Jacinda Ardern points to 'clear differences' with Judith Collins and her handling of information

Jacinda Ardern believes there are "clear differences" in the way she handled sensitive information about a National MP compared to how Judith Collins handled a tip-off about a Labour MP. 

The Prime Minister on Wednesday stripped Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway of his ministerial portfolios after she found out he had an "inappropriate" relationship with a former staffer over a 12-month period. 

It came after National leader Judith Collins told The AM Show on Wednesday morning that she had passed on to Ardern a tip-off she had received about a Labour Party minister.

"I have advised the Prime Minister and I have asked for anybody who has that information to send it directly to her," Collins told The AM Show. "I am not going to be indulging in any attacks on Labour on these things."

Collins told RNZ it involved "fairly inappropriate behaviour".

Ardern confirmed that Collins on Tuesday advised her of an email she had received that related to Lees-Galloway, which led Ardern to meet with the Labour MP where he was told his position as a minister was no longer tenable.  

Earlier in the week, Newshub revealed that Ardern's office passed on information to Collins about ex-National MP Andrew Falloon over allegations he had been sending inappropriate images to young women. 

Collins on Tuesday thanked the Prime Minister for how she handled it. 

But Ardern didn't give Collins the same courtesy. 

"You'll see that there are clear differences in the way that I chose to deal with the information I received and that she has chosen to deal with the information she's received," Ardern told reporters. 

"It is up to everyone else's judgement as to what is appropriate or not. Obviously you'll know that once I received information I passed it directly to the leader of the Opposition and I discussed it no more widely than that."

Ardern said she was simply setting out the differences between how they handled the information. 

"I received information; I passed it on to the leader of the Opposition. The leader of the Opposition has received information and obviously has chosen to deal with that differently," Ardern said.

"That is her judgement. I made mine - she's made hers."

Collins became leader just after her predecessor Todd Muller came under pressure over his handling of another scandal involving National MP Hamish Walker, who resigned after confessing to leaking confidential COVID-19 patient data to the press.