A typical low-rent conservative


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For someone who worships Maggie Thatcher’s memory it must have been a shock for Justice Minister Judith Collins to have to apologise to the Prime Minister and the rest of us yesterday.

After several days of denial, obfuscation, and plain lies she finally admitted the full extent of her collaboration with the Oravida company – in which her husband is a director – while she was on an official, taxpayer funded visit to China last year.

In direct conflict with her ministerial responsibilities Collins allowed her position as a New Zealand cabinet Minister be used to promote her husband’s company.

Faced with on-line publicity about her role (the pictures with the Oravida Board, the cutting of a ribbon for the company, the undeclared dinner with senior Oravida directors and a Chinese government official) Collins was all steely denial, facing down reporters with claims it was all private and personal and no-one else’s business.

But as the disclosures grew the Prime Minister’s office forced her to apologise to limit further damage.

“What’s probably extraordinary is I am saying ‘I apologise’,” she said.

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Collins sees herself as National’s “leader in waiting” when John Key departs the scene. She’d like the chance to be Prime Minister as a New Zealand version of former UK Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher – dubbed the “iron lady” – the only person in her all-male cabinet who had any balls.

So is crusher Collins our answer to Thatcher? For hatred of workers and unions Collins fits the bill but she lacks Thatcher’s pompous grandiloquence and unfailing belief that she was always right. Collins just doesn’t cut the mustard.

Instead she’s is a typical low-rent conservative with her intense personal dislikes disguised by weak self-discipline. In what I’ve read of her reported tweets she comes across as nasty and snide rather than shrewd or intelligent, small-minded and cheap rather than bold or decisive.

And with her hair and heavy makeup she’s even less than a pale imitation of the Iron Lady.

Collins would be a deeply polarising figure as a National Party leader or a Prime Minister – more of a Muldoon than a Key and it’s likely that just as many National Party members as the rest of us would have been delighted at the Prime Minister giving her a dressing down today.

Unpleasant and even toxic she may be but certainly not a leader to gain respect aside from her sycophants.



  1. Collins didn’t apologise yesterday at all. An apology is admitting what you did or said was wrong and that you shouldn’t have done or said it. Saying you’re sorry then going on Campbell Live and defending your actions and dismissing any thought of wrong doing immediately afterwards is not an apology in any stretch of the imagination. Collins still needs front up with a sincere apology in my opinion.

    • As I understood it, she simply apologised only for not having given all the information about her involvement with the company her husband or partner is a director of. She was totally unrepentant for having done what she did, to promote and endorse the product of that company.

      Her later action to tell the company to not use any photos of her and with the company directors and products, that came rather late. She did not tell them that before, as I gather. And all that came after immense pressure from the opposition and questions by some media.

      So yes, she is a total hypocrite and does simply tell us all to “get f*cked”. That is the person Judith Collins is. And we must not forget that she is on friendly terms with one Cameron Slater, of whom we know enough also.

      These are the people holding core positions within the National Party and this government, and they are making laws that show contempt for the common people, like making it more difficult to get legal aid to take the government or others to court.

      They have also underfunded the Office of the Ombudsmen, so that it takes a month to get any initial response to a complaint made, and it can take 3 months or so, before they even start looking at complaints, for instance about O.I.A. requests not being replied to satisfactorily.

      The same applies to the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner and the Privacy Commissioner and other supposed “watchdog” offices. They all are struggling to deal with complaints about government agencies and their staff failing to deliver, and hence this assists the government with getting away with so much.

      Too many having nothing but disappointing experiences with such offices simply resign and give up, and so people are becoming ever less powerless.

      And then we have a totally biased, Nat friendly, commercially dominated media, that pumps nothing but one sided information into the brains of the public. With all that, no wonder too many do not bother following politics anymore, and no wonder many do not vote, and no wonder we get the polls and election results we have been getting.

      Democracy – same like justice – has become a farce in New Zealand.

      • Correction:
        “Too many having nothing but disappointing experiences with such offices simply resign and give up, and so people are becoming ever less powerless.”

        That should towards the end have read: “…people are becoming ever more powerless”.

  2. If you subscribe to two theories then what she did makes sense.

    Firstly the New Zealand Government has a reputation for being non corrupt and New Zealand for being fiercely independent with personal liberties. Our anti nuclear stand made us a sane stand out in the world at a fairly insane time. At least we were.

    So even though NZ is very small its upright stand is an excellent endorsement to whoever we do business with, i.e. if NZ is doing business with me then vis-a-vis I must be upstanding as well. This reputation is worth money or if I were a National party member I would use the word “tradable”.

    Secondly the wealthy that make up National have seen that the party is a convenient vehicle to use in government to get seriously wealthy with. Use the NZ government connections and respectability that goes with it and bingo you have access to contacts overseas you could only dream about. So National is more of an elite club that one subscribes to rather than an idealist movement.

    Hence the pocket money in terms of National raised at the Antoine’s dinner functions etc , that ticket money was merely a down payment that you want in, you are serious, you are wealthy but you want to be a multi millionaire not just a plain millionaire to mix and mingle with those in the know.

    Hence the bumper sticker policies that had about 5 minutes thought put into them back on 2008 when National had something vaguely similar to policy.

    And this also explains why we as a collective nation have really gone nowhere in the past 5 and half years under National, why our ludicrously named “Rock Star Economy” hasn’t changed anything at the street level.

    Quite simply because this was not what this National government was or is about.

    • Quote: “Firstly the New Zealand Government has a reputation for being non corrupt and New Zealand for being fiercely independent with personal liberties.”

      Well, New Zealand may be less corrupt than most countries and societies, but I dare to question it is as uncorrupted as we get told by officials and by Transparency International. The latter get advised on matters of transparency and so forth by ‘Transparency International New Zealand’ (TINZ), which is made up of staff that get paid and advised by certain government agencies and some private firms or organisations, so they tend to get told what to report to the international watch-dog.

      See this perhaps, to understand where I come from:
      “Transparency International New Zealand -not what it is cracked up to be”

      Somehow some vested interests exist at TINZ.

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