Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Former political opponents get together for a good cause

Helen Clark and Judith Collins catch up in London.
Helen Clark and Judith Collins catch up in London.

Former political adversaries Judith Collins and Helen Clark have come together in London for a "great catch-up" over lunch and a worthy cause - the Angelina Jolie-led international bid to stamp out rape in military conflicts.

Justice Minister Ms Collins spoke at the final day of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London this week, an initiative spearheaded by the British Government and film star Jolie, who is Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Helen Clark, a former Labour prime minister now administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, was also present.

"She came over and we had lunch together and it was great to catch up", Ms Collins said last night.

"She was obviously very supportive of what we're doing around the [New Zealand bid for a place on the] Security Council and really supportive of the interest in the work we're doing around the conference itself in terms of trying to rid the world of sexual violence in conflicts."

Over dinner later Ms Collins had the opportunity to chat with Jolie and her fiance Brad Pitt with whom she had a "nice little chat".

"I initially said to him 'you wouldn't be interested in coming and doing a movie here would you?'

The Hollywood A-lister told her he was keen to do a motorcycle tour of New Zealand. "I, of course, alerted the Minister of Tourism - John Key. He thought it was a great idea too."

Ms Collins tweeted pictures of herself with the couple, the first time she has used the social media network after a self-imposed ban a month ago after she used it to wrongly accuse Press Gallery reporter Katie Bradford of seeking her intervention in a personal matter.

While in the UK Ms Collins has also met a series of ministers including Home Secretary Theresa May, Attorney-General Dominic Grieve, and Minister of Justice Chris Grayling.

The agenda for talks has included issues around crime prevention, particularly around domestic and sexual violence and "Clare's Law" or the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme put in place in Britain after the murder of Clare Wood by her former boyfriend in 2009.

- NZ Herald

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