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Collins apologises to TV journalist

#21 User is offline   BLURB 

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 08:20 AM

Staff grilled as Collins agrees to break
ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 05:00 06/05/2014


The Prime Minister's right-hand man yesterday grilled Judith Collins' staff, as the "struggling" justice minister agreed to take some time off.

Collins has been under pressure for weeks about her links to dairy exporter Oravida. She will front up to Parliament today to face fresh questions about the political storm.

But after that she will take a "refresher" over four or five days, with Prime Minister John Key admitting she is "struggling under the pressure".

A personal attack on TVNZ political reporter Katie Bradford on Sunday has raised eyebrows. It comes as Key's chief of staff Wayne Eagleson called in Collins' staff yesterday morning to clear up details about the lead-up to a visit to Oravida's Chinese offices.

Collins' husband David Wong-Tung is a director of the company and she has insisted a dinner with its executives was private. However, her office asked for a foreign affairs briefing - not usual for an unofficial meeting. Collins says her staff mistakenly made the request.

It is understood Eagleson summoned Collins' staff to his office to get to the bottom of who exactly asked for the briefing.

However, Key's office denied this and underplayed Eagleson's intervention, saying he regularly meets with staff.

Collins will face a grilling of her own today as the Opposition turn up the heat on her links with Oravida during Question Time.

Collins must explain why documents recently released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs say the purpose of the visit and tour was "to increase the profile" of Oravida.

Labour MP Grant Robertson says this breaks rules governing Cabinet ministers' conduct because it shows she "went out of her way on a taxpayer-funded justice trip to promote her husband's company".

However, Key continues to back Collins. "I just think she should take a bit of a break and take a refresher," he said.

Collins was upset over the resignation of former minister Maurice Williamson. She apologised to Bradford in a telephone call last night.

Oravida has donated about $65,000 to the National Party, including $30,000 after the visit last year.

While on the taxpayer-funded trip to Beijing in October, Collins dined with company bosses Stone Shi and Julia Xu, along with a senior Chinese border official.

Three days later she visited their Shanghai offices.

"I am very comfortable that the situation is kosher," Key said.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 08:23 AM

Time-out idea creates doubt for MP
TRACY WATKINS
Last updated 05:00 06/05/2014

OPINION: Short of sacking or demoting Judith Collins, John Key could not have done a better job of publicly humiliating her.

Key did not mince his words yesterday when he suggested Collins needed time out and was struggling under the pressure of questions about her links to milk exporter Oravida.

That pressure would only have mounted during conversations between the pair after she pulled out the nuclear option and dished dirt on the media and her opponents at the weekend.

The fact Key and Collins spoke more than once, and at length, suggests the prime minister was determined to bring an end to the sideshow.

He would not say yesterday whether he canvassed with Collins the option of her standing down temporarily as minister, to shake off the ongoing Oravida scandal.

But that would have required Collins to admit her judgment had fallen short of that expected of a minister.

Given her demeanour of recent days, it is impossible to imagine her taking that route voluntarily.

Key's public backing for her yesterday suggests, however, she convinced him there was nothing more to come out that could embarrass him - or her.

But Key has raised a question mark over her judgment, by suggesting she should take time out. He could be playing with fire.

Ambitious to succeed Key one day, Collins has built a faction in Parliament. And recent days underscore the fact that, once wounded, she takes no prisoners.

Collins has also aligned herself with dumped minister Maurice Williamson, who is struggling to accept he did anything wrong, after Key sacked him last week over the Donghua Liu affair.

And Williamson has form as a caucus wrecking ball after he destabilised Bill English's leadership.

Key is too powerful to worry about enemies in his caucus - but their numbers may be growing.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 08:57 AM

Collins faces a Labour crushing
STACEY KIRK
Last updated 08:12 06/05/2014


Labour is preparing to go for the jugular when Justice Minister Judith Collins faces the House today.

She is set to face Question Time after a two-week recess, during which official documents were released outlining the planning that went into a dinner Collins held with executives of Chinese company Oravida and a Chinese border control official, while on a taxpayer-funded trip to China.

