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Collins on her last chance, PM says

Justice Minister Judith Collins is on her last chance, Prime Minister John Key says.

Mr Key’s comment came after the new screen shots were posted by Whaledump, who claims to be the source of the stolen emails and documents that form the basis of Nicky Hager's Dirty Politics. The hacker's latest posts to Twitter include an email in which Ms Collins sends Cameron Slater phone contacts for Internal Affairs official Simon Pleasants.

Ms Collins has previously said she only forwarded Mr Slater the civil servant’s job title.

On his Whale Oil blog, Mr Slater accused Mr Pleasants of leaking details of Bill English's accommodation allowance to Labour in 2009. Mr Pleasants denied leaking the information, and said he received death threats following his "outing".

"I think the passing of the private information, in terms of phone numbers, was unwise, it was unwise of a minister. Look in the end it's one of those things," Mr Key told journalists at a stand up press conference after the Maori King’s anniversary event in Ngaruawahia.

"What she's on is on her last chance after what happened last time. But at the end of the day she's also subjected to a left-wing smear campaign. And people will actually see that as well for what it is."

Labour leader David Cunliffe said Ms Collins had violated her judicial responsibilities, and that civil servants could not function effectively if “they fear the political layer of the day they can’t provide free and frank advice.”

Another final warning
Five months ago, after the Oravida controversy, the PM said Ms Collins was on her “final warning”.

In May, the Justice Minister went on a week’s leave after first accusing reporter Katie Bradford of requesting help for her (then) husband’s bid to get into Police College, then apologising and withdrawing the accusation.

English distances himself from Collins
Pundits are split on whether Mr Key will risk sanctioning Ms Collins ahead of the September 20 election. But at least one of her colleagues is already distancing himself from the Justice Minister.

Talking to reporters after his pre-election economic and fiscal update yesterday, Finance Minister Bill English said it was not his style to leak information to bloggers and he wouldn't do it.

"It's not a style I like. I don't participate in it. I wouldn't do it - it's not my style of politics, it's certainly not John Key's style,” Mr English said.

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Comments and questions
41

Last last chance???

John key is sounding like 'Yes Minister "

Yes yes yes - no no no etc etc

yes, uh, until the next last chance. I hope that clears things up, eh, at the end of the day.

Was Simon Pleasants' phone number in the phonebook? If so, it was public information.

My number is in the phone book. My title, name and employer is in the public domain too. Who am I??

In the mobile phone book? Tell me where I can get that.

What about the Law Society issue over her naming a street in Christchurch in the new Government sector?

Was that her last chance?

That is just wrong. The person she named it after isn't even from Christchurch. What is she thinking !

She doesn't think that is the problem. Anyone with half a brain would not get into these stupid situations. She and her friends clearly have a lot of mud to fling. Hence keeping her in the camp.

The great one-eyed Cantab view of the world. No wonder the CBD will never get rebuilt.

The Christchurch CBD was in the 21C was just Ballantynes, a couple of minor department stores Hallensteins and Farmers branches and a large bar ,club nightlife zone particularly on the Oxford strip and Manchester st and assorted brothels and strip clubs. Most of the CBD post 2000 was just low rent , law and accountancy firms and fast food. Most of bookshops and main department stores branches were already relocated to Westfield in Riccarton. For most people the CBD was just the 3 supermarkets on Moorhouse and around the corner in Colombo. The Cathedral was just a tourist attraction no Anglican having believed in religion since the 1930s. As AN Wilson said Anglican priests worshiped only communism and altar boys.
My own view at the time of the earthquake was it would have been better to level the whole CBD area and turn it into an expanded park which area would be exploited as the hub of a light rail and motorway system . I find the Lianne Dalziel idea of the CBD priority as a justice and health precint as bizarre. The CBD served mainly as a nightime pleasure leisue area, and most Christchurch seemed fairly relaxed about the moral , puritan restraint issues that obsess overpriced Auckland. Surely the reconstruction should be hotel and apartment building in Auckland not in Christchurch .

Bill may well be trying to distance himself from Judith but he forgets what brought this on initially - the revelation that the boy from Dipton was double dipping on his housing expenses.

