Justice Minister Judith Collins with National MP Jami-Lee
Ross during the party conference. Photo / Dean Purcell
Embattled Justice Minister Judith Collins publicly
apologised to television reporter Katie Bradford last night
after attacking her on Twitter and telling a rival channel
Bradford had inappropriately approached her when she was Police
Prime Minister John Key, while clearly unimpressed with Ms
Collins' attacks on the journalist, expressed confidence in
her when asked if he had unequivocal confidence in her.
According to Bradford's TVNZ boss, John Gillespie, Ms Collins
admitted to him that Bradford had never asked her for help.
Before apologising on Twitter to Bradford, Ms Collins hinted
in an interview with TV3's Brook Sabin that she could dish up
more dirt on the press gallery.
"You might just find I get recall on all sorts of things.
We'll just wait and see. I think it is very important when
the media want to raise issues about behaviours, they need to
understand that they sometimes can be very inappropriate as
Ms Collins' parting shot after the interview suggests she
blames the media for Mr Williamson's fate, rather than Mr
Williamson himself or the Prime Minister, who asked for his
"Let's see if you hold your own people to account after
you've done what you've done to Maurice," she said to the TV3
When Ms Collins was asked yesterday to comment on a Herald on
Sunday story about Labour MP Ross Robertson approaching her
about his police officer daughter's leave, she told TV3:
"It's just like when a member of the press gallery approached
me about how her then husband was having difficulty in
becoming recruited by New Zealand Police. She said this was a
problem and she had been told that her husband wasn't going
to be acceptable as a police recruit because of her family
Bradford's mother is the veteran protester and former Green
MP Sue Bradford.
Ms Collins tweeted last night: "Katie, I was answering
questions about wider public engagement. Yr example came to
mind. Reflected on that. Shouldnt have. Sorry."
Katie Bradford said she'd had a good working relationship
with Ms Collins but had never asked for a personal favour and
was completely surprised by the comments.
"Back in 2010 my ex-partner was considering applying for the
police force - at the time it had been suggested to him that
he might have an issue with being accepted.
"I recall that this came up in an informal conversation
between the minister and me but I never asked her to
Her partner never formally applied to join the police.
On Friday night Bradford told the television audience she
hadn't seen Ms Collins at the National's northern conference
in Auckland. Ms Collins had been there and took to Twitter on
Saturday night accusing Bradford of being biased and
demanding an apology.
- Audrey Young, NZ Herald