National wobbles

A bad day for National today.

This morning from Newshub – Leaked email: National MP criticises Judith Collins’ ‘highly problematic idea’ of reviewing Auckland Council

Newshub has been leaked an email showing National MP Denise Lee criticising leader Judith Collins’ plan to review Auckland Council as a “highly problematic idea”.

Collins announced on Monday a review of Auckland Council to the surprise of her Auckland Council spokesperson Lee.

Lee described it as a “highly problematic idea” in an email to her caucus colleagues. She also panned it as “another working group” and said it would be “a nightmare”.

In the email, Lee says bypassing her altogether was “incredibly poor form and displays a shockingly bad example of poor culture”.

Collins sighed when asked if the policy had been made on the hoof, and said it had been planned for weeks, despite Lee knowing nothing about it.

“Actually Jenna, it’s been prepared for a couple of weeks,” she said.

Collins spoke about the policy during an interview with Newstalk ZB on Monday morning, and cited it as the reason why Lee was not aware of it.

“Because I was doing the radio show,” she told Newshub.

This is the first overt display of caucus dissent we have seen from National on the campaign and it’s a doozy – criticizing the decision-making of Collins and the culture she’s created.

This afternoon: National MP Denise Lee now ‘accepts’ Auckland Council policy she criticised in leaked email

Lee, who is the Opposition’s spokesperson for local government in Auckland, also took issue with Collins bypassing her altogether during the decision-making process. She described it as “incredibly poor form” and “a shockingly bad example of poor culture”.

Lee wasn’t the only MP upset by it; another National MP contacted Newshub on Monday to say Collins is consistently “making up policy on the hoof” and “creating division” within the party.

Lee says she spoke to Collins after the email was publicised.

“Yesterday I sent an email to my fellow MPs which was intended for internal purposes only. I completely disagree with the actions of the person who leaked the email and have since spoken with our party leader Judith Collins,” Lee said in a statement on Tuesday.

“I accept the leadership’s decision about the policy announcement which acknowledges that Auckland Council needs to lift its performance.

“I remain focused on winning the seat of Maungakiekie and unreservedly support Judith Collins as leader and future Prime Minister.”

1 News: Nats MP Denise Lee says she ‘unreservedly supports’ Judith Collins after leaked email criticising leader

Judith Collins denied a division in her party when questioned by media today.

Collins said “one of the joys” of being party leader was that she makes the decisions.

“I’m not making up policy on the hoof, so number one leaders do make decisions, that’s part of leadership,” she said.

“During campaigns, sometimes the leader just has to go out and make that announcement and that’s the way it works.

“I understand that the MP involved, it’s her first time campaigning as an MP. The thing is that that’s what leaders do, Miss Ardern calls it the captain’s call, I call it the leader’s call.”

Lee is not inexperienced at campaigning as implied by Collins. She campaigned for National last election, she has campaigned for Auckland Coumcil and was elected in 2013 and 2017, and for United Future in the 2008 general election. She is the daughter of ex-MP Graeme lee.

And a Twitter spat:

Leave a comment


  1. Griff.

     /  6th October 2020

    Captains call
    Oh dear
    Collins is not most of national’s pick for leader for a reason that will only become more obvious as time proceeds.

    • Corky

       /  6th October 2020

      Give us a heads up, Griff. I’m sure you have nothing to fear with Jacinda a certainty for an election win.

    • Duker

       /  6th October 2020

      She’s already acting like a ‘little Muldoon’s, trashing her own her campaign slogans
      – strong team , when they are vassals kept in the dark for weeks ( the real reason Hooton left)
      -waving the no I’d didnt card when she clearly admitted it the day previous..
      -bullying an Mp from the stories over the so called Auckland Council shakeup, when it’s really about privatising council assets like the Ports, the airport shares and probably Watercare too.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  6th October 2020

    PB 1, MH 0.

    Lee has got the message and won’t be putting out any more emails like that. Nor should she.

    • Duker

       /  6th October 2020

      Au contraire …the leaks will continue as Collins is making it up as she goes, she admits she made up the special proposed claw to claw back wage subsidies(be afraid little Arte shoppe), and the next denies she’s making up policy day by day.

    • Fight4nz

       /  7th October 2020

      You’re in favour of muzzling?

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  8th October 2020

        A team doesn’t need own goals. Lee’s email was idiotic.

        • duperez

           /  8th October 2020

          If Lee’s email was idiotic, how would you describe the way her leader operated which drew that response?
          Seriously, she’s an MP in the area and she hears something Collins was trying to make out was a big deal, as everyone else heard it.

          I accept Lee should act like a ‘good team member.’ Did Collins treat Lee as if she were a team member? A vital team member in an important electorate?

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  8th October 2020

            I don’t know, do you? What I do know is that Lee responded in a way that was destructive.

  3. Griff.

     /  6th October 2020

    I have already published on here my votes for this election and the reasoning behind it
    Twice .
    So we can tell you do not read or understand comment’s
    I do not vote on some misguided and frankly uninformed ideas of left labour bad right national good.
    You don’t vote
    At all
    So have no say.
    And no valid idea about any thing anyway.
    You are as always.. Fractionally wrong.
    Your world view is as wrong in the big picture as it is wrong on the smallest details.
    Collins is not s team player and her ideology is not that of the majority of national mp’s she is only there as a last resort until such time as a competent and representative person can be found within the ranks to replace her.
    Collins is too conservative for nz.
    As long as she leads national they will struggle to convince enough voters to attain power in nz a majority liberal country.

    • Duker

       /  6th October 2020

      Yes. A putsch against Bridges was planned last year….the team was Collins supported by Muller..couldn’t get enough support to get going…


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