As no doubt you are well aware, he was simply doing what he was perfectly entitled to do. Throughout my many years on the planet I have noticed human beings, one and all, have made a point of claiming expenses that come with the job.

Not all are quite so grasping though.

Whatever the legalities of the situation, it's hard to argue it was a good look.

Don't be a noddy, Noddy! Bill was not entitled to be claiming for two locations as his 'home base' and the for associated travel between the two. Otherwise if he was truly entitled to do what he was doing, why on earth would he have subsequent to the media profile, stopped this claiming? Sadly, this is very much part and parcel of John Key's style - if you don't get caught then just do it - his nickname whilst in London, among the the other bankers & traders was "shonky' Key " as he was renown for exacting every single dollar he could out of every situation.

Gives new hope to rogue employees under warnings or performance management

Is he saving her to toss her under a bus on the day of KDC's big announcement days before election? Bills clearly said no bus for me

It all depends on which of the last chance we talked about, i.e. the last chance prior to the left wing conspiracy or the penultimate last chance after that. Look, at the end of the day, the sun goes down. We have a whole series of last chances to consider, so it is better to vote for me than for the left wing pinko party conspiracy muck raking gossip mongers supported by the likes of Hager. This is the final ultimate last chance.... sort of.

This is a good example on persons in a position of responsibility misusing information collected by Govt agencies

What a joke. No matter what party you support, the kind of behaviour displayed by Collins should not be accepted. Key is proving himself pretty spineless and lacking in leadership by not sacking her, not to mention a liar when he said that the last offense was her "last chance".

If this were the Clark era and Judith Collins were the populist loose cannon and showpony John Tamihere, s/he would have been long gone by now. Key needles to grasp the nettle and someone needs to convince Collins to step aside for the good of her party. It will be interesting to see if Ms Collins retains her portfolio, or even a Cabinet post after the election if the centre-right wins, otherwise.

Unexpected beneficiary of all this? Steven Joyce. His eventual and inevitable trajectory as John Key's probable successor has now become inescapable, given the self-destruction of his foremost rival for that role.

Have to agree with your second point there.

Which probably explains why Whaleoil is today attacking Joyce. Because if Collins can't have it, no-one can.

What John Key is missing is that what Collins has done has totally crossed the line for normal kiwi's

The response we are seeing and hearing on the street is not orchestrated by the left or any political party - its the majority of Kiwi's saying enough is enough

Key and Joyce and colleagues need to show true leadership and extract their heads from under the sand and do what is right here

Or this whole saga will fester the whole election and swing people against them - including traditional National voters.

JK just wants an easy time to do what he wants to do, and lets all the kids play and do what they like. No doubt JK will move to a larger sandpit soon.

At this stage, some must now wonder what sort of hold Judith Collins may have over John Key so that he is so evasively digging himself a whole in the stand by refusing to sack her.

Does she know something we don't?

I recall John key blithely saying some weeks back, an answer to a question, that he rang Cameron Slater two or three times a week.

What was all that about? He is now saying 2- 3 times a year?

Collins may well have disgracefully e-mailed information to Slater?
But did John key just pass it on over the phone? Does she know this? Is this a tit-for-tat situation?

There is so much sleaze around this government that is more than distasteful...it's downright depressing. We need to claim back this country from the political chicanery apparently going on in among the big boys- and girls).

Yes it sure looks like that. When do we find out who is the real Francis Urquhart?

The next 18 months could provide some interesting politics. Perhaps an uncomfortable National victory in 2014, much bloodletting during 2015, and an election pitting Joyce against Parker in early 2016

And do you think Helen's government was any better? They're all politicians and doing what politicians do.....get over it. It will probably make no difference to the way people vote next month, and nor should it.

Despite the Left and Media's current excitment - When faced with the horrific alternative I can't see too many National supporters actually changing their votes over this issue.
However, I suspect Ms.Collins will pay a very big price for her actions post election.

Judith Collins should tell the media that she'll tender her resignation for helping to expose Phil Goff's intentional lies to parliament & the NZ public when Phil Goff tenders his. What's more unethical here, Goff's Immoral & unethical lying to New Zealand for political gain by misleading the public, or Collins moral & ethical part in exposing Goff's lies so that New Zealander's are fully informed during an election year?

