Collins' popularity plunges in latest poll

Judith Collins.
Judith Collins' popularity has further plummeted. File photo
A new political poll has seen a massive drop for Judith Collins, following weeks of the National Party accusing the Government of a "separatism by stealth" agenda.

Results from tonight's Newshub-Reid Research poll:

Labour 52.7 per cent
National 27 per cent
Greens 7.1 per cent
Act 6.9 per cent
Te Pāti Māori 1.2 per cent

Labour was up 2.7 percentage points, National up 1.4 percentage points.

In the preferred PM stakes, Jacinda Ardern polled at 48.1 per cent (up 4.5); Judith Collins was at just 5.6 per cent (down 12.8).

Former PM John Key was higher than Collins on 6.7 per cent, while backbench MP Christopher Luxon was on 2.4 per cent.

The Newshub-Reid Research poll is its first of the year, and follows a One News Colmar Brunton poll in March that had Labour on 49 per cent, National on 27 per cent, the Greens on 9 per cent and Act on 8 per cent.

This was a slightly narrower gap between the major parties than on election night in 2020, when Labour won 50 per cent of the vote and National won 25.6 per cent.

Tonight's poll follows a campaign from the National Party over recent weeks to accuse the Government of a "separatism by stealth" agenda, highlighting the He Puapua report, proposals to hand over conservation estate to Māori, the proposed Māori Health Authority, and the Government's use of urgency to rush through a law getting rid of a public veto on Māori wards.

The Government has rejected this, saying neither He Puapua nor DoC proposals have come before Cabinet, the Māori Health authority is about partnership, and the ability for a Māori ward to be overturned in a referendum was "discriminatory".

Today Collins told a regional party conference in Queenstown that the Government was creating regional water authorities, and the one covering the South Island would see Ngāi Tahu co-owning water infrastructure assets.

But Ngāi Tahu rubbished this, saying Collins was "deceptive and wrong".

Te Pāti Māori has accused National of "racist rhetoric", which Collins rejected, saying she is simply raising important issues for discussion.

Last week the Government was also on the back foot over its proposed pay freeze for much of the public sector.

Frustrated unions, after meeting with ministers, claimed two victories: cost-of-living increases could be discussed for all workers on collective negotiations "regardless of salary", and the pay settings would be reviewed after a year, instead of in 2023.

Next week the Government is delivering Budget 2021, with a focus on child poverty, climate change and housing.

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