Collins, in a sign of the pressure she's under, launched an attack on TVNZ political report Katie Bradford during the weekend in an apparent attempt to deflect attention.

That attempt backfired, with Prime Minister John Key calling her actions "completely unacceptable" and asking her to take five days of stress leave from Thursday.

Key's chief of staff Wayne Eagleson called in Collins' staff yesterday morning to clarify details about the leadup to Collins' visit to Oravida's Chinese offices.

Collins' husband David Wong-Tung is a director of the company that imports New Zealand dairy and other products into China, and she has insisted a dinner with its executives was private. However, her office asked for a briefing from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) - not usual for an unofficial meeting. Collins says her staff made the request in error.

It is understood Eagleson summoned Collins' staff to his office to get to the bottom of who asked for the briefing.

However, Key's office denied this and downplayed Eagleson's intervention, saying he regularly met staff.

But Labour Leader David Cunliffe said today the released documents showed the situation was serious.

"What these papers make clear is that it was no chance meeting between the senior Chinese official and the chairman of Oravida and herself," he said on Breakfast.

"They sought the meeting weeks before.

"MFAT was involved in setting it up, MFAT was initially involved in providing an official briefing, and none of that is just another private dinner."

Cunliffe said Key's judgement was lacking.

"He's saying the minister is unfit to carry on for five days, yet she's supposedly going to be in the House today and tomorrow to face questions," the Labour leader said.

"If it was purely stress-related, as he's implying, you'd think she wouldn't be there.

"And I think it raises a bigger question that any New Zealander would understand - if any other worker is guilty of lying to the boss, is guilty of lying to the public, they don't get a $5000 paid holiday for their trouble."

Collins will probably be forced to explain to the House why the documents released by MFAT said the purpose of the visit and tour was "to increase the profile" of Oravida.

Labour MP Grant Robertson said it broke rules governing Cabinet ministers' conduct because it showed Collins "went out of her way on a taxpayer-funded justice trip to promote her husband's company".

However, Key continues to back Collins.

"I just think she should take a bit of a break and take a refresher," he said yesterday, adding Collins was upset over the resignation on Thursday of former minister Maurice Williamson.

She apologised to Bradford in a telephone call last night.

Oravida has donated about $65,000 to the National Party, including $30,000 after the visit last year.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 09:01 AM

View PostSparrow, on 05 May 2014 - 11:02 PM, said:

Wonder of Crusher is going to take LEAVE WITHOUT PAY??



"And I think it raises a bigger question that any New Zealander would understand - if any other worker is guilty of lying to the boss, is guilty of lying to the public, they don't get a $5000 paid holiday for their trouble."
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Posted 06 May 2014 - 09:27 AM

Cartoon: Judith Collins' faces
5:00AM Tuesday May 06, 2014

Posted Image

http://www.nzherald....jectid=11249949
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#26 User is offline   fuckstain 

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 09:50 AM

IT WAS NOT AN APOLOGY .........

IT WAS AN ADMISSION OF GUILT .........

HUGE DIFFERENCE
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#27 User is offline   magnacarta 

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 10:22 AM

Taking a few days off - "......struggling under the pressure....." ??????????

No thought given by John Key to the ACC claimant's who are also "struggling under the pressure" from the adverse and perverse actions of the ACC staff of which she is also the ACC Minister under his watch.

This simply beggar's belief - this is not our New Zealand anymore.
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Posted 06 May 2014 - 03:52 PM

Judith Collins 'regrets' Oravida interactions
ANDREA VANCE AND MICHAEL FOX
Last updated 15:13 06/05/2014

Justice Minister Judith Collins skipped a law and business meeting to visit dairy company Oravida's Shanghai offices, Labour claims.

At Parliament's Question Time, Labour said papers released last week show Collins was due to attend a law roundtable on a taxpayer-funded trip to China last year.

The main purpose of the trip was to discuss justice matters.

Collins said the itinerary was a draft - and she "utterly and totally" rejected the allegations.

Collins made a detour to Oravida's office on the way to the airport.

She said she called in for a cup of tea rather than wait in the airport lounge.

