Senior National MP Judith Collins has been blamed for uttering the f-bomb in a Zoom committee meeting. But was it her? Amelia Wade investigates.

Someone muttered "for f**k's sake" during an interrogation of police over the new law that gives them the power to enter homes without a warrant.

The whispered swearing happened just after National MP Judith Collins appeared to express her distaste for Labour MP Kiri Allan thanking the commissioners for dropping the Armed Response Teams.

Collins has also been blamed for the f-word but when she was questioned later, said she can't remember the hushed cuss because she dropped her tea.

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The Herald has analysed of the video and found the evidence inconclusive as there was another suspect - Labour MP Duncan Webb.

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The evidence

At the start of the Finance and Expenditure select committee's inquiry into the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act, Collins shuffling papers kept interrupting the Zoom.

Each time, Zoom flicked to Collins so committee chair Labour MP Deborah Russell told her to mute her microphone if she wasn't speaking.

But for half an hour Collins' heavy breathing and whispered remarks were picked up by her mic and with each disturbance, Zoom flicked to Collins' black screen - her audio turned off - with her name betraying the source of the mumble.

The screen which betrayed who was making all the noises during the select committee Zoom meeting. Photo / Parliament TV
The screen which betrayed who was making all the noises during the select committee Zoom meeting. Photo / Parliament TV

This continued as Police Commissioner Andrew Coster and his deputy Wally Haumaha gave their submission on the new law.

Webb asked the commissioners the first question, his microphone clearly off mute as well.

The hushed cuss

Labour MP Kiri Allan was in line for the second question and started by thanking Coster for dropping the armed response teams.

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"Oh, come on," Collins grumbled, Zoom once again betraying the source of the dissent.

Labour MP Kiri Allen was interrupted by Judith Collins' 'oh come on'. But was it Collins who interrupted Allen with the f-bomb? Photo / Supplied
Labour MP Kiri Allen was interrupted by Judith Collins' 'oh come on'. But was it Collins who interrupted Allen with the f-bomb? Photo / Supplied

The camera then flicked to Labour MP Duncan Webb smiling into his headset, revealing he still hadn't muted his audio.

Allan continued with her thanks to Coster, undisturbed by Collins' interjection.

Eleven seconds later, as Allan turned to start her question, someone whispered: "f**ck's sake".

But the camera this time did not betray its speaker. Newshub and Stuff blamed Collins for the curse.

Newshub blames Judith Collins for dropping the f-bomb.
Newshub blames Judith Collins for dropping the f-bomb.

The Herald asked Collins if the swear was her.

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"I didn't think so, but I did tip some tea," she replied.

Is Collins innocent?

The Herald analysed the video and audio in depth and has concluded the evidence was inconclusive.

The voice sounds like a man's and Zoom didn't flick to Collins like it did with her other mutterings.

Labour MP Duncan Webb also didn't have his microphone muted at the time someone muttered the f-bomb. Photo / Supplied
Labour MP Duncan Webb also didn't have his microphone muted at the time someone muttered the f-bomb. Photo / Supplied

And there was another suspect for the author of the hushed curse - Webb, who is male and had didn't have his microphone muted.

The Herald tried to contact Webb to ask whether it was him who dropped the f-bomb but he hadn't replied by the time this article was published.