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Collins must be holding something over the PM — Peters

UPDATE / May 14: Winston Peters has hinted that Judith Collins won't be "gone by Monday", as he predicted yesterday, because the Justice Minister is blackmailing John Key.

On TV3's Firstline this morning, the NZ First leader said that by his count, Ms Collins had survived after breaking the law eight times (by his measure) during her official trip to Beijing last October, which included private engagment's with her husband's company, Oravida.

By contrast, Maurice Williamson and Pansy Wong had made one mistake then been asked to leave cabinet, Mr Peters said.

Asked why the Prime Minister would sack Mr Williamson and Ms Wong but not Ms Collins, the NZ First leader replied, "Well, it’s because she knows something that’s got to be terribly embarrassing to him."

He added, "There’s got to be a reason. You’ve seen over the years that when a politician gets caught like this they either stand down or they go pending a full scale enquiry. Here, nothing."


Peters fires a blank

UPDATE / May 13: Winston Peters made a new allegation against Judith Collins in Question Time in Parliament today — but on the face of things it will not see the Justice Minister gone by the end of the week, as the NZ First leader had promised.

Mr Peters said Ms Collins received support, transport, accommodation from the Chinese during her October 2013 official trip to Beijing , but failed to report it on the registry of MPs' pecuniary interests, which was recently updated, despite briefing the PM on the freebies. The NZ First Leader tabled a cabinet travel document in support of his accusation.

Prime Minister John Key said he would look into it, but that it did not seem to be anything out of order.

"We would have to go and check with the Pecuniary Interests Register, but if the member is basically making the allegation that because she was on a visit where there was a private meeting that she used government funded things and that's a pecuniary interest, then my understanding is the dinner [with Oravida] took place in the hotel [where Collins was already staying]," Mr Key said.

"If there's some irregularity on the Pecuniary Interests Register we'll have a look at it. On the face of it, it doesn't sound like that to me."

MPs do not have to declare travel costs met by a government or parliament if they are on an official parliamentary visit. Ms Collins was on a ministerial trip to investigate justice issues. Mr Peters argued it was a ministerial trip, where all interests have to be declared. The NZ First leader said he would now take the matter to the Privileges Committee.

In Mr Key's view, the smoking gun had turned out to be a pop gun. It was a potential technical breach only, the PM said.

As on RNZ, this morning — where he promised to later today reveal information that would see Ms Collins "gone by Monday" — Mr Peters appeared to slur as he spoke.

"If the member could just speak a bit more clearly, it would help everyone," Mr Key said.

ABOVE: Winston Peters questioning John Key in the House today. 


PM reacts to Peters' claim that 'Collins will not survive next week, with what I know'

May 12: "Judith Collins will not survive next week, with what I know," NZ First leader Winston Peters said on Q+A over the weekend. Mr Peters offered no immediate detail of what he knows.

The PM  reacted to Mr Peters' threat on Breakfast this morning, claiming to be unimpressed with with the NZ First leader's promise of more revelations to come on the embattled minister.

"I will personally come into this studio and apologise if Winston Peters is right. He won't be right. He's never right," Mr Key said.

The broader question for the government is whether Budget 2014 can act as a circuit-breaker, moving attention on from the Williamson and Collins controversies that appear to have dented its support.

Billion dollars in new spending
"There's about a billion dollars' worth of additional expenditure," coming Thursday's budget, but no pre-election lolly scramble," Mr Key said.

"It's primarily by health and education," the PM said on Breakfast.

"But a $1 billion is not much. If you look at Labour in their last five years, they pretty much spent $2.7 billion to $3 billion extra a year. So we're not going crazy."

Budget 2013 involved total spending of around $82.8 billion, against an estimated $69.7 billion in tax revenue. Finance Minister Bill English says he is on track to project a small surplus in Budget 2014.

The PM also hinted paid parental leave could be extended beyond the current 14 weeks with Thursday's Budget. Mr Key said it had always been the government's position that, "When we can afford more, we'll do more."

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Comments and questions
49

Mr Winston 'NO' Peters who blew himself up with :

1. He did not visit Kim Dotocom (NO - he DID),

2. Huka Lodge was sold (NO - it was NOT),

3. Vella Bros and Owen Glenn donations (NO - there were donations)

And so on and so forth.

When is the media actually going to do its job and lists the lies Mr Peters has made?

3.

The media has repeatedly called out Peters.

But it's all grist to the mill to his supporters. Their leader is being persecuted and/or there's a vast conspiracy against him.

I was shown an article in the Sunday Herald yesterday, with an old photo of a very beautiful and youthful looking Justice Minister, who was quoted as saying, "the last time the level of crime in New Zealand had been at such a low, I looked like this".

Judith looks as wonderful today as she did then.