The company - of which her husband is a director - later used her picture as a product endorsement, without her consent.

Labour MP Grant Robertson said the meeting was "in the timeslot" given to Oravida in an itinerary releases by MFAT last week.

He pointed to statements made on March 19 where she said she only had two options - returning to the airport or visiting Oravida.

Collins also took offence to a comment made by Labour's Trevor Mallard that the meeting participants "didn't pay enough".

Mallard refused to withdraw the remark and was ordered to leave the House.

Labour leader David Cunliffe quizzed Prime Minister John Key on why he sacked Maurice Williamson, John Banks, Phil Heatley and Peter Dunne - but not Collins.

Key said he judged every case on its merits.

SPECIAL TREATMENT

Labour is claiming there is further evidence that dairy company Oravida got special treatment from the Government.

Oravida was having problems getting its milk into China last year in the wake of the Fonterra botulism scare.

Collins had dinner with Oravida executives and a Chinese border control official while on the trip in October.

The dairy exporter has donated around $65,000 to National Party coffers. But she says she knew nothing of their border control woes and the Beijing dinner was private.

Documents obtained by Labour show that by December, Oravida's products were being cleared for import. However, milk from another company, Guangzhou Ruima Food Limited, was not accepted.

Both export the same two litre bottles from supplier Green Valley Dairies.

Robertson says Collins' "intervention" was "designed to benefit Oravida".

"Oravida's fresh milk supplier Green Valley Dairies also supplies the same two litre bottles to Guangzhou Ruima Food Limited, simply with a different label," he said.

"However, Guangzhou Ruima Food's fresh milk shipment in December was rejected by China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine."

He says there is a correlation between Collins' Oravida meetings and the export issues "disappearing".

Collins has categorically denied intervening to help Oravida. She said Robertson was drawing a long bow with the latest claims.

She has reiterated that she knew nothing of Oravida's border control problems.

Asked if the firm had benefited from its links to her or National, Collins said "quite the opposite".

Prime Minister John has resisted calls to sack Collins, but has given her time off this week to recover from the intense scrutiny faced.

Opposition parties are this afternoon set to make hay with documents released by the foreign affairs ministry last week, which detail the preparations leading up to the visit.

UNDER FIRE

Asked this morning if she regretted the visit, Collins said: "Do you know I really do. I think, unfortunately, it has caused a lot of stress for a lot of people, particularly for the prime minister and my colleagues."

Collins said she wasn't aware of Oravida's border woes.

"I'm not involved in the detail of the company at all," she said.

"My office and I have nothing to do with the business of Oravida."

On her way to a weekly caucus meeting this morning, she was flanked by cabinet colleagues Tony Ryall and Paula Bennett.

"The prime minister and I agreed that it is time to take a couple of days and regroup with my family," she said.

"I think it is good advice."

Emails released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade last week have put her under further pressure to explain the dinner, which she insists was private.

However, her staff asked for a briefing from Beijing embassy staff, which Collins said was an over-zealous error.

"The emails actually back up what I have said on numerous occasions over the last couple of months," she said.

"They confirmed that it was a private dinner."

Labour leader David Cunliffe said the apparent stress Collins was under would not protect her from questions in the House.

"The question is why is she in the House if she is in a fragile state," he said.

He again questioned the way which Collins was being protected by prime minister John Key and said Labour had more revelations on the issue.

"If the average Kiwi worker was untruthful to their boss and to the public they would most likely lose their job," he said.

"Her getting a $5000 paid holiday instead, is something most New Zealanders will find very strange."

- © Fairfax NZ News

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 03:56 PM

Judith Collins quits Twitter
STACEY KIRK
Last updated 10:27 06/05/2014

Posted Image
Fairfax NZ
JUDITH COLLINS: Known as Crusher Collins for her tough approach to boy racers, Labour hopes to turn the tables and put the squeeze on the minister.


Embattled justice minister Judith Collins is abandoning Twitter, and Prime Minister John Key says he backs her decision because it's full of "trolls and bottom-feeders".

Key said he had not given Collins an edict to stay off social media and it was her idea to remove herself from the twittersphere.

