Judith Collins left Parliament last night for a week-long
break from months of relentless Opposition attacks over her
links with Oravida "feeling very good" about her health at
least, despite a recent medical scare.
Friends of the Justice Minister, who this week showed signs
of struggling with the pressure of the Oravida conflict of
interest claims, told Herald columnist Rachel Glucina she had
been suffering from "a private health scare".
Ms Collins confirmed that to reporters yesterday as she
headed into Parliament for the last time before taking the
break ordered by Prime Minister John Key following her
Twitter and television tirade against TVNZ political reporter
Katie Bradford last weekend.
But she said she had "had some results back and they're very
"I'm going to get a few more tests done but I'm actually
feeling very good about it now."
Ms Collins declined to comment about the nature of the health
Asked if the pressure of recent weeks had taken its toll on
her health, she said: "I don't know that that's got anything
to do with it."
Ms Collins, who has also quit Twitter for the time being,
returns to Parliament next Thursday for the Budget and until
then will take a rest "to make up for the fact I haven't had
a day off since mid-January".
Labour MP Grant Robertson - who has led the attacks on Ms
Collins over claims she intervened with a Chinese official on
behalf of Oravida, a company her husband works for and which
has donated more than $65,000 to the National Party -
suggested her respite would be brief.
"So long as John Key has her as a minister this isn't over.
When you put together the way in which she manipulated her
visit to China to include Oravida, the way she's covered up
and minimised that, the Prime Minister himself saying she'd
misled him at one point and you put that alongside her
behaviour towards Katie Bradford this week, we don't believe
that's conduct suitable for a minister."
Mr Robertson said a lot of information was withheld from the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade documents about Ms
Collins' China trip released last week, "and we may yet find
access to some of that".