That’s a Glock police pistol and this is a truely creepy photo for someone who’s supposed to be the Minister of Justice. It’s National’s former straight shooter, Judith Collins, who now seems to have lost her political aim. She’s doing her best to cover up the identity of the Chinese government official who attended her now infamous dinner party in China – good luck with that!
But is she also trying to cover up the cover up as well? Her wikipedia page has a Reputation section about her ‘hardball’ manner and ‘take no prisoners’ attitude. But once Oravida is mentioned, the wikipedia description of events begins to sour. It talks about her embarrassing public apology for failing to come clean with the media about who she met on her recent trip to China and starts with this brief summary:
“In March 2014, Collins came under fire after an overseas trip where she ‘dropped in’ and endorsed the milk produced by Oravida – a New Zealand company which exports to China – of which her husband is a director. Questioned by Labour politicians and media about a possible conflict of interest, she failed to reveal she had also had lunch and dinner with the chief executive of the company and a Chinese government official. After being admonished by the Prime Minister, Collins apologised and stated that she and the executive were ‘very close personal friends’.Over the following weeks the Labour Party continued asking who the Chinese official was. Collins refused to provide his name, which House speaker David Carter described as ‘very unsatisfactory’.”
This sentence has just been deleted: “It subsequently emerged that Collins travelled 30km in the opposite direction to the airport in order to drop in.” And the following paragraph, which goes into more detail about the Chinese government official, has been deleted entirely – by an editor calling himself (or herself) ‘Nick-D’. Who could that be?
“In April Winston Peters revealed that prior to Ms Collins trip to China, Oravida executives had written to the Government asking it to intervene in the Chinese Government’s strict border control measures after the Fonterra botulism scare in 2013. In parliament the Labour party wanted to know if the Chinese official she had dinner with worked for the Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) which is responsible for controlling imports into China. Amid on-going accusations of corruption and a conflict of interest from Winston Peters and Grant Robertson, Collins began avoiding the media waiting for her in the halls of parliament. Because her husband is a director of Oravida, she claimed the media were attacking her family but also said the attacks had ‘humanised’ her. She told the Weekend Herald: “I’ve never been seen as someone who was particularly human.”
It looks like Nick-D doesn’t want wiki readers to know that Collins has been ‘humanised’ or accused of corruption – perhaps that wouldn’t do her reputation as a pistol-packing Minister any good. By the way, Nick-D has a track history; he (or she) is one of the editors who was previously involved in sanitising Wikipedia pages about David Bain, Mark Lundy, Teina Pora, Scott Watson – and Corruption in New Zealand. That story was highlighted in this post: Information about corruption and controversial NZ murder cases deleted from Wikipedia.
I suspect we will never know who naughty Nick-D really is. In July last year, NZ Herald journalist, Phil Taylor, tried to track down another wiki editor calling himself Clarke43 in Justice Minister’s ‘wikispat’: Who is Clarke43? That Collins supporter removed a passage from her page about the “embarrassing public spat” between her and Canadian judge Ian Binnie – who was responsible for reviewing Bain’s compensation case. Collins clearly did not like Binnie’s conclusions.
Collins was first accused of editing her own page on Wikipedia in this post: Judith Collins’ staff censoring wikipedia articles on justice issues in NZ? This was after an editor called ‘JC press sec’ (guess who? – now calling herself Polkadot) deleted potentially embarrassing material about her boss. Collins defended her press secretary’s editing of Wikipedia pages, saying the revisions were minimal and claimed she only removed defamatory material. Despite removing material from wikipedia, the same information about the spat between Collins and Judge Binnie was widely reported in other media - see Minister defends cutting Bain paragraphs on Wikipedia.
Collins seems to have a lot she wants to hide. It’s beginning to look like a great big wiki white wash – all painted over with Oravida milk.