"She's volunteered. She's said to me I'm going to stay off," Key said.

"My view is there's a lot of trolls and bottom-feeders on that and in the end they get in people's head. It's an anonymous situation, it's a form of cyber bullying, I don't engage in that."

The extent of his involvement in Twitter was to tweet pictures of what he had been up to, but he did not follow twitter feeds "for a very good reason".

"Frankly I'd advise other politicians to follow the same advice I follow," Key said.

"There's going to be a lot of bad stuff written out there on social media ... .that's just the nature of the job, it happens on all sides to all politicians but I don't see how any good can come from that stuff."

Collins has been a prolific tweeter and readily gets embroiled in Twitter wars with her opponents and critics.

She used Twitter at the weekend to question the integrity of Press Gallery journalist Katie Bradford and later took to it again to apologise to her.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 03:59 PM

Stuff's Opinion Poll as at 4pm today

Can Judith Collins stay on as a minister?


Yes, the controversy doesn't affect how she works
470 votes, 25.7%

Yes, but only just
189 votes, 10.3%

No, it's the last straw and she should resign
1170 votes, 64.0%

Total 1829 votes


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Posted 07 May 2014 - 08:36 AM

More to come on Collins - Labour
ANDREA VANCE AND STACEY KIRK
Last updated 08:31 07/05/2014

The Opposition failed to land the blows it would have liked on Justice Minister Judith Collins in the house yesterday, but Labour leader David Cunliffe says there is "more to come".

Although Cunliffe would not elaborate on what they would be alleging today, the embattled minister was not out of the woods yet.

Collins faced a media gauntlet, and then a barrage of new conflict-of-interest allegations at question time about the dairy export company of which her husband David Wong-Tung is a director.

Tomorrow she will take a few days off as weeks of headlines over her links to the company pushed her to the brink. A prolific social media user, Collins agreed to stop using Twitter, which Prime Minister John Key said was full of "trolls and bottom-feeders" and fed the strain she was under.

Before the enforced break, Collins had to answer questions about her official visit to China in October, during which she went to Oravida's Shanghai offices and dined with its executives and a Chinese border official.

The firm was facing border control problems - until two months after the dinner. Opposition parties say the company got special treatment from the Government, because of Collins' links, and donations to National totalling $65,000. Collins denied this and said yesterday she knew nothing of Oravida's import woes.

Known for her combative approach to politics, the minister known as "Crusher" was unusually restrained yesterday as Opposition parties tried to land more blows. Fresh allegations made by Labour included:

- That a law and business meeting was removed from the trip itinerary so Collins could tour Oravida's offices. Collins said the agenda was a draft and she did not ask for the meeting to be removed. She "totally and utterly" rejected the claim by MP Grant Robertson.

- That her family received "half a million dollars" for avoiding the meeting. The jibe, which referred to an alleged private director's fee received by Wong-Tung, got MP Trevor Mallard ejected from the House. Collins said he was "completely wrong".

Today, Cunliffe refused to comment on the voracity of Mallard's claim.

"Under the rules of privilege, what's said in the house, stays in the house - I can't really comment on that," Cunliffe said on Firstline.

"What I can say is New Zealanders are extremely concerned about the behaviour of this minister."

Cunliffe said there "most certainly" was more to come on Collins, but he wouldn't say when Labour would be revealing any new information.

"You're likely to see a continuation of Labour drawing attention to the facts of the file on Mrs Collins and Oravida."

Robertson said there was a correlation between Collins' Oravida meetings in China and Oravida's export issues "disappearing".

Oravida's milk was cleared for import by the Chinese in December. But the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine rejected Guangzhou Ruima Food's fresh milk shipment. They have the same supplier, Green Valley Dairies.

Collins was required to correct an earlier answer given to Parliament. In April, she said she had not spoken to ambassador Carl Worker about her dinner with Oravida bosses Stone Shi and Julia Xu. But she had told him the following day that the dinner was "very nice" and "short".

