Cabinet minister looking forward to some peace and quiet.

She will be at Question Time in Parliament today, but then she is taking some personal time to spend with her family. Cabinet minister Judith Collins, who is battling a private health scare, told The Diary she is "looking forward to some R&R".

Embattled Justice Minister Judith Collins fronts up to Parliament's Question Time over her Oravida conflict of interest affair.

Collins has put up with weeks of intense questioning from media on the Oravida business, and back-biting from Opposition circles, including some behind-the-scenes of her own party, who have remained nameless. Her outburst on Sunday towards a TV reporter was evidence Collins had had enough. She admits that she went too far.

"I got very upset at seeing Maurice being attacked over staying on as an MP, although I completely agree with the PM's view that Maurice couldn't stay as a minister. I shouldn't have used Katie [Bradford's] name. I was thinking of circumstances when others had approached me on police matters and her situation came to mind. I have phoned Katie and apologised. We've agreed to catch up in person," she told The Diary.

Collins is taking a four- or five-day mini-break before the Budget next Thursday to refresh and revitalise.


She says it's a good chance to get some things finished around the house and go away with her husband, David, and their son, James. She's looking at the bright side. There'll be no more Twitter, either.

"I'll be at home getting all sorts of work done," she said. "There's gardening and a bit of renovating. It will be nice to get some peace and quiet. We might go away for a few days too."

Collins' ego has had a shock. Taking enforced leave was the only option.

Friends say she has also been suffering from a private health scare and the additional worry that comes with that, but Collins is reluctant to discuss it right now. She says more medical tests are due.

She was expected to be a guest at the Canon Media Awards on Friday, at blogger Cameron Slater's table. But Collins says she won't be attending now. Her husband may attend. A self-imposed vacation is what Collins (and the Prime Minister) has prescribed - and that goes for a break from the media too.

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