Collins addresses ‘dirty politics’ but will have to be very clean

It was inevitable that Judith Collins would be bombarded with reminders and accusations and claims about her involvement with ‘Dirty Politics’ as soon as she became leader.

Nicky Hager was quick out of the blocks, putting out a Press advisory on Judith Collins and the book Dirty Politics about half an hour after Collins was announced as leader.

And in media appearances this morning she was questioned about it.

RNZ – New National Party leader Judith Collins: National won’t ‘repeat any mistakes’

Collins said the National Party doesn’t want to have the kind of culture described in Nicky Hager’s 2014 book Dirty Politics.

She was a big figure in the the scandal with her connections to attack bloggers. While she wouldn’t specifically apologise or admit wrong for what happened during that period, she said she’s moved on as a person.

“The whole culture at the time wasn’t one that was conducive to doing the very best we could.”

“You can’t be focussed on New Zealanders when you’re busy playing politics.

“One of the things I’ve learned over the years is you only ever learn from your mistakes, you don’t learn from your successes. The National Party is very focussed on not repeating any mistakes.”

And she promised to address the Michael Woodhouse issue, as he has not yet bean dealt to as demanded by opponents over the last few days and weeks.

As for health spokesperson Michael Woodhouse, who has been involved with the Michelle Boag saga of leaked patient details, Collins said she would “look at the facts”, have a chat with him, and decide his fate today.

“I’m absolutely not at all comfortable with it [the leaks],” Collins said.

“I thought it was extraordinary and I’ve never seen anything quite like that. I’m taking this very seriously.”

So one of her first tests as leader will be how she handles this today.

Saying she has learnt from her past and is “very focussed on not repeating any mistakes”, but she will have to be seen to have reformed and will have to be seen to be playing clean politics. as will her national caucus.

Collins and all National MPs will certainly be carefully scrutinised for any hint of dirty politics, as I’m sure she will be aware. This is a good thing as it provides the best chance of an improvement in the way politics in new Zealand is done.

Now is her chance to prove herself as a good modern leader, and at the same time raise the quality of our democracy.

If she fails then national will fall with her.

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77 Comments

  1. This post is about Collins’ commitment to being “very focussed on not repeating any mistakes” in relation to ‘Dirty Politics’. So I expect comments here to be in relation to what she has committed to today and the implications and chances and challenges of that, and the potential benefits of that.

    I won’t allow this thread to be used for repetitive diversionary dredging through her past.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  15th July 2020

      Very good post, PG. I fully agree. NZ will be best served by honest talent addressing our real current problems.

      Reply
    • The dredging seems to come up with things that are total distortions, and I am tired of the racism about her husband which is used as ‘evidence’ that she is biassed towards China and goes in for corruption.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  15th July 2020

        He was previously a high ranking policeman, obviously highly qualified to be involved in a
        business with meat exports to China. Whats the issue ?

        Tell us what distortions you mean ? We are all reflecting on Judiths ‘best seller’ which is full of andecdotes about the visit to [deleted for dredging up the past] and the her experiences of the PM and [deleted for dredging up the past] and a good friend blogger [deleted for dredging up the past].
        This a unique situation when a politician just after releasing her book about her past political life finds that 2 weeks later a lot of the reminiscences are now covered by a fatwa as shes ‘moved on’, now she holds a most exalted political position where her previous authenticty and trust cant be questioned.
        Of course the very reason she got the job was her previous experience which involved [deleted for dredging up the past]

        Reply
    • Why should we trust her when she says her Dirty Politics activities are behind her? One of the features of that time was the various participants’ denials of the black bag programme, and yet here we are again.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  15th July 2020

        Why do you trust any politician or anyone? An honest answer, please.

        Reply
        • whalerider3000

           /  15th July 2020

          I have levels of trust based on their history of actions and denials. When some are found to be lying, then I trust most of their comments a lot less. For example, on almost all political comments from Mr Peters, I have very little or no trust in the accuracy of his answers. But, after conversations with many MFAT staffers and other countries representatives, I have some degree of trust for most of his comments when he’s wearing his Foreign Affairs ministerial hat.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  15th July 2020

            Quite. How many conversations have you had with those who work and live with JC?

            Reply
            • whalerider3000

               /  15th July 2020

              Some of her former staffers, colleagues in caucus, and other staffers from LOTO’s office, plus MPs from other parties.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  15th July 2020

              So reality is that trust depends mostly on personal interactions, knowledge and judgements and is hard-won. Most people have little on that basis to place trust in politicians and any trust is usually a triumph of hope over experience.

    • Blazer

       /  15th July 2020

      Yes dredging up the past is far too common.
      Today and tomorrow are what’s important.

      People should not be mean to Judith Collins.

      Reply
  2. She needs a ‘big’ move to get (partly) past the dirty politics talk… Woodhouse being sacked is probably her best bet.