Earlier, Collins admitted she regretted her interactions with Oravida. ". . . I think, unfort unately, it has caused a lot of stress for a lot of people, particularly for the prime minister and my colleagues." However, the Mfat emails "back up what I've said on numerous occas ions over the last couple of months", she said.

Senior Cabinet colleagues, including Anne Tolley, Paula Bennett and Tony Ryall, showed their support by flanking her as she ran the media gauntlet.

Key continued to stand by her, saying claims linking Oravida's access to Chinese markets to a $30,000 donation to National in December lacked substance.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 08:40 AM

Subdued Collins forced to grin and bear it
JANE CLIFTON
Last updated 05:00 07/05/2014

OPINION: Judith Collins came to Parliament at a distinct disadvantage yesterday. Since the prime minister has announced to the nation that his justice minister Needs A Holiday, she could hardly come out swinging like Babe Ruth in the batting cage.

Obliged to appear subdued, she mentally Botoxed her normal array of arch and malicious expressions, and snipped off her answers with the minimum of expression.

Two days earlier, she had just embarked with beaming ferocity on the annexation-of-Poland stage of her war on the parliamentary press gallery. Since John Key unilaterally declared peace, she was left without even the option of passive aggression as the Opposition took a series of free hits at question time.

For once, nothing budged those killer eyebrows to any of their various "Die, fool!" settings - not even NZ First leader Winston Peters scorning her for wimping out and taking stress leave, according to Key's instructions.

She was tersely vague when Labour's Grant Robertson produced evidence she had eschewed a justice-related meeting in China in favour of a visit to Oravida, of which her husband is a director. She variously termed the Opposition's assertions wrong, incorrect, quite wrong and utterly incorrect. The only luxury she allowed herself was when Labour's Trevor Mallard said Oravida had paid her family $500,000. She frostily demanded he withdraw the allegation. Mallard, newly promoted from the backrow dogbox to the second bench - a "rehabilitation", according to his colleagues - refused to back down and was accordingly ejected from Parliament for the rest of the afternoon. He looked happy, even though it meant he missed all the subsequent biffo. Only on Planet Mallard does being thrown out mean you're back.

Key fenced his way through questions by flicking back digs at Labour over the departure of Shane Jones and leader David Cunliffe's secret leadership campaign donors. This tactic foundered quickly as Speaker David Carter took to turning off his microphone every time he got to a snarky bit.

However, he scored with his rejoinder to Cunliffe's question: Why had he taken to describing the Cabinet Manual as guidelines rather than rules? "Actually, I was just paraphrasing Helen Clark," Key said airily.

IF IT was all a bit like bear-baiting without a proper bear, National's Tau Henare at least entered into the spirit of the afternoon's promise of entertainment by posting a Madame Defarge-style selfie on Twitter of National's new-look senior backbench looking on merrily. This now comprises himself, Paul Hutchison and latest Snakes and Ladders casualty Maurice Williamson, who had to resign as a minister last week - only to find his purgatorial headline period as a ministerial scalp cut short by Collins' further antics.

"Skid Row?" Henare gamely captioned his pic.

Such is Collins' reputation that no-one was quite game enough to tweet back that the trio should make room for another ministerial scalp soon.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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#33 User is offline   Brucey 

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 08:48 AM

The Diary: Leave timely as Collins faces health troubles

5:00 AM Wednesday May 7, 2014




Cabinet minister looking forward to some peace and quiet.

She will be at Question Time in Parliament today, but then she is taking some personal time to spend with her family. Cabinet minister Judith Collins, who is battling a private health scare, told The Diary she is "looking forward to some R&R".


Collins has put up with weeks of intense questioning from media on the Oravida business, and back-biting from Opposition circles, including some behind-the-scenes of her own party, who have remained nameless. Her outburst on Sunday towards a TV reporter was evidence Collins had had enough. She admits that she went too far.

"I got very upset at seeing Maurice being attacked over staying on as an MP, although I completely agree with the PM's view that Maurice couldn't stay as a minister. I shouldn't have used Katie [Bradford's] name. I was thinking of circumstances when others had approached me on police matters and her situation came to mind. I have phoned Katie and apologised. We've agreed to catch up in person," she told The Diary.



