Judith Collins’ memoir

Judith Collins is promoting her memoir.

NZ Herald – Judith Collins pulls no punches in her new book

Be prepared for an onslaught of Judith Collins’ headlines when her book, Pull No Punches, hits stores next month.

The book is a potent mix of personal and political life and we are sure anyone who has crossed “Crusher” Collins’ path will be quaking in their boots about her recollections and version of events.

Stuff has some coverage – The brutal business of politics: Judith Collins discusses memoir, John Key, David Bain, and being a survivor

Then-Prime Minister John Key had received a copy of an email which appeared to directly implicate his most powerful female minister in the Dirty Politics scandal raging during the 2014 election campaign. Before the day was out, Collins had resigned.

The episode was neatly wrapped up. National went on to win the election, and Collins was later brought back into the fold, after an inquiry concluded there was no evidence she had acted inappropriately. She continues to be one of the party’s most influential and popular figures.

It was textbook political management. But Collins has sought to re-open the chapter with a tell-all memoir. And she tells a very different story. Her revenge is served ice-cold.

She makes it clear Key betrayed her, putting optics before her career. “He threw me well and truly under the bus, and that’s what I’ve said in the book,” she says.

“He chose political management. And that’s the big difference. He is a significantly more ruthless person when it comes to politics than myself. And that’s probably why he became the leader of the National Party and the Prime Minister for as long as the number of years that he wanted to be.

“But I didn’t hate him for it and I don’t hate him now. He was doing his job. And his concern was the National Party winning the next election. It was very close to it. And he was protecting that, himself and also other people’s jobs.

“I couldn’t do it myself. I don’t judge him on it. He just made a different choice to what I would have.”

The book is subtitled ‘memoir of a political survivor’. She’s about to fight her seventh election, as the MP for Papakura, and over 18 years has held six ministerial portfolios and done two stints in Opposition.

Collins, 61, ground out the book over the summer break, writing for long days.

“Politics is a brutal business,” she says. “It doesn’t have to be as nasty a place as it is. And it is like what I expect a 1920s boarding school to be, complete with fagging. And I’ve said this in the book.”

It takes 200 pages to get into the real detail that will interest political junkies: the Key years. Collins kept detailed records and diaries. But there is much she cannot say, bound by cabinet rules of confidentiality. The last three years are not covered. That will come later, she says with a mischievous grin.

Collins is on Q+A this morning talking about her book. She looks very relaxed and enjoying getting her story out.