Judith Collins has told a women's magazine she wouldn't have got through last year's Oravida and Dirty Politics scandals, which led to her forced resignation from the Cabinet three weeks before the general election, if it wasn't for her husband.
The former Minister of Justice is married to David Wong-Tung, a director of the dairy company Oravida that was at the centre of a political scandal in early 2014.
The scandal surrounded a visit by Ms Collins to Oravida's offices in Shanghai in 2013, and a $65,000 donation from the company to the National Party.
Then, just three weeks before last year's general election, she was forced to resign after an email emerged that suggested she was involved in a plot to undermine former Serious Fraud Office boss Adam Feeley when she was Police Minister.
The husband and wife of 30 years spoke to the New Zealand Woman's Weekly about the tumultuous year, with Ms Collins saying: "I wouldn't have got through it if it hadn't been for David.
"I remember him saying to me one day, 'You don't have to do this - there is life outside, you know ... '," she said.
But she told the magazine she couldn't give up politics.
"If there was truth in what was being said that might have been a different story, but there wasn't."
In November, an inquiry by a former High Court judge cleared Ms Collins of any involvement in a campaign to undermine Mr Feeley.
Ms Collins also said hugs helped her get through her troubled year: "I'm very big on hugs. If members of the public want to come up and give me a hug, it's all good."
She describes a low point as being when she door-knocked a house in the lead-up to the 2014 election and its occupants told her they would no longer vote for her. Her majority dropped from 9890 to 4851.
Ms Collins also spoke to the magazine about her love for dancing, and watching rugby and boxing - Mr Wong-Tung's cousin is professional heavyweight Joseph Parker.
She also spoke about how her father did not like Mr Wong-Tung's Chinese-Samoan heritage, which was why the pair eloped to marry in Hong Kong. "We had no witnesses. We had to borrow two members of staff from the registry office ... Dad was fine after we married."