Resignation reaction: 'Too little, too late'

The reaction to Judith Collins' resignation from opposition parties has been universal. They all believe she had to go but they have criticised the Prime Minister for not acting sooner.

Labour MP Grant Robertson said Ms Collins' resignation was "too little, too late", and he attempted to tie the resignation to Nicky Hager's book, which has shone a light on her relationship with Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater and attack politics.

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"It does show a culture of the kind of politics that's growing under John Key's leadership. This is actually about John Key and his moral leadership. He has let this kind of politics grow under his watch," he said.

He said there were more questions to answer.

"John Key now needs to come down off his high horse on Nicky Hager' book and look at each of the allegations in the book, so the New Zealand public can get some assurances that he isn't endorsing this sort of politics.

"Today he's found an excuse to get rid of Judith Collins ... Just getting Judith Collins to resign doesn't resolve the other issues here."

Speaking to the media prior to the Prime Minister's announcement that Ms Collins had resigned, Labour leader David Cunliffe said he took no joy in a senior government minister resigning just prior to an election.

"I think New Zealanders will want to know exactly what lies behind this. The minister should have been sacked months ago on the Oravida scandal. She's been on her last, last, last warning and I think New Zealanders want a full explanation."

Cunliffe called for a full inquiry into ministerial behavior, possibly headed by the Ombudsman.

"Steps must be taken to clean up National's dirty politics. Just sacking one minister isn't everything that's required."


Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said Ms Collins should have been sacked a long time ago.

"The latest revelations that Justice Minister Judith Collins was 'gunning' for the chief executive of the SFO are very disturbing. But the fact is Ms Collins has shown herself to be an unsuitable minister for a long time."

Her co-leader Russel Norman tweeted: "Maurice Williamson, Judith Collins, Cam Slater, John Key. They were all at it."


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said Mr Key was using the email as an excuse to remove Ms Collins.

"That email is not why he's acting."

He said Ms Collins had been disloyal to the Prime Minister, and that was the most serious misconduct.

He has previously claimed that a person from Ms Collins' camp had approached him earlier this year to ask him if he could work with a Collins-led National Party after the election.

Ms Collins has strongly denied the claim.

Speaking to media about midday, just prior to the Prime Minister's announcement, Labour leader David Cunliffe said he took no joy in a senior government minister resigning just prior to an election.

"I think New Zealanders will want to know exactly what lies behind this. The minister should have been sacked months ago on the Oravida scandal. She's been on her last, last, last warning and I think New Zealanders want a full explanation."

Cunliffe called for a full inquiry into ministerial behavior, possibly headed by the Ombudsman.

"Steps must be taken to clean up National's dirty politics. Just sacking one minister isn't everything that's required."

- NZ Herald

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