Judith Collins plots path to Prime Minister's position

Judith Collins (Newshub.)
Judith Collins (Newshub.)

Bill English isn't the only Prime Minister contender with baggage. Judith Collins quit Cabinet amid scandal in 2014. But she's back in Cabinet now, and has her eyes set on the ninth floor.

She was coy with her ambitions on Tuesday morning, but confident by afternoon.

Behind her sunglasses Ms Collins was plotting - doing her numbers, and only revealing her immediate plans.

Her cards stayed in hand after the morning caucus meeting. But by afternoon, her shades were off and she'd gone all in.

"I believe we need the best person at the helm and I believe I am that person," she said.

So who exactly is the woman we know as "Crusher"? Ms Collins is 57 years old and married with one son. She is a former lawyer who entered Parliament in 2002 and now is Police and Corrections Minister.

She's not the only notable name in the family. She happens to have a famous nephew in her corner - Joseph Parker. He sent some words of encouragement today.

"I know all about fights - your fight begins at 10 o'clock this morning," he told her.

She's not one to dance around her words, which got her in some major strife leading up to the last election - a scandal with Oravida and her role in Dirty Politics.

Eventually she was turfed out, and has been sitting not so quietly on the backbench until clawing her way back into Cabinet. Now she wants the top job.

"It's going to need to take someone who can make decisions, who can think on their feet, who can make hard calls and can connect to New Zealanders" she said.

But she'll still have to convince - or at least inform - her colleagues.

She may not have people openly coming out to endorse her, but remember Ms Collins had a lot of spare time to plot this and gather support when exiled to the backbench.