Judith Collins is the MP for Papakura, leader of the National Party, and leader of the opposition in the 53rd Parliament of New Zealand. She sat down with elocal to discuss the current direction of the Government, and why New Zealand desparately needs a change.
MJ: The country – from what I can see it’s going down the gurgler.
JC: I must say, everything seems to be going wrong, doesn’t it?
MJ: I’ve never seen a more inept Government.
JC: We’ve got things really important to our people, Mill Road, the extensions there cancelled. We’ve got hate speech laws coming in, and the Government’s not sure quite what it all means. We’ve got rollouts around Covid just all over the show – lockdowns in parts of the country coming in and out, no particular plan seems to be organised. Then we have the He Puapua document that the Government has accused me of scaremongering on – but quite clearly it is doing a lot of the He Puapua.
Our democracy needs to be protected, and what we’re seeing is a Government incapable of doing anything but announcements – and now, actually just calling people names. So, it’s just extraordinary. Crime growing, gang members going up by 50% in four years – we can’t keep going on like this. We need a change.
MJ: Where do we start?
JC: Well, obviously we need to make sure that when we in the National Party as the opposition stand on points, that we stand proudly on those points, and that we don’t prevaricate – that we have very clear messages, then we promise to follow through, and then we do. Because what we’ve seen from the Government is “no taxes!” – and then they’ve done exactly the opposite. Where taxes have gone up, people who’ve invested in rental properties are suddenly finding they can’t deduct the interest on those, so the cost of providing housing for other people has gone up.
Now we have the Government taxing utility vehicles, the Prime Minister deciding what is a “legitimate” or “illegitimate” ute, whatever that means. We have a Government so far out of touch, and so focused on the Prime Minister getting to go to – or at least, Zoom in – to Scotland for a climate change meeting, that everyone else gets to pay for it, particularly farmers and tradespeople. We have a Government out of step with mainstream thinking, with a radical agenda, and that’s why the National Party need to be very firm, very strong, and very focussed. And we’ve got to win this next election.
MJ: That’s going to be very difficult when you have a media that’s been bought.
JC: Well, we know that the mainstream media – even some pay-to-view blog sites were paid part of the $55 million allocated to the media to “keep them going” last year, and that has been continued this year, with another $55 million of taxpayer money. So we have to work around the mainstream media. And the mainstream media, some have tried to stand up for what they believe in, and they get cancelled – they get cancelled by the Prime Minister, or they get cancelled by their own radio stations. So it is really important that we work around that, and we use social media, and we use other media who are not allowing themselves to be bullied or pushed down.
MJ: Well, we’re even finding social media now, it’s totally censored.
JC: Yes, we’ve seen the likes of Twitter and Facebook censoring people who make statements that they don’t agree with. Now, nobody that I know of has a problem with censoring things that are inciting violence – and that’s already a crime under the law anyway. But now, we’re getting people being able to censor others because they make statements that are not “politically correct” or the acknowledged “norm”.
Liberal democracy – free and liberal democracy – requires people to be able to say what they want, obviously, short of things that promote violence. But we now have this concept of “hatred” that the Prime Minister seems focused on, where it’s quite alright, apparently, to make hateful statements against middle-aged white women, but it’s certainly not anyone else. We have different classes of people who are protected; different classes of “rightness”.
And we have a very radical agenda, which is having Government agencies procuring contracts with businesses, and those businesses now have to either prove that they are “Maori” businesses, or that they have so much Maori ownership. I received the evidence of it today, sent to us from people who have tried to get contracts; they’re saying they now have to become a “Maori-owned” business. This is racism, like we have never seen in New Zealand.
MJ: Is this not the same thing that happens in South Africa?
JC: Exactly. It’s absolutely racism. And when we’ve called it out, we’ve been told that that’s racist – to call out racism.
MJ: That doesn’t make sense, does it?
JC: I know. And you will have seen that I have been accused of being racist, which my husband of – my, decades, says I’m one of the least racist people around. Of course, he is Samoan, Chinese and European. I look at this and say when you treat people differently, based on their ethnicity, that is racist. When you treat people differently, based on their gender, that is sexist. But it is wrong that people can’t stand up for themselves.
I’ve said it before: there is nothing wrong with being white; there is nothing wrong with being brown; there is nothing wrong with being any other colour! You just are who you are – it is what you do that counts. And this Government is taking us down a divisive path; a reading of the Treaty of Waitangi, which is not at all in Treaty of Waitangi. It’s a divisiveness that this country has never seen.
MJ: We’re heading from a democracy to an ethnocracy. And it’s happening at an alarming rate.
JC: Yes, it’s happening very fast. And the Government has decided – well, the Labour Party, essentially, with the enthusiastic support of the Greens – has decided that it’s going to split New Zealand up based on ethnicity.
It’s even down to our water, with their plan to take all the responsibility for stormwater, wastewater, and drinking water off councils, and put it into new entities, which will be owned and governed half by iwi, and half by local councils. Sorry, but I’m a ratepayer. I expect that I will have a share in whatever it is, and I’m being told, no: it’s going off to local iwi.
The first place they’ve proposed to do it is in the South Island, where there is one major iwi, Ngai Tahu. But the northern part of the South Island around Nelson and Marlborough, that’s a different iwi. So that one’s going to be split off into a North Island grouping, all to try and get Ngai Tahu and the South Island one in place, and they can then start dealing with the problems of the North Island. Even Mayor [Phil] Goff, a former leader of the Labour Party, absolute Labour to his core, is saying no, it’s not going to work for Auckland – he’d have 58 different iwi to deal with.
This is simply unacceptable. It’s a land grab, a property grab, a power grab, that New Zealanders have never been asked about.