Collins is taking a four- or five-day mini-break before the Budget next Thursday to refresh and revitalise.

She says it's a good chance to get some things finished around the house and go away with her husband, David, and their son, James. She's looking at the bright side. There'll be no more Twitter, either.

"I'll be at home getting all sorts of work done," she said. "There's gardening and a bit of renovating. It will be nice to get some peace and quiet. We might go away for a few days too."

Collins' ego has had a shock. Taking enforced leave was the only option.

Friends say she has also been suffering from a private health scare and the additional worry that comes with that, but Collins is reluctant to discuss it right now. She says more medical tests are due.

She was expected to be a guest at the Canon Media Awards on Friday, at blogger Cameron Slater's table. But Collins says she won't be attending now. Her husband may attend. A self-imposed vacation is what Collins (and the Prime Minister) has prescribed - and that goes for a break from the media too.

- NZ Herald

http://www.nzherald....jectid=11250620
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#34 User is offline   Brucey 

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 09:01 AM

So now we are going to try the please get off my back I"m sick routine, It doesn't work for ACC claimants.
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Posted 07 May 2014 - 09:09 AM

Sorry folks not much hope for us when Ms Collins only has to mention she uses twitter and overnight twitter shares

plummet !!!
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Posted 07 May 2014 - 11:27 AM

Judith Collins silent on reports of illness
ANDREA VANCE AND STACEY KIRK
Last updated 09:54 07/05/2014

Embattled Justice Minister Judith Collins is refusing to confirm reports she is ill.

A diarist this morning claimed the minister is awaiting tests following a health scare.

The Papakura MP is due to take some time off tomorrow, after coming under pressure over the Oravida conflict-of-interest saga.

A spokeswoman said Collins would not be making any personal statements.

The Opposition failed to land the blows it would have liked on Collins in the House yesterday, but Labour leader David Cunliffe said there was "more to come".

Although Cunliffe would not elaborate on what they would be alleging today, the minister was not out of the woods yet.

Collins faced a media gauntlet, and then a barrage of new conflict-of-interest allegations at question time about the dairy export company of which her husband David Wong-Tung is a director.

Tomorrow she will take a few days off as weeks of headlines over her links to the company pushed her to the brink. A prolific social media user, Collins agreed to stop using Twitter, which Prime Minister John Key said was full of "trolls and bottom-feeders" and fed the strain she was under.

Before the enforced break, Collins had to answer questions about her official visit to China in October, during which she went to Oravida's Shanghai offices and dined with its executives and a Chinese border official.

The firm was facing border control problems - until two months after the dinner. Opposition parties say the company got special treatment from the Government, because of Collins' links, and donations to National totalling $65,000. Collins denied this and said yesterday she knew nothing of Oravida's import woes.

Known for her combative approach to politics, the minister known as "Crusher" was unusually restrained yesterday as Opposition parties tried to land more blows. Fresh allegations made by Labour included:

- That a law and business meeting was removed from the trip itinerary so Collins could tour Oravida's offices. Collins said the agenda was a draft and she did not ask for the meeting to be removed. She "totally and utterly" rejected the claim by MP Grant Robertson.

- That her family received "half a million dollars" for avoiding the meeting. The jibe, which referred to an alleged private director's fee received by Wong-Tung, got MP Trevor Mallard ejected from the House. Collins said he was "completely wrong".

Today, Cunliffe refused to comment on the veracity of Mallard's claim.

"Under the rules of privilege, what's said in the house, stays in the house - I can't really comment on that," Cunliffe said on Firstline.

"What I can say is New Zealanders are extremely concerned about the behaviour of this minister."

Cunliffe said there "most certainly" was more to come on Collins, but he wouldn't say when Labour would be revealing any new information.

"You're likely to see a continuation of Labour drawing attention to the facts of the file on Mrs Collins and Oravida."

Robertson said there was a correlation between Collins' Oravida meetings in China and Oravida's export issues "disappearing".

Oravida's milk was cleared for import by the Chinese in December. But the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine rejected Guangzhou Ruima Food's fresh milk shipment. They have the same supplier, Green Valley Dairies.

Collins was required to correct an earlier answer given to Parliament. In April, she said she had not spoken to ambassador Carl Worker about her dinner with Oravida bosses Stone Shi and Julia Xu. But she had told him the following day that the dinner was "very nice" and "short".

Earlier, Collins admitted she regretted her interactions with Oravida. ". . . I think, unfort unately, it has caused a lot of stress for a lot of people, particularly for the prime minister and my colleagues." However, the Mfat emails "back up what I've said on numerous occas ions over the last couple of months", she said.

Senior Cabinet colleagues, including Anne Tolley, Paula Bennett and Tony Ryall, showed their support by flanking her as she ran the media gauntlet.

Key continued to stand by her, saying claims linking Oravida's access to Chinese markets to a $30,000 donation to National in December lacked substance.

- © Fairfax NZ News

http://www.stuff.co....orts-of-illness
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#37 User is offline   BLURB 

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 11:43 AM

A matter of he said/she said
ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 05:00 07/05/2014

In politics, explaining is losing. But as the details about the Oravida scandal have drip-fed out over weeks, Justice Minister Judith Collins and her boss John Key have faced dozens of questions and claims. Here's how they responded:

"The only other choice was either to go to the airport or to go to Oravida and then to go to the airport. It was always planned that if there was not time we would not bother going to Oravida." - Collins.

When the story broke in early March, Collins told Parliament she had popped into Oravida's Shanghai offices for a cup of tea on the way to catch a flight. In fact, the offices are in the opposite direction, making it an 80km round trip. A formal invitation for a meeting was issued to Oravida on October 9, and emails released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs show Collins asked that it be added into the programme of her taxpayer-funded visit to China.

"They unequivocally came back and said there's no breach." - Key.

Prime Minister John Key said the Cabinet Office decided Collins did not break the rules governing ministers' conduct after translating comments on Oravida's website which stated that she praised its products. He later had to admit the office had looked at only the English version, which differed.

"If anyone feels that I've done something wrong then I would apologise for that because I should have told you that last week." - Collins.

On March 12, a week after the story broke about the Shanghai visit, it emerged that Collins had dined with Oravida bosses Stone Shi and Julia Xu and a senior Chinese Government official three days earlier. Key puts her on a final warning, saying she should have revealed the dinner to him and the media.

"I viewed it as that I was having dinner with two close personal friends. My adviser, who is also a close personal friend, was with us, as well as another friend." - Collins.

The guest was a Chinese border official who Collins says is a friend of Stone Shi. The Government has repeatedly refused to reveal the official's identity, or say whether he worked for General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, which oversees imports. An email from Collins' office says the official "has agreed to meet with the minister".

The Opposition has repeatedly challenged her assertions that the dinner was private. Emails between her office and Mfat also reveal her office asked for a briefing - Collins says this was a mistake by overzealous staff. Ambassador Carl Worker and his wife, Connie Aldao-Worker, were invited to the dinner but then told it was private and their attendance was not necessary. Key says this reinforces Collins' insistence that the dinner was not official.

"It was a private dinner. I went to bed." - Collins.

On April 17, Collins was asked what discussions she had with Worker after the dinner. Yesterday, she made a personal statement to Parliament to correct her answer, saying she was referring only to that evening. "I said I could not recall any discussions . . . for the avoidance of doubt I want to clarify to the House that on the day following the dinner, I told the ambassador that the dinner was very nice, but very short. I also told him that nothing occurred that was untoward or anything he needs to know."

- © Fairfax NZ News

http://www.stuff.co....e-said-she-said
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#38 User is offline   happy1 

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 05:10 PM

View PostBLURB, on 07 May 2014 - 11:27 AM, said:

Judith Collins silent on reports of illness
ANDREA VANCE AND STACEY KIRK
Last updated 09:54 07/05/2014

Embattled Justice Minister Judith Collins is refusing to confirm reports she is ill.

A diarist this morning claimed the minister is awaiting tests following a health scare.

The Papakura MP is due to take some time off tomorrow, after coming under pressure over the Oravida conflict-of-interest saga.