    Reply
  3. This is rich from arch-hypocrite Nicky Hager. He published a book about dirty politics using stolen emails. Now, he has the audacity to lecture someone else about playing clean.

    Reply
    • whalerider3000

       /  15th July 2020

      How do you know they were stolen?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  15th July 2020

        Because neither party to them released them to Hager. Not only were they stolen but then published and used to attack their owners and others they referenced including Collins.

        But it’s ok when the Left do it. And it wasn’t ok when the police tried to find out who stole them. Bizarre.

        Reply
        • whalerider3000

           /  15th July 2020

          How do you know that a National person entitled to have them didn’t release them to Hager?

          Additionally, are we as a society so much better off for the knowledge that such activities were taking place, and that one party was explicitly aligning and assisting itself with one of NZ’s worst political operatives. Sunlight as disinfectant etc. How could you not wont more knowledge as an electorate unless you were a political shill? Hager had no qualms about similarly exposing the Clark Govt when presented with the GE seed document – and were better off for it.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  15th July 2020

            No National person was entitled to have them or release them to Hager. That would confirm their stolen status and merely identify the thief and the receiver of the stolen property.

            Reply
            • whalerider3000

               /  15th July 2020

              I’m sorry, I’m a little unclear how you know that no National Party person was entitled to them?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  15th July 2020

              The same way I know if I send you an email no-one else is entitled to it. Let alone a server dump of my mailbox.

            • Duker

               /  15th July 2020

              Slater went to Court to prevent his ‘file dump’ being made public after being stolen and coming into Hagers possession
              The Court found it was in the public interest to have them revealed, thats why we know about them. Your email box wouldnt be so described.

              Slater himself had stolen material in his vendetta against Blomfield…
              and pleaded guilty to encouraging/inciting ? a hack of the ‘The Standard..
              and was cock a hoop over gaining unauthorized access to a Labour party donor database which included others for which the National party as a organisation apologised.
              Lots a people at the time of the last one said the partys security was lax, which you could say about Slater ‘ private data’ as well.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  15th July 2020

              Yes, our courts have empowered themselves to decide whether anyone is entitled to privacy or not and whether theft of it is in the public interest. But it is still theft.

          • Gerrit

             /  15th July 2020

            ah, the old “it is in the public interest” defense Morality be gone, stealing private emails is OK.

            Until such time as when the Labour party servers were left unprotected, their donation list free for all to see. All hell broke loose, how dare anyone read the private information.

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  15th July 2020

            Do you believe no communications should be allowed to be private because “we” would be better off for it?

            Or should only people you don’t like be denied privacy?

            Reply
            • I can never understand why an email has AT THE BOTTOM that if one is not the person for whom it’s intended, one shouldn’t read it.

  4. John J Harrison

     /  15th July 2020

    Judith is lilly white compared to the actions of the various NZ First leaders and Labour Party MP’s and H/O staff.
    Fraud and theft of funds illustrates the first with copious examples of sexual assault and rape involving Labour.
    It’s a great pity that the COL acolytes do not first clean their own mess up with sunlight and disinfectant.

    Reply
  5. PartisanZ

     /  15th July 2020

    I dunno, I can’t shake the simile … Something in me likens it to bringing Rudolf Hess back from England to lead the Nazi Party …

    Reply
    • Jack

       /  15th July 2020

      You’re imagining things. Check in with your spirit. Imaginations come from your natural self.

      Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  15th July 2020

        Yes Jack, my spirit tells me its ultimately a contest between GOOD and Selfish …

        Natural Ethics tells me Labour-led have tangibly demonstrated their Good, and ‘ours’, by choosing self-preservation for all, aka Love – “because only the command of Love permits of self-preservation by all” – Frank E Warner ‘Future of Man’ (London 1944) …

        Reply
        • PartisanZ

           /  15th July 2020

          “Hatred, struggle, chronic opposition and excess-competition (aka pathological non-collaboration) are no more serviceable as principles of Life than collision is as a principle in the journeys of the Stars” – Warner (ibid)

          Reply
    • The Hess thing is NOT a simile (look this up), it’s a meaningless comparison, and a grossly offensive one. It’s like comparing a Labour MP with Stalin or Pol Pot.

      Your posts now make little sense, if any.

      Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  15th July 2020

        Plenty of The Right Brigade do exactly that Miss Kitty! CHAAARGE!!!

        They compare Labour and anything they perceive as ‘Left’ to Stalinist and Maoist Communism and some ethereal concept of ‘Socialism is BAD’ …

        Hess is the similitude anti-dote …

        From FEAR emanates the desire to CONTROL …

        Reply
  6. Corky

     /  15th July 2020

    My, the Hive is waking up operatives left right and centre.

    I notice it’s the usual suspects in the media at it again. The media and younger voters are two issues JC will need to deal with.

    The problem is neither issue has a real solution. Maybe she needs to front foot things and go after the media should they become obnoxious. That will happen should JC get the upper hand over Jacinda.

    Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  15th July 2020

    Collins gives Reti Health and shifts Woodhouse to Regional Development. Says sensible stuff about Raro travel. All good press conf by the sound of it.

    Reply
  8. Corky

     /  15th July 2020

    The way successful RIGHTIES think. In fact it’s the only way to think if you want to make it.

    Reply
  9. Gezza

     /  15th July 2020

    The full press conference seems to be in the embedded video:
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300057337/covid19-leak-judith-collins-drops-michael-woodhouse-from-health-role-replacing-him-with-shane-reti

    Nothing earth-shattering. Replacing Woodhouse with Reti was the sensible thing to do, but saying she thinks he should have notified the Minister of Health it had happened, & then dismissing his failure to do so as an error from an otherwise top performer is an odd response. Remains to be seen whether that will be enuf to put the issue out of media reach in future.

    Collins is unfazed by a press pack with awkward questions, but her own credibility is yet to be properly tested. Too soon to read anything much into that press standup, whose main purpose seems to have been to show that Woodhouse has been demoted & that she wants to rule a line under that whole self-destructive affair as now ended.

    One thing seems certain – Collins is going to get plenty of media attention & will probably relish it.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  15th July 2020

      Yes as I said, she will probably suck a lot of Jacinda’s media oxygen.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  15th July 2020

        She’s always had something of that riveting quality that Muldoon had with the tv media. One stops what one’s doing & watches to see if she’ll freeze them.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  15th July 2020

          In fact I had just been thinking her right side face grins in a very similar way to Muldoon. She seems a serene centre around which a tempest roars.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  15th July 2020

            She crashed and burned in John Keys government…why would the next 2 months and later be any different
            The job has crushed much better people than her in last 2 years….she’s just the new Andrew Little
            She was desperately promoted by her colleagues this time after crashing out of previous leader contents…ahh the siren call of the deluded and desperate .
            Same boosterism for the last great hope ..x2 only to be dashed

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  15th July 2020

              Not from me. I was immediately unimpressed by the last two picks.

              She was always going to clash with Key. Doesn’t make either of them wrong.

            • Duker

               /  15th July 2020

              Always?
              It wasn’t so much a clash as she got caught out playing both sides, public and private. Key wasn’t in the job for the money, so took a dim view when there was some blurring the lines

            • Corky

               /  15th July 2020

              Where do you come up with this tripe, Duker? Your talent is wasted here. You should be spinning for Jacindas office. She’s gonna need some spinning in the coming days.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  15th July 2020

      I don’t see why you think her handling of Woodhouse was odd. Seems to have been well considered to me. It strengthened her team and dealt sensibly with a problem.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  15th July 2020

        I’m puzzled that she went so far as to say he should have notified the Minister of Health.

        Had he done so the ramifications for National conceivably could have been even worse. I’m not sure she would have done so in his situation. And dismissing his failure to do so as an error doesn’t quite gel with the confidence she otherwise expresses in him.

        (I say above that she demoted him, which she probably has, but as her rankings have not yet been announced that’s premature of me.)

        She’s been saying for some days now that Ardern only has 3 competent Ministers. She’s never said who she thinks they are, the cunning devil. Can’t recall any journo asking.

        Robertson, Hipkins & Parker? Or what other contenders are there.

        Reply
        • Other contenders are Megan Woods and Andrew Little.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  15th July 2020

            That’s why she’s so cunning. That’s 5 already. But the msm lets her say 3.

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  15th July 2020

            Little, maybe. I wouldn’t have picked Woods as an independent thinker.

            Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  15th July 2020

          Yes, those are the three, I’m sure. Most pundits wouldn’t have much trouble picking them.

          Notifying the Ministry unprotected personal details were being distributed would certainly have been responsible and possibly embarrassing if sheeted home to Boag – but if she had it, who else did and still does?

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  15th July 2020

            Collins is going to need to divert the media on a regular basis.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  15th July 2020

              Yes. A good chance she’s up for that and Brownlee will back her up. An infinitely better combo for it than Muller/Kaye were.

            • She put the increasingly spiteful Tova O’Brien in her place. Tova’s bias is very obvious, and it shouldn’t be. She’s paid to report the news, not make her own views known.

            • Blazer

               /  15th July 2020

              I don’t know what you’ve got against successful women….Ardern ,now Tova….just the green eyed monster of jealousy I expect.

  10. Duker

     /  15th July 2020

    Just seen TV3 the Project.
    Didn’t ask Collins any woke questions, just how much is a Kg block of cheese
    She didn’t have a frigging clue….maybe 10 years ago it was below $5.
    All the studio audience knew she was way out

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  15th July 2020

      ”Didn’t ask Collins any woke questions, just how much is a Kg block of cheese.”’

      Lordy, there’s her and her husband. Would they buy a fugging kg block of cheese? Do they eat cheese?

      Reply
    • Gerrit

       /  16th July 2020

      Reflect that standard of journalism when the “gotcha” question is the price of a block of cheese. Pathetic.

      Reply

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