Even the Government’s “consultation” on the He Puapua document – which is quite clearly their document, done for them, and already being rolled out by them – is consultation with iwi first, and then the rest of us get to have a look-in.
Well that’s not democracy. It’s nothing to do with democracy, of one person, one vote, and equal stance of citizenship.
MJ: It sounds like totalitarianism.
JC: Well yes, it is. It is. And if you say anything about it, then you’re accused of being a racist.
MJ: Yet the act of what they’re doing is most racist.
JC: If you think about the Alice in Wonderland story, it’s like that – where whatever you call them out on, they then accuse you of it. And then they call people names. This Government, I think, is the worst government I have ever seen.
At the same time, that is why we need to be very focussed on this, keep our eyes very firmly on what they’re doing, and tell the public about it. We don’t expect any help from the mainstream media, because they are in love with this whole stuff, and the whole bunch of them are people who just think that they have to agree, otherwise they might be out of a job. Or, they actually believe what the Government says.
MJ: They’re drinking the Kool-Aid.
JC: They’ve drunk the Kool-Aid. And there are some mainstream media people who have not. But as I say, those people are under threat.
MJ: This doesn’t sound like a Government that is looking out for the interests of the majority of New Zealanders.
JC: No, quite clearly, the Government actually despises, I think, the majority of New Zealanders. You can see it in the way they talk about people. You’ve got James Shaw, the Green Minister who Jacinda Ardern insisted on having in her Government, talking about farmers who are having their land rights taken away from them as being “Pakeha farmers”. Apparently “Pakeha farmers” are the problem. “Pakeha farmers”, and all the other farmers, actually got us through some of the economic difficulties that we had last year through Covid. And that’s the way they refer to them.
Imagine taking the word “Pakeha” and putting instead “Maori”. Or “Indian”. Or “Chinese”. Would that be acceptable? The answer is no!
It’s farmers actually really worried about the fact that Government is going in and telling them that they now have to basically fence off whole chunks of their farms, with no compensation, and no say in it. We all care about the environment. But some of these decisions being made are insane.
MJ: Particularly when this land is confiscated by DOC, and then handed on to Maori.
JC: It’s just madness. That’s part of the He Puapua thing, which DOC has already been consulting with people about – turning all the DOC land into Maori land. It’s insane. It’s a massive land grab and a land giveaway, by people who have no interest in New Zealand.
I look at Jacinda Ardern, and her willingness to go along with this, and to front it, and never ask the tough questions, but just promote it. I look at her, and I think: the United Nations needs her, she should go. She should go now, before it’s too late, because Grant Robertson is her 2IC, and he’s right into this.
They don’t care about the people who earn the money, who pay the taxes, who actually look after their own children, who feed their own children, who go to work, who care about the communities they live in – they don’t care about them. They are all about giving stuff away: other people’s stuff, actually.
You look at Budget, it’s all about giving more stuff to beneficiaries. The only reason beneficiaries need that extra money is because the cost of living has gone up so high – because of all the costs this Government has put on to businesses, whether it’s extra sick days paid, whether it’s Matariki days, whatever. It’s all about someone else paying for the Government to hand out something.
MJ: Who did you think is really pulling the strings then, Judith? Because it’s obviously not just Jacinda.
JC: No, I don’t know that she is pulling the strings. I don’t know about the strings, but I do think there is a plan. The plan is very clearly shown in the He Puapua report. The plan is very much shown in some of the comments we’ve seen over the years from Jacinda Ardern – remember her “comrades” comment when she was the president of the Young Socialists? Which is basically, a communist organisation.
It is a very different agenda to what she promoted during the election campaign. During the election campaign, it was “no new taxes”. During the election campaign, they said they were going to build Mill Road for us, they were going to do all of these roads that needed to be done.
Now they’ve cancelled them all, and they want a cycle-lane bridge over the Waitemata harbour, for how many people? If they got a thousand a week, they’d be lucky. Yet you’ve got all of these people, trying to get to work, trying to do business, and at every step, they’re just stopped, stymied, and costs put on to them.
So you have to wonder. I don’t think they probably mean to do harm. But the fact is, they just do harm.
MJ: They aren’t very smart then.
JC: Well, they’re smart enough to make everybody fearful. I mean Jacinda Ardern, during the election campaign, said it’s all about Covid. Well, she made sure it was all about Covid. And the media went with it. We had mass advertising of it every day, we still get it. We had huge amounts, every day, of standing up and telling people – fear.
MJ: I might have used a different word: could I say ‘propaganda’?
K: Well, she said it herself, didn’t she? She used the term ‘propaganda’ as to what they were doing. I thought she was being very honest at that moment.
MJ: Part of the Marxist belief structure of communism is to have a living wage, there are no businesses, there are no property rights, there is only one God, and that is the Party. Is that we’re heading to, do you think?
JC: I hope not, I hope not. I think there is a certain streak in New Zealanders of fairness, and people think, well, they want to be fair, and want others to have a fair go.
But they actually want to have a fair go for themselves. And when we have chunks of the community, with James Shaw referring to the Pakeha farmers being troublesome, we forget all about the Maori farmers up north who are also extremely upset about this land grab on their farms, which they happen to own themselves, and they’d like to have their own land back, thank you.
You also have Jacinda Ardern with her “Karen” comment to me. My, the veil slipped, didn’t it? What is that? That’s middle-aged white women who have a view, which isn’t necessarily their view. OK, I’m happy to be that: I’m happy to be with all those other middle-aged white women, who actually say “enough’s enough”. And enough is enough. I am very focussed on making sure we stand up for what we need to, and I am not taking prisoners in this.
Listen to the full unedited interview: