Justice Minister Judith
Collins has returned from stress leave but hopes the Budget had
put her woes behind her appear to be in vain as the Opposition
has lined up further questions in Parliament today.
Ms Collins was advised to take a few days leave by the Prime
Minister after she hit out at a TVNZ journalist while under
pressure from ongoing coverage of her interactions with
Oravida in China and the resignation of her friend Maurice
Williamson. It was also revealed that she faced health
concerns, although she would not say what those were.
Ms Collins was back for the Budget last week and back into
her job fulltime this week. On the way into caucus this
morning, she said the tests for the unspecified health issue
had been good and while there was still one thing remaining
to deal with ‘‘apart from that, it should be great."
She spent her time off "shifting my furniture, getting stuck
into the garden, but I also did some economic development,
which is shopping."
Ms Collins will face a question from Labour today on her
justice portfolio and NZ First leader Winston Peters has
another question for the Prime Minister about Ms Collins.
He claimed last week to have information that would get
Collins' sacked, but that fell flat after it amounted to
pointing out she had not declared the accommodation and
travel paid for by the Chinese authorities in her return to
the Register of Pecuniary Interests. The rules specify
official Parliamentary travel does not have to be disclosed,
but that does not appear to cover ministerial travel and most
ministers, including the Prime Minister, do declare it.
Ms Collins said she believed the Opposition would be better
off focusing on the big issues ‘‘but if they want to spend
their time doing that, I can't do much about it."
- By Claire Trevett of
the New Zealand Herald