to say about Aotearoan gender essentialists than one of their main spokespeople voluntarily chose to take the job of Collins' press secretary in 2021. It certainly displays a total lack of political nous, that can not be easily scrubbed away like a deleted twitter history. I guess it shows loyalty? Which can be a virtue – when not misplaced.

  18. There are a lot of rich (some very, some extremely, some absurdly) who must be pondering which parties to donate to.

    Pandemics and global warming plus assorted "global power" strutting are stressing trade supply lines.

    I wonder what the "taxpayers union" and their loud mouth agents (we know everything) have to say?

    We need no government. Anarchists Unite!
    The taxpayers union lives and dies by the virus.

  19. tsmithfield 19

    From my perspective the sooner Collins is gone the better. She is the governments greatest asset at the moment.

    However, if Collins is to be criticised for not fronting for an interview, what is to be said of Jacinda who refuses to front up on the ZB slot with Mike Hosking that leaders from both sides attended for years.

    • Gezza 19.1

      That she is avoiding Hosking because he doesn't let her get away with using volumes of verbiage to avoid answering some of his more biting questions?

      Ardern has better control of RNZ & TVNZ (and most other) reporters & show hosts or presenters. They like her.

      But of course Hosking is always attacking the government on anything you can name. No loss. I stopped listening to him a while ago. His hyper-speed blathering and the constant irritating ads on his show put me off.

    • Sacha 19.2

      A weak parliamentary opposition does not serve anyone's interests. Nats need to grow a pair and do what needs to be done. Goodlfellow has to be shown the door as well.

      • Gezza 19.2.1

        Yep. When I saw that Goodfellow had been re-elexted Party Prez, I decided National is probably moribund.

        Neither one inspires confidence that the National Party is fit for governing. Whatever shortcomings Ardern’s current administration might display.

  20. observer 20

    Amy Adams appointed to new Health Authority.

    Quality trolling by Little/Labour there. "See what you could have had … ".

  21. georgecom 21

    best thing Judith Collins can do is avoid crowds with petitions

    According to Plutarch, as Caesar arrived at the Senate, Tillius Cimber presented him with a petition to recall his exiled brother. The other conspirators crowded round to offer support. Both Plutarch and Suetonius say that Caesar waved him away, but Cimber grabbed his shoulders and pulled down Caesar's tunic. Caesar then cried to Cimber, "Why, this is violence!" ("Ista quidem vis est!"). Casca simultaneously produced his dagger and made a glancing thrust at the dictator's neck. Caesar turned around quickly and caught Casca by the arm. According to Plutarch, he said in Latin, "Casca, you villain, what are you doing?" Casca, frightened, shouted, "Help, brother!" in Greek ("ἀδελφέ, βοήθει", "adelphe, boethei"). Within moments, the entire group, including Brutus, was striking out at the dictator. Caesar attempted to get away, but, blinded by blood, he tripped and fell; the men continued stabbing him as he lay defenceless on the lower steps of the portico. According to Eutropius, around 60 men participated in the assassination. He was stabbed 23 times. Wikipedia's description of the demise of Caesar.

    • Maurice 21.1

      With such a small number of Nats in Parliament the rest of the stabees are going to have to congregate from some other parties? The media may well pile on!

  22. Dream On 22

    I just hope some smaller parties come along as an alternative to the big ones as right now I have no idea who to vote for.

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