A spokeswoman said Collins would not be making any personal statements.

The Opposition failed to land the blows it would have liked on Collins in the House yesterday, but Labour leader David Cunliffe said there was "more to come".

Although Cunliffe would not elaborate on what they would be alleging today, the minister was not out of the woods yet.

Collins faced a media gauntlet, and then a barrage of new conflict-of-interest allegations at question time about the dairy export company of which her husband David Wong-Tung is a director.

Tomorrow she will take a few days off as weeks of headlines over her links to the company pushed her to the brink. A prolific social media user, Collins agreed to stop using Twitter, which Prime Minister John Key said was full of "trolls and bottom-feeders" and fed the strain she was under.

Before the enforced break, Collins had to answer questions about her official visit to China in October, during which she went to Oravida's Shanghai offices and dined with its executives and a Chinese border official.

The firm was facing border control problems - until two months after the dinner. Opposition parties say the company got special treatment from the Government, because of Collins' links, and donations to National totalling $65,000. Collins denied this and said yesterday she knew nothing of Oravida's import woes.

Known for her combative approach to politics, the minister known as "Crusher" was unusually restrained yesterday as Opposition parties tried to land more blows. Fresh allegations made by Labour included:

- That a law and business meeting was removed from the trip itinerary so Collins could tour Oravida's offices. Collins said the agenda was a draft and she did not ask for the meeting to be removed. She "totally and utterly" rejected the claim by MP Grant Robertson.

- That her family received "half a million dollars" for avoiding the meeting. The jibe, which referred to an alleged private director's fee received by Wong-Tung, got MP Trevor Mallard ejected from the House. Collins said he was "completely wrong".

Today, Cunliffe refused to comment on the veracity of Mallard's claim.

"Under the rules of privilege, what's said in the house, stays in the house - I can't really comment on that," Cunliffe said on Firstline.

"What I can say is New Zealanders are extremely concerned about the behaviour of this minister."

Cunliffe said there "most certainly" was more to come on Collins, but he wouldn't say when Labour would be revealing any new information.

"You're likely to see a continuation of Labour drawing attention to the facts of the file on Mrs Collins and Oravida."

Robertson said there was a correlation between Collins' Oravida meetings in China and Oravida's export issues "disappearing".

Oravida's milk was cleared for import by the Chinese in December. But the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine rejected Guangzhou Ruima Food's fresh milk shipment. They have the same supplier, Green Valley Dairies.

Collins was required to correct an earlier answer given to Parliament. In April, she said she had not spoken to ambassador Carl Worker about her dinner with Oravida bosses Stone Shi and Julia Xu. But she had told him the following day that the dinner was "very nice" and "short".

Earlier, Collins admitted she regretted her interactions with Oravida. ". . . I think, unfort unately, it has caused a lot of stress for a lot of people, particularly for the prime minister and my colleagues." However, the Mfat emails "back up what I've said on numerous occas ions over the last couple of months", she said.

Senior Cabinet colleagues, including Anne Tolley, Paula Bennett and Tony Ryall, showed their support by flanking her as she ran the media gauntlet.

Key continued to stand by her, saying claims linking Oravida's access to Chinese markets to a $30,000 donation to National in December lacked substance.

- © Fairfax NZ News

http://www.stuff.co....orts-of-illness



Oh poor crusher,so why not release all her medical files so we all know just what is wrong with her.After all claimants medical files are released to anyone who feels like a snoop!!No privacy for us so why for this vicious witch !!!!!
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#39 User is offline   happy1 

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 05:13 PM

Or maybe Crusher is on stress live AND ACC.Bet she doesn't go to the same ACC toady who I did
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Posted 08 May 2014 - 12:58 PM

Update of Stuff's Opinion Poll 1pm today (thursday 8 May 2014)

Can Judith Collins stay on as a minister?


Yes, the controversy doesn't affect how she works
872 votes, 27.0%

Yes, but only just
290 votes, 9.0%

No, it's the last straw and she should resign
2069 votes, 64.0%

Total 3231 votes

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