"Disgraceful." "Stupid behaviour." Nicky Hager has to "meet his maker".
Judith Collins quashed any notion of a softer image on the campaign trail in Nelson today following a poll that showed National with a steep hill to climb.
"We need The Crusher to take on The Gnasher," demanded Jim Williamson, who couldn't even bring himself to say the words "Jacinda Ardern" at a 250-strong Grey Power meeting in Stoke.
And Collins obliged.
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On Ardern and Ihumātao: "She should not have ever involved herself. Utter nonsense. Stupid behaviour. We're not paying a cent for that."
On Ardern staying silent on her vote in the cannabis referendum: "This nonsense about not wanting to influence the vote, but she's happy to ban cotton buds."
On gangs: "This namby-pamby, give-them-all-a-hug stuff has to stop."
On costs on small businesses that increase "every time the Prime Minister opens her mouth".
Asked if she had been told to soften her image: "They may have, I'm not listening."
Collins lapped up a rapturous Grey Power reception at the Annesbrook Church, being funny and forceful in equal measure.
She dangled a $500 carrot in front of them from National's temporary tax cuts; they would get more because of the higher tax thresholds.
Labour was full of talk but with little delivery, she said repeatedly.
Trouble is, Oppositions portraying themselves as a Government-in-waiting can also do little but talk, and National's clarity of diction has been hampered by the noisy background of fiscal holes and tight spending plans.
Collins did little talking at the start of the day and was basically a support player as local National MP Nick Smith pledged to rebuild the Nelson Hospital by 2028.
She then attempted small talk - "What's your favourite coding language" - with software developers at Core Transport Technologies, whose technology tracks shipping containers around the world.
At the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, her talk turned to the party's policy on skills and training to get the Covid-hit unemployed back into work.
Tertiary education providers could get $4000 for every unemployed person they upskill into a new job.
The right programmes were needed for the right industries in the right regions, National said, which is exactly what the Government wants to do through its Workforce Development Councils - vocational education reforms that look fine on paper, are talked up a lot, but are completely untested.
National wants Industry Training Organisations to keep leading that charge as they did before, but the failure of the system to give employers the skilled people they needed was a reason behind the reforms in the first place.
Labour didn't care about training, Collins said, ignoring Labour's flexi-wage announcement to give employers on average $7500 to get people off the benefit, and Labour's free tertiary education for trades training.
But Collins hit her stride at the Grey Power meeting, emboldened by a crowd that shouted support, scoffed when she scoffed, and nodded in agreement throughout her address.
It didn't all go her way, though.
"Why would I vote for anyone so convincingly portrayed in Nicky Hager's The Hollow Men and Dirty Politics?" asked 85-year-old Ardelle Jefferies.
Collins: "Read my book. Mine has been a bestseller for non-fiction and his should be in the fiction section – disgraceful.
"I will never ever have anything to do with that man. He still needs to meet his maker."
Afterwards Jefferies told the Herald that she believed 99 per cent of what Nicky Hager had written, and though she agreed with a lot of what National was promising, she would vote Green because they had the best plan to save the planet.
Collins' typically Crusher response was nothing she didn't expect, Jefferies said, adding: "Jacinda Ardern's heart is in the right place. National's heart is not in the right place."