Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Collins confirms health scare as she takes break

Photo / Getty Images
Photo / Getty Images

Judith Collins left Parliament last night for a week-long break from months of relentless Opposition attacks over her links with Oravida "feeling very good" about her health at least, despite a recent medical scare.

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Friends of the Justice Minister, who this week showed signs of struggling with the pressure of the Oravida conflict of interest claims, told Herald columnist Rachel Glucina she had been suffering from "a private health scare".

Ms Collins confirmed that to reporters yesterday as she headed into Parliament for the last time before taking the break ordered by Prime Minister John Key following her Twitter and television tirade against TVNZ political reporter Katie Bradford last weekend.

But she said she had "had some results back and they're very good".

"I'm going to get a few more tests done but I'm actually feeling very good about it now."

Ms Collins declined to comment about the nature of the health issue.

Asked if the pressure of recent weeks had taken its toll on her health, she said: "I don't know that that's got anything to do with it."

Ms Collins, who has also quit Twitter for the time being, returns to Parliament next Thursday for the Budget and until then will take a rest "to make up for the fact I haven't had a day off since mid-January".

Labour MP Grant Robertson - who has led the attacks on Ms Collins over claims she intervened with a Chinese official on behalf of Oravida, a company her husband works for and which has donated more than $65,000 to the National Party - suggested her respite would be brief.

"So long as John Key has her as a minister this isn't over. When you put together the way in which she manipulated her visit to China to include Oravida, the way she's covered up and minimised that, the Prime Minister himself saying she'd misled him at one point and you put that alongside her behaviour towards Katie Bradford this week, we don't believe that's conduct suitable for a minister."

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Mr Robertson said a lot of information was withheld from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade documents about Ms Collins' China trip released last week, "and we may yet find access to some of that".

- NZ Herald

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