Judith Collins has fired shots at the Government and its supporters over political correctness while trying to win over rest home residents in Whanganui.

"I'm so sick of being told what we're not allowed to think. And if you say something that questions the current Government then you're called a denier. It's like a heresy.

"They're generally anti-religion but I reckon they'd be pretty good at the Inquisition.

"They're right into it. If you don't agree with what they say then you're a bad person."


Collins met with about 70 people at the Jane Winstone Retirement Village on Thursday after being invited by local MP Harete Hipango.

Many of the people in attendance agreed with Collins that the Government was wrong to pull out of gas and oil exploration in South Taranaki.

"We've got a prime minister at the moment who's happy to destroy an entire industry, the oil and gas industry, overnight on the flick of a switch to get a headline.

"Some of the young people that we talk to ... the millennials .... they say things like 'Oh well, you know, whatever, climate change, whatever'. Then I say, 'You can't charge your iPhone' and they sort of think 'Well how does that work?'"

Hipango introduced Collins but made it clear it was all about the Papakura MP.

"This morning is about Judith," said Hipango. "It really is very special for me as a ... novice MP coming in a first termer to have you with all your vast experience.

"We're in for a crushing good time this morning, everybody," Hipango said to a round of laughter from the crowd. "I had to weave that one in there."

"I just see at the moment we've got a prime minister and a government that's very focused internationally and getting lots of publicity internationally and I don't necessarily think they're [other nations] going to be there when we need it and that's what worries me a bit about them," she said.


Collins compared this Government with the last one-term Government before throwing out a dark prediction.

Judith Collins compared the current government with the last time New Zealand had a one term governing party in the 70s.
Judith Collins compared the current government with the last time New Zealand had a one term governing party in the 70s.

"They had a charismatic leader in Norm Kirk, the other was they had an incredibly inexperienced government, which we have as well.

"The third thing was that the world was in a bit of financial and otherwise turmoil. It feels very uncertain at the moment internationally around finances and what's going on."

The Papakura MP who competed for the leadership of the National Party after last year's election then laid out what she believed to be the path to electoral victory.

"We will not win unless a few things happen. One, we have to have an inspirational vision for New Zealand that actually brings New Zealanders along and which is not so highfalutin' that people say 'Well what's in it for me?' It's got to have something in it for Kiwis - the people who pay the bills.

"It's also got to be one which does not go down the victimhood path. The apologies for everything, the handouts for something else, the committees to tell you you're a poor little person. We have to be the party that's inspirational and that actually leads people to believe in themselves."


She said they had to get enough votes and under MMP that was difficult at the moment. Collins didn't think sharing votes with coalition partners was the right option.

Then she cited tactics from across the Tasman as a possible means for removing Labour from power.

"The last time ... there was a one-term Labour government was actually in Australia when Tony Abbott was leader of the Liberal coalition.

"That was on one issue and one slogan and that was: 'Stop the boats'. The people smugglers. And you know what? They did. They took that election and they stopped the boats. It's amazing, isn't it?

"They did that. And I think it can be as simple as that. That's what you need - that one ... idea that is so, that people feel that nobody is coping with. Who knows what's going to happen next year?"

Judith Collins talked to about 70 people at the retirement home, many of whom were seniors.
Judith Collins talked to about 70 people at the retirement home, many of whom were seniors.

She was heavily critical of the Resource Management Act, saying it was stuck between development aspirations and environmental protection interests. Collins wants to see the act split into two different acts that serve those interests separately.


After the event, Collins and Hipango went to Hawera before the Papakura MP took a flight back to Auckland in the evening.