Seven things you might not know about Judith Collins

By Marilynn McLachlan

Judith Collins firing a gun in a photo uploaded to her Facebook page.
Judith Collins firing a gun in a photo uploaded to her Facebook page.

The National Party's Judith Collins is courting controversy lately and political commentators are questioning whether she will last as a Minister. Here are seven things you might not know about the Minister for Justice.

1. She has a law degree and two Masters degrees

After growing up in Hamilton, she studied at the University of Canterbury and the University of Auckland where she gained an LLB, an LLM (Hons) and Master of Taxation Studies.

After working for four law firms, she set up Judith Collins & Associates, Barristers & Solicitors.

2. She was a restaurant owner and operator


Judith Collins with her husband David Wong-Tung. Photo / Norrie Montgomery

Inspired by the work-ethic of people in Hong Kong while there for her wedding Collins and her husband David Wong-Tung decided to buy into a restaurant. During this time she made cheesecakes at 6am, did the accounts at nights and weekends, worked her day job in a law firm and completed her master's degree.

3. She was once the president of the Auckland District Law Society

Collins was the Vice-President of the Auckland District Law Society in 1997, becoming the youngest-ever President the following year.

4. An intruder came into her home

In a NZ Herald live chat, Collins said that she had been the victim of burglaries as well as "someone trying to break into my home in the middle of the night when I was there with my then tiny baby. Some people might think that burglaries are minor but knowing that someone has tried to break into your home in the middle of the night has had a lasting impact."

5. She was dubbed NZ's answer to Margaret Thatcher

In an opinion piece for the NZ Herald in 2006, Coddington wrote that "the similarities to Baroness Thatcher are remarkable", comparing the pairs middle-class upbringings, law backgrounds, social beliefs and even looks, saying: "Someone should feed Collins' photo into the website that matches doppelgangers - with her carriage, pearls and colouring, she even looks like Margaret Thatcher."

6. She was also known as 'Crusher' Collins


The first car to be confiscated and crushed under the boy-racer legislation. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Collins is well-known for her tough attitude but was dubbed 'Crusher Collins' after the Vehicle Confiscation and Seizure Bill was passed in 2009. The bill gave courts the power to send cars people owned to the crusher if they had three serious vehicle offences in four years. It took three years before the first car was crushed - a Nissan Laurel, owned by Lower Hutt boy racer Daniel Briant.

The crushed car was sold on TradeMe and purchased by MOTAT, with proceeds donated to Youthline.

7. She's prolific on social media

The 55-year old has embraced social media. Since joining Twitter in August 2012, saying "Have now joined Twitter!" (seven retweets), she has tweeted almost 6,000 times, posting selfies and debating with other users, but it has also got her into strife, with her swipes at TVNZ reporter Katie Bradford and a subsequent apology to the journalist.

She also has her own Facebook page with just over 4000 'fans' where she shares tales of both her garden and politics... and the odd retro photo.



Last month she posted a photo of herself to Facebook shooting a gun.

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