Judith Collins is not the one that has behaved badly, Phil Goff is, and National should mention this every time the issue is raised. Should Collins resign for helping to expose the truth while Phil Goff gets away with blatantly lying scott free? No.

Confused much?Even John key has not tried to deny that she has behaved appallingly!

This isn't anything to do with Goff. This is about her giving out names and contact details of public servants so they can be subjected to harassment and threats, because the actions of one her colleagues was exposed and ridiculed.
Not to mention the rest of her dirty tricks.

You are on some seriously good medicine chap

What a cop-out. Judith Collins holds one of the more important ministerial positions as Minister of Justice,is #6 on National's MP list and is a supposed candidate for next National leader. Phil Goff is #16 on the MP list of an opposition party.

I agree that she should keep her job if that was the only mistake she's made. But it isn't. JK should sack up and do the right thing. Make the cut and move on. I actually think it would be better for him to show leadership and do it before election.

If a public official wants to start leaking confidential National party information to the opposition then he's hardly in a position to start crying foul when he gets bailed up on it - Labour are currently screaming foul because someone came across their publicly available confidential information, yet somehow it's ok for a public official to leak government information? Simon Pleasants was the one who wanted to play the game, good on Collins & Slater for exposing him. I fail to see the scandal, Pleasants should've been fired.

Regarding Goff/Collins: Collins has done nothing wrong, Goff intentionally lied to parliament and the country. Trying to excuse Goff's blatant dishonesty because he's #16 on the party listing is the real 'cop-out' here - how does that excuse him in anyway?

My point was not that Goff was innocent. My point was that saying 'Goff should go first' was a cop out. JK should not be making his decisions on what other parties are doing. He should show some leadership and cut Collins because that is what's right to do. And quite frankly, who really cares what Labour are doing?

I suspect that WhaleDump has plenty in reserve on Judith Collins - one decent reveal and that will be it. Slater and Lusk both want Collins to be the next PM, this is why this is all so much fun... However can you imagine what the Prime Ministership would be like with this lot in power? You think it's dirty now?

Better than the last lot who squandered 7 years of strong economic growth into an orgy of welfare dependency and state expansion.

Not that I agreed with or liked Labour during their last term, but that "orgy of welfare dependency and state expansion" can't have been as bad as many claim. Considering that National has found that it couldn't actually reduce the size of government, and has kept many of Labour's welfare policies, despite what may arguably be called a mandate to scrap them.

Regardless, Collins needs to go. It shouldn't matter what policies you support, everyone should loathe the kinds of politics she's gotten up to. We should stop with the partisan bull**** and call every politician out who engages in such practices.

Doesn't mean much for the PM to warn Judith that she's drinking at The Last Chance Saloon, when the saloon is a franchise.

Collins has three portfolios including Justice and ACC. Her track record of poor judgement - Orivada; Trevor Janes; cronyism - Robert Kee, bullying, dirty play (leaking the name and contact details of a public servant) etc is out of control for anyone and especially a senior member of government. We all should be embarrassed as a nation whilst that continues. Many would vote for National if they showed the character to dump her. Better late than never.

The only explanation is that they are either scared of the Crusher or scared of the Whale. When all is finally revealed I reckon they will turn to the Minister of Novopay. Hence the Whale is already having a pop at him.

Yes, but given that Steven Joyce's nickname is Minister of Everything, surely he's the Prime Ministers logical successor anyway? Work it out. He has an operational grasp of several portfolios and is the preferred heavy hitter when the Key government needs something complex, nuanced and detailed done.

One hopes that if further murk appears as a consequence of the Dirty Politics saga, the Prime Minister is true to his word and disposes of Ms Collins. She seems to be a loose cannon within the current Cabinet. I imagine that Mr English is currently bending the Prime Ministers ear with just such a scenario.

I have concerns that as Minister of Justice has Collins perceived lack of integrity and common sense impacted her judgment in the sensitive areas of Police & Judicial performance were public trust is eroding at an alarming rate?