Judith Collins

Little should worry about his own back rather than trying to protect my good friend John Key

Andrew Little is out there trying to kick up some insurrection inside National.

There isn’t any, I’d know if there was because I’d be helping it along. Quite simply Andrew Little is dreaming.

“She’s clearly got ambitions for the top job,” says Labour Party leader Andrew Little. “She’s currying favour with whomever she can. She has seen an opportunity and I think she is going for it.”

Mr Little might just be onto something.

“I’m friends with most of the people in my caucus, particularly on the backbench,” says Ms Collins.

Yes, that’s right – “my caucus”.

Typically National is good at keeping internal divisions under wraps. But there are strong interests at work here – think farmers, forestry, small business, fishing and not to mention the force that is Ms Collins.

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Judith Collins Interviewed by Heather Du Plessis-Allen on Q&A

HEATHER So I began by asking, ‘Are you on a comeback?’

JUDITH What as?

HEATHER Well, comeback from- You’ve obviously been put into exile, so you’re coming back from that?

JUDITH I’ve never really felt in exile, because I’ve been, thankfully, re-elected as the member for Papakura. And I’m just getting on with my work, and I’m on select committees, and I’m having a lot of fun, and I’m loving writing, cos I’m writing now, every week, and just those sorts of things are things I enjoy doing.

HEATHER Yeah, you are. You have a column every week. You’ve recently appeared on a comedy show, of all things.

JUDITH I know.

HEATHER How did you enjoy that?

JUDITH It was so much fun, actually. I’d do it again.   Read more »

After Key. Then what?

When the media regularly speculate about what is to happen after you’re gone, it is an indicator that you are in the autumn of your political career.   Audrey Young assists the process along.

The ponytail saga might have confirmed Mr Key’s infallibility to his hero-worshippers, but it has made talk of his succession a little more relevant.

As was evident in his biography, John Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, his threshold for tolerating failure is low.

In 2012, after a difficult but not disastrous year, he talked to wife Bronagh about whether he was still committed to remaining in the job.

And she was stronger than him about staying on and not be seen to be ”running away”, as he put it.

He has said he will stand again in 2017 because that is what leaders have to say until they change their minds.

But nobody would be shocked if Mr Key changed his mind if his popularity waned, given that his popularity sustains his political drive.

If it happened, it would not happen soon because he would want to recover his respect rather than slink away.

There is no suggestion of a leadership challenge.

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Maori making grab for water and Nick Smith & Bill English appear to be helping them

Maori are going to go after water as the next grievance claim….and it appears that Bill English and Nick Smith are entertaining their claims and negotiating with them instead of telling them to piss off.

Maori leaders have mounted a bid for effective ownership of a share of the country’s freshwater.

This would allow them, and other with water rights, to onsell it to those who need water for irrigation, hydropower and other commercial uses.

Talks between the powerful Iwi Leaders Group and the Government, fronted by Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and Environment Minister Nick Smith, are at a critical stage after ministers rejected a nationwide ‘Waterlords’ settlement along the lines of the Sealords deal over Maori commercial fishing claims.

The Government is adamant it will not hand over rights in perpetuity to Maori – but it may compromise by allowing regional councils to do local deals with Maori.

Farmers are worried that there will not be enough water to go around if significant quantities of freshwater are set aside for Maori.

In a Cabinet paper, Smith points to possible “catchment by catchment” deals at a regional government level. The Crown has acknowledged Maori interests and rights in freshwater but their extent and nature is at issue. The Government may set criteria by which local iwi can get preferential access to water, catchment by catchment, Smith says.

Ministers and iwi leaders held a summit at Waitangi during the February 6 commemorations, in a swift response to an iwi- commissioned report proposing radical ways to deal with freshwater and Maori claims. The report, by research group Sapere, proposed a nationwide settlement, an end to 35-year renewals of water consents. and a move to permanent rights and a market in tradable water rights.

It argued the regime would not only be a boon for Maori but would add $2 billion to the value of power-generating assets, $5.5b to the primary sector and boost the overall economy, while helping reduce the effects of drought through more efficient use of water. It would also open the way for the Government to levy resource taxes on income from using the water.

If National wants to lose more than just Northland they will keep on going with this process under the control of Bill English and Nick Smith.    Read more »

Which MP will be the next to shake down John Key?

The Northland by-election has caused something of a permanent problem for John Key, not just a short-term headache.

If Winston doesn’t win there is nothing to stop him having a go in another by-election, and he has shown that just about any seat, no matter how big a national majority, is in play.

This means Key is in a very difficult position.

He cannot high handedly give Cabinet ministers the arse like he did to Kate Wilkinson or Phil Heatley, or sack them like he did with Maurice Williamson and Judith Collins, or demote them like he did with Chester Borrows and Craig Foss.   Read more »

Judith Collins on the witch hunt against John Banks

Judith Collins writes in the Sunday Star Times:

PRIVATE PROSECUTIONS are an important constitutional safeguard against corruption and official indifference. New Zealand is one of the few countries to allow private prosecutions for criminal charges where the police have found there should not be a prosecution.

Before police bring prosecutions they need to consider the prosecution guidelines. These focus on the evidence, the public interest, in other words, is it worth it? Is it likely to result in a conviction? Is it a sensible use of resources? What will be achieved?

