Collins' timeline of meddling

Collins' timeline of meddling

I have put together a timeline from MFAT's OIA dump showing exactly how and when Judith Collins sought to alter the focus of her Justice-themed visit to China to become ever more of an Oravida promotion tour:

4 October

MFAT Wellington asked by MFAT Beijing to1:

...reassure MoJ that we are fully aware of the Minister’s desire for [redacted] to be included in an appropriate event during her time in Beijing.

8 October

Collins specifically requests that MFAT invite Stone Shi and Julia Xu to whatever event [redacted] attends2.

RS comment: This shows Collins trying to engineer a meeting with Oravida and [redacted – quite likely the senior Chinese border official] as part of her official Ministerial programme. The purpose of the planned official four-way meeting couldn't be anything other than to help Oravida with market access.

9 October

MFAT programme lists Wednesday afternoon events in Shanghai as3:

1400 Call on Director-General, Shanghai Justice Bureau

1500 Depart

1515 Business and Law Roundtable

1615 Return to hotel ([…])

1700 Depart for Pudong International Airport, VIP facilitation

1800 Arrive airport, brief stay VIP room, then boarding

1900 Singapore Airlines SQ 0835 departs Shanghai

Judith Collins receives invitation to visit Oravida headquarters in Shanghai, in an email from Julia Xu typed in Comic Sans4.

RS comment: No sign of Oravida anywhere in the Shanghai programme on 9 October...

10 October

Collins’ office emails MFAT requesting it include the Oravida visit in the Shanghai programme5.

RS comment: This is Collins asking for a second event with Oravida senior staff to be added to a justice-themed visit to China. Note that while Collins did not say "dump the Business and Law Roundtable," she did say "insert a visit to my friends' company into an already full schedule of justice events." She knew that going to Oravida had to mean dumping one or more justice events, she just didm;t much care which ones.

11 October

MFAT programme amended to include visit to “increase the profile of” Oravida, as I covered on Monday, and to dump the Business and Law Roundtable.

Collins’ office also asks for Stone Shi / Julia Xu to be included in the Beijing lunch, and asks “please keep Sunday evening free.”6

RS comment: Having asked for and got a second meeting with Oravida on her justice-themed schedule, at the expense of a justice-