Dirty Politics: Collins, Ede go to ground

By Adam Bennett, Vaimoana Tapaleao

As Ms Collins' final warnings stack up, her political future hangs on what else is revealed in emails PM John Key expects to see released by the anonymous hacker. Photo / APN
As Ms Collins' final warnings stack up, her political future hangs on what else is revealed in emails PM John Key expects to see released by the anonymous hacker. Photo / APN

Key figures at the centre of the Dirty Politics furore including beleaguered Justice Minister Judith Collins were yesterday avoiding media but retained at least some support from voters and family yesterday.

Ms Collins is facing calls for her resignation over her role in passing the name and details of a public servant she suspected of helping Labour in a political attack to Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater.

Neither she or her office returned the Herald's calls yesterday, however a spokeswoman did respond to scotch a report that she had resigned. The report was sparked by a tweet from RadioLive host Duncan Garner linking to a satirical resignation letter he'd written.

No one came to the large gated entrance at Ms Collins' stunning home in Maraetai yesterday; despite there being two vehicles parked in the driveway.

Neighbours hadn't seen the politician in the last few days, but said they respected her.
One neighbour yelled out to the Herald "leave her alone!".

Staff at Ms Collins' electoral office in Clevedon were coy about the Minister's whereabouts; only saying that she was out campaigning.

Shoppers at Papakura's Roselands Shopping Centre had mixed views about their local MP.

Several people said they were upset about her passing information to Slater and were now looking to candidates for other parties.

Dorothy Lowrie, 78, said: "She's done a few too many mistakes and she's got away with them under John Key. It's just not good enough."

Another voter, who just wanted to be known as Kylie, said the whole affair was "dodgy" and had turned her off voting all together.

There were, however, a number of staunch supporters for not only Ms Collins but the National Party.

Nina Marsters, 49, acknowledged that the Papakura MP had done a lot for their community and overall represented them well.

"I'm not going to let one little thing change my view of her. She's a good lady and...everyone's looking at her in a bad way now - but what about all the other MPs who have done much worse?"

Simon Pleasants, the public servant who suffered abuse and death threats after Slater attacked him online using details supplied by Ms Collins was reluctant to comment yesterday.

"At the time it was very disturbing and I put the matter in the hands of the police," he said.

Meanwhile Prime Minister John Key's former senior media adviser Jason Ede who Hager claimed had a central role in a National Party dirty tricks campaign was not returning the Herald's calls either.

Mr Ede's mother, who did not wish to be named, said he had not been in touch with her since Hager's book was published.

"I don't know anything about computer blogging, I'm in a retirement village," the 78-year-old told the Herald yesterday.

"I have followed it on the television and everything I know is from and that. I'm very disappointed this has all happened because as far as I know he is a very conscientious man and a very loyal person and that's all I can say.

"If you find out anything let me know."

- NZ Herald

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