Private prosecutions don’t have that safeguard, though others exist. In 2000 when the Law Commission looked at the issue, they gave an example of vengeful and vexatious motives by a serial stalker who mounted private prosecutions against 2 of his victims alleging they obtained protections order on perjured evidence. Fortunately, for his victims, he forged the signature of a JP and ended up being convicted on forgery and uttering forged documents. Karma.

It is astonishing what people will say in court proceedings and in sworn affidavits…when you line them all up, from different courts, along with sworn testimony you can clearly see the perjury…getting judges to entertain actually looking at it is hard though.

Now we have John Banks. His career and reputation have been destroyed from a private prosecution alleging he knew details of donations from Kim Dotcom for Bank’s 2010 mayoral campaign. Dotcom lamented the fact Banks, then a minister of the Crown, wouldn’t help him when Dotcom was in Mt Eden Prison. If Banks had tried to help Dotcom, he would have committed a serious offence under the Corrections Act and breached the Cabinet manual.

Donations are a difficult business in politics. Old school National MPs never knew who donated to them – When he was a National MP, Banks would have been no exception. When the law changed around anonymous donations it opened politicians to donor pressure. Banks came under that pressure from Dotcom.

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Little mishandling of wayward MPs gains no respect

via Stuff

via Stuff

Labour leader Andrew Little has been labelled “gutless” for standing down MP Carmel Sepuloni after her mother was charged with benefit fraud.

Mr Little was also defending another one of his MPs today, David Cunliffe, who was pulled over for talking on his cell-phone while driving.

[Carmel Sepuloni’s mum] Beverley Anne Sepuloni appeared in New Plymouth District Court today, facing 19 benefit fraud charges.

Her daughter is collateral damage – the frontbench Labour MP has been stripped of her shadow social development role by Mr Little.

National MP Judith Collins took to Twitter to criticise Little, saying: “Message to LabMPs is if anyone of your family’s in trouble, so are you. No leadership, no guts [sic].”

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Andrew Little’s bizarre positioning on Sepuloni

Earlier I blogged that I thought that Andrew Little had got it wrong on standing down Carmel Sepuloni.

In public statements Little is all over the place.

He started off by saying:

“Well it’s because as spokesperson for Social Development, when she has a close family member involved in an issue like this, it’s appropriate that she step aside so that there’s no claim of a conflict of interest,” Mr Little says.

– TVNZ

Which changed to:

“Carmel has assured me she didn’t know her mother was facing these charges.” He said she would stay on the front bench and in her role as Junior Whip, but had agreed step aside temporarily as social development spokesperson while the matter was dealt with.

– NZ Herald

And then changed to:

“Carmel is an adult and her mother is an adult. Carmel is not responsible for the actions of her mother,” he said.

“We have agreed she will step aside … on a temporary basis while these matters are dealt with. There is a conflict of interest at the present time.”

– Fairfax

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Not one cent Amy, and Karam is losing the plot, getting close to a lawsuit I suspect

Amy Adams has announced she will commission yet another review into the ongoing claim for compensation by David Bain or is it Joe Karam…hard to work out who is claiming as Bain never says anything.

The Government will launch a fresh inquiry into David Bain’s compensation claim after agreeing to set aside all previous advice on the matter, Justice Minister Amy Adams has announced.

David Bain’s long fight for compensation will start afresh with all previous advice put aside, Government has confirmed.

Justice Minister Amy Adams said this afternoon Cabinet did not have enough information to reach a decision on a potential payout for Mr Bain, who spent 13 years in prison before being found not guilty of murder in a retrial.

Mr Bain was imprisoned in 1995 after being convicted for killing five family members in Dunedin, but was freed after being found not guilty in a second trial in 2009.

Judith Collins has said she would do it all again as well. As well she should, Binnie’s report was dreadfully and hopelessly flawed.

Former Justice Minister Judith Collins says she “stands by everything I said and did” in relation to David Bain’s compensation case after his supporters accused her of derailing the process at a huge cost to the taxpayer.

[…]

Mr Bain’s advocate Joe Karam said the blame for the new delay and its associated costs could be placed squarely on Mrs Collins, who “secretly” asked for a peer review of an initial inquiry by former Canadian Supreme Court judge Ian Binnie.

“It’s a great shame for David, for me, for the New Zealand public in general,” he said. “It’s extremely disappointing that this should happen from a number of points of view, not least of which is the taxpayers who now have to cough up between half a million and a million dollars.”

Mr Karam said he was more confident of a positive outcome from the new review because he believed Ms Adams would be more principled than her predecessor and would not “bulldoze” any findings.

Mrs Collins shot back at Mr Karam yesterday, saying she could never have awarded compensation based on a faulty inquiry.

“I stand by everything I said and did,” she told the Herald. “I did exactly what I had to do.”

Justice Binnie found that Mr Bain was innocent “on the balance of probabilities”, but the peer review by QC Robert Fisher found numerous errors in his findings.

Mrs Collins said the main reason for a delay in the five-year process was the decision by Mr Bain’s side to seek a judicial review of the Government’s handling of the case.

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No signs of bitterness – 100% commitment

Here are two National MPs that have every reason to be surly, negative and showing that they are feeling on the outside.

The opposite is true:  lots of energy, sharp witted, and roaring to go.

I have to say, a waste of talent.  And to think Mike Sabin was favoured by John Key.  sigh

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