Justice Minister Collins resigns
New Zealand’s Minister of Justice, Judith Collins has resigned from her position with immediate effect. The minister resigned following email leaks alleging she had undermined the head of the Serious Fraud Office when she was the Minister.
The resignation comes just three weeks before the 20th September general election. The ruling National Party has been subject to several controversies in recent weeks and their polling figures have dropped from a high of 55% in early August to an average of 48.6% across the latest four polls. The four polls were taken before Collins resignation and any further fall in support for the nationals will make it hard for them to secure a majority in the next parliament.
The official announcement of the resignation as published on Beehive is as follows:
“Judith Collins resigns as a Minister
Prime Minister John Key today announced that Hon. Judith Collins has resigned from Cabinet.
Mr Key says the resignation of Ms Collins followed the receipt of new information that raises allegations about Ms Collins’ conduct as a Minister.
“The relationship between a Minister and their Chief Executive is vital, and goes right to the heart of a trusted, effective government.
“This new information suggests Ms Collins may have been engaged in discussions with a blogger in 2011 aimed at undermining the then Director of the Serious Fraud Office. Ms Collins was the Minister responsible for the SFO at the time.
Mr Key released an email which had been recently been provided to his office.
“I have spoken with Ms Collins about the matters in the email, and she strongly denies any suggestion of inappropriate behaviour on her part.
“Ms Collins accepts these are serious allegations and that resigning as a Minister is the honourable step to take in these circumstances.
Mr Key says Ms Collins resignation takes effect immediately, and Hon. Christopher Finlayson will be Acting Minister of Justice, Hon. Craig Foss will be Acting Minister for ACC, and Hon. Hekia Parata will be Acting Minister for Ethnic Affairs.”