After a week which began on a grim note for National with a political poll showing the leader in a precarious position, Judith Collins found some solid ground in Finance Minister Grant Robertson's Budget
After a week which began on a grim note for National with a political poll showing the leader in a precarious position, Judith Collins found some solid ground in Finance Minister Grant Robertson's Budget on Thursday.
By delivering "a classic Labour Budget", Robertson may have also handed Collins a lifeline. Within hours, she was standing in the House delivering her scathing verdict: "That was a Budget for benefits, not for jobs."
Collins said the blueprint for the next year outlined by Labour was "light on hope and utterly lacking in ambition", pointing out New Zealand will lose more nurses and more teachers and more enginneers to Australia.
Collins itemised Government failings, taking a barely moment to pause after citing KiwiBuild, "...I don't want to gloat but we know what happened there".
In turn, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern noted much had changed in the four years since Robertson delivered his first Budget Day speech, and what had changed more than most was the leader of the Opposition.
She also poked fun at Collins' characterisation of some of the Government's proposals for Māori as a secret agenda, implying the National caucus might have a secret agenda to topple her as leader.
This is attack politics and is where Collins is strongest. By listing Labour's failures, she stayed on message, while baiting Ardern into personal jibes.
Points to Collins for surviving the week and, then, coming out on top.