There has already been a substantive hit placed on the Justice Minister and National from this sorry and sordid affair. For Key to defend what has gone on simply does not wash with most except for those wedded to Keys mantra to win no matter what you have to do to get there. Ask the folk denied access to that Chinese market and then see these shenanigans go on. It is a disgrace no matter what spin the Nats say. Key has made his decision - to step back now would not even enter his mind because it shows his credibility for what it is.

What folk denied access to the China market ? Please explain

Being denied access to their markets is par for the course when dealing with China and Japan. Eg. UK cheese was totally banned from China at the beginning of this month and American beef has been banned since 2012.

NZ has been very fortunate China needs our products - they could have banned all our dairy products.

Do New Zealanders not see that successive governments have done very well in fostering good relationship and access to the markets? More so in the dairy products scare in the laxt 2 years.

I managed to do my weekly shop today without buying a single thing made in China. I've been doing it for sometime and will keep doing so. New Zealanders who want to do business in China deserve every ill that comes their way.

Use a computer or mobile phone? How about an electric iron, drive a car or go to a restaurant to eat?

Yawn - they are just going to brazen it out

Others will do cat playing with mouse to keep it alive

What I find interesting is that National are still campaigning against the last Labour government. It's a fairly feeble effort if you have to hark back to 2005-2008 to justify yourself in 2014.

But if they are going to do that, why not also compare borrowing, growth rates, surpluses, and unemployment rates for 2005-2008 with 2011-2014? That would be an interesting picture, although not one that favoured National.

Unfortunately ALL Governments do the same

So far the opposition have not been able to tell us exactly what Collins did that was wrong. I'm surprised that even under privilege they haven't been able to tell us what the problem is. Perhaps Winston can, although I'd find it more believable from another source. .

Yes they have. She used taxpayer time and money to further her husbands company to her own personal benefit. Went to china under the guise of official business and used it to advance her personal position.

What absolute rubbish! .
MP's on official business trips overseas, are just as entitled to social relaxation time as any other person.
That she chose to have a private dinner with her husband and a few of his acquaintances is her prerogative. Normal couples do this.

Yes, but a cabinet minister doesn't have the luxury of being a normal person. While I have little doubt that she did nothing that could be described as corrupt, even she admits that she should have been more circumspect. As a senior politician, you not only have to be squeaky clean, you have to be seen to be squeaky clean. She failed that test - which is not a sacking offence, of course, but it hasn't done her leadership aspirations any good. I suspect that's the primary motivation for the opposition parties' attacks - they fear her as a future leader so want to nip those aspirations in the bud.

The only people who have failed 'the test', are those who are perpetrating this nonsense.

You are ignoring the fact that the "private" dinner included a Chinese government official that she won't say who it was or what they do.

Plus, I'm still mystified over what official business a Justice Minister would have in a communist country?

Bluster from Key. He won't come to the studio if Peter's turns out to be right. It sounds confident and that is all it is there for. It's an empty promise. If Peter's is right Key will be scrambling to shore things up and too busy for daytime TV.

Anyway, unless Peter's has something new I suspect this story has moved on. But the net result is an erosion of trust in ministers and a lingering smell of corruption, driven by their "flog off all of NZ" obsession with China. It'll get them in the end like it does for all governments who stay around too long and get complacent...

Winston First will. have forgotten this one already. He's off on another hobby horse; something about the Cook Strait ferry. He'll be updating us sometime this week. He said so.

Will Peters match the Prime Minister and apologise if Judith Collins isn't gone by the end of this week?

I can help you there. No he won't.

maybe, when pigs are seen flying over the
beehive.

Muldoons well gone

We can only assume that Winston's "cousins" were able to record the conversation that took place at the private dinner party and has made this freely available to him with certain immigration condtions.

We, villagers, are getting weary of Winston forever crying out, "Wolf!"
Time, he adopted another alarmist catchcry. How about 'Hamster' or 'Piglet'?

Perhaps he could change the name of his one man band party to the " Lion Brown " party. It fits more suitably.

Key's bluff and bluster and continuing defence of people who are basically bereft of integrity and ethics is beginning to look and sound very familiar..
One of his rolemodels Thatcher said 'You dont tell deliberate lies but sometimes you have to be evasive.'
I think someone must have mistyped this for the current coalition cabinet...
In my opinion and the growing perception of many others I have spoken to, some of them would appear to have done both.
Why hasn't UNCAC been ratified on National's watch by the way?

UNCAC could have been ratified anytime from 2004.

The Labour government under Clark could have ratify UNCAC right until 2008.

Why didn't Labour do so?

Maybe something to do with Winston Peters interaction with Owen Glenn?

RE "Mr Winston 'NO' Peters who blew himself up with ...

He didn't actually.

Re "1. He did not visit Kim Dotocom (NO - he DID),"

My recollection is he hadn't at the time the media baited him with this "accusation".

2." Huka Lodge was sold (NO - it was NOT)>

Hmm? It's now on the market to be sold...

And the bet is he's right- It was always going to be... although it was immediately temporarily denied. And Chinese interests may well have indicated ahead that they wanted it.

