Peters ready to take on Collins

  • 05/05/2014

By Peter Wilson and Sarah Robson

Judith Collins is about to get another roasting in Parliament with Winston Peters stoking the fire.

The NZ First leader claims he has proof the company which employs her husband as a director benefited from the dinner she attended in Beijing.

Oravida sells New Zealand dairy products on the Chinese market and was having trouble getting them in after Fonterra's contamination scare.

The dinner was in October last year, attended by Ms Collins, Oravida executives and a senior Chinese border control official.

Mr Peters says Oravida posted a Chinese import clearance document on the internet in December and a few days later the company gave the National Party a $30,000 donation.

"Their gratitude was shown... no other New Zealand dairy company got that sort of direct assistance from a minister, on the ground, in China," he said.

"This is serious evidence that Oravida did benefit from Ms Collins's visit - she and Prime Minister John Key should stop denying it."

The donation was previously known, but the existence of the clearance certificate wasn't.

Mr Peters will confront Ms Collins at question time on Tuesday when parliament sits after a two week recess.

Opposition parties have been trying for more than two months to prove Ms Collins is guilty of conflict of interest, which she and Mr Key deny.

The minister says she didn't discuss Oravida's business during the dinner.

But she's feeling the pressure, and Mr Key said she was going to take a few days off later this week for a "refresher".

Ms Collins has most recently come under fire for comments she made about TVNZ political reporter Katie Bradford, who she accused of inappropriately seeking ministerial help.

She was forced to apologise on Sunday after she told 3 News Bradford had approached her about her former partner possibly having difficulty being recruited by police.

Mr Key says it's "quite clear" Ms Collins has been "struggling a bit" under the pressure of sustained questioning about her dealings with Oravida.

NZN

source: newshub archive