Collins sticks to her guns, and friends

Last updated 05:00 24/08/2014
Judith Collins
DAVID WHITE/Fairfax NZ

ISOLATED: Justice Minister Judith Collins at a Pakistan Independence Day celebration in Auckland yesterday. Labour leader David Cunliffe and Phil Goff were also in attendance.

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She'd had the week from hell, with everyone from the Opposition to a major newspaper calling for her head over the hacked emails scandal, but Judith Collins was yesterday adamant she would not quit. "Definitely not," she told the Sunday Star-Times yesterday morning.

She was preparing to make her first public appearance in days, attending a Pakistan Independence Day celebration in Auckland.

Collins stands accused by author Nicky Hager of feeding dirt to her "close friend", Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, including details of public servant Simon Pleasants who became the subject of a Slater attack. She wouldn't apologise to Pleasants, she said, as she'd then be accused of trying to influence a police inquiry into the leaks.

So how did she feel being on her "last last" warning from Prime Minister John Key? "I always agree with the Prime Minister . . . I always find that helpful."

Her own political ambitions? "I've always said I'm very happy being a minister in a John Key-led government."

There has been talk that her colleagues are deserting her, but she claimed they'd been "great" during the fallout.

Her week had been "not bad, actually, I've had a lot of time doing door-knocking".

She was not about to give any heads-up on National Party policy announcements at today's campaign launch. "I could, but it wouldn't be helpful to me, it wouldn't be career enhancing."

And there was no way Collins was going to throw her old mate Slater under a bus. "Even though I don't agree with everything my friends do, I'm always loyal to my friends."

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- Sunday Star Times

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