3." Vella Bros and Owen Glenn donations (NO - there were donations)"

Yes, but Winston is not a fool. He held up a NO placard because he believed this to be the fact. Given the media vultures ready to swoop on him, as they got the chance, why would he have done this if he didn't believe it at the time?

As leader of his party. and an astute lawyer and politician, he would have walled off the fund-raising part of his campaign. It wasn't his province. And when one media outlet took the trouble to investigate this issue, Ian Wishart's magazine, Winston Peters explained what had happened.

Why on earth would he have shot himself in the foot , denying something which could be proved true? Go figure.

Re "And so on and so forth. When is the media actually going to do its job and lists the lies Mr Peters has made?"

The mainstream media have obviously had it in for Winston for some time - a far cry from the days when they used to boast about sharing a drink with him at The Green Parrot.

What about recalling that Helen Clark, at a public function, managed not to catch sight of Owen Glenn, standing on his own with nobody to talk to.... And yet he was a very wealthy sponsor to the Labour Party,,,,

And anyone who trusts the slippery John Key needs their head read. Our best chance of looking after the interests of NZers - rather than those of Communist -backed Chinese raiding this country is Winston- not The present, always ambitious PM.

Nice Try, Winnie.

But pathetic nevertheless.

Huka Lodge was not for sale and still is not for sale. Another place down the road of very different pedigree has been put on the market.

And your recollection of Winston's visit to Herr Dotcom is also a little off...

Agree that Winston is no fool.

The fools are his one eyed xenophobic supporters who cannot see that Winston is a hypocrite of the worse kind.

Delusional

Most of Collins backers see her supporting a good 'franchished 'Oridiva NZ dairy operation in China as legitimate enough for a small nation. However that is not the issue at all , Collins has handled every subsuquent question in an offhand, unhelpful way that shows a contempt of parliament and democracy. Either she is simply overated or else like Clark really up not to facing hard criticism and questions for able oppostion MPs or Press.
Collins seems more and more just to be a conservative back country conservative like Clark offering more of the same obssession and punch and judy.

I am starting to agree with you over her.

Winston was wrong about Fay Richwhite,on Immigration time will tell. I thing it rather too early to assume the Chinese, Hong Kong passport holders rejected by Britain or the Indian and Islamics can be assumed to be friends on several years aquaintance.
To me Collins is just a a harder line version of feminist conservative Helen Clark and both unable to cope with fast hard questions in parliment or from the press attempted to close democracy down.

Not often Peters is right,as usual .wrong again

Heard Mr Horan one of Peters ex Party members,ask a question about a leader of a party which he did not name say.A leader with seven members was using two and a half million dollars grant as a slush fund.The speaker ruled the question out.Would be great to know what Horan was alleging.

I'm not sure Judith Collins will be gone by Monday, but I'm sure Winston was in the house today. I wonder who he had lunch with?

Hiding under the House is one thing - being open in Public is another - Winston where art thou?

As with most of these things, there is no substance (the only exception is still Taito Phillip-Fields). It's quite clear why so few people with ability want to become politicians. They certainly don't help themselves, the media does no one any favours by playing along and generally neglecting to research, analyse and present what is known.

But the real problem lies with democracy. Reaching a certain age is no qualification, and certainly not one for casting a vote.

Serious question. With the shaking and slurring, is Winston ok? Maybe diabetes or something?

Or drunk, he looked like he was recovering from a heavy night on the large, could't stop his hands shaking, mumbling through his speech and sweating like a turkey at Christmas when confronted by the press after being ejected, not a good look at all. His PR team said he had the flu but there was no coughing or sneezing going on that's for sure.

Mr Key was hardly the 'oritter'... with his punchline being "guess what, Ill go check it out."
National need to address the allegation that Mr Key knew the register was deficient and covered that up.

Half the problem is that he is too vain to wear his glasses so he can't read what is under his nose.

What a circus.
The media has decided along with the national party that you don't have to declare money received from Host Countries on overseas trips, even though the rules say you have to declare it.
So basically politicans can do whatever they want with money as long as the media have deemed its not going to be a scandal.
Last week they were saying that National is corrupt, this week they turn a blind eye to corruption.
The world would be a lot better place if we stopped uncritically believing what we are told!

It has been quite startling really.
Mr Key was mispronouncing words too but that got no mention.
Mr Peters 'performance' still put questions to the House that were not answered adequately.
Mr Key literally said 'I dont know' and the media let him off despite Mr Peters having made reference to a letter to Mr Keys office that implied that Mr Key did know/ought to have known.

Oh dear, Mr Winston 'No' Peters did not declare an interest in a horse which own over $20,000 in prize money, and he conveniently forgot when he sold it !

Wonder if he will be gone by Sept 2014?

Come on everyone. Admit it. Winston is more fun that a barrel full of monkeys. If he didn't exist, it would be necessary to invent him.