Prime Minister John Key

As soon as he stepped out of the chauffeur-driven BMW, he was on the back foot.

Prime Minister John Key was inevitably going to face questions in Christchurch but as he entered the recently refurbished Barrington Mall, it was a post-earthquake issue that first set him on shaky ground.

A woman asked the PM why terminally ill, elderly and vulnerable people were still waiting for EQC claims to be settled.

Mr Key asked for details, saying he would raise the matter with EQC.


The woman, who declined to be named, told media afterwards: "He had absolutely no answers."

Photo / Peter Meecham

Justice Minister Judith Collins

Embattled Justice Minister Judith Collins yesterday surfaced in Mangere but refused to comment on claims about her links with blogger Cameron Slater. Ms Collins, who was visiting online retailer Fishpond's new base, said she could not comment on the issue.

"I can't discuss that. It's the subject of a police complaint about the criminal activity of someone who has accessed private emails," she said.

Asked about what Mr Key had said publicly about the issue, she said: "I always agree with the Prime Minister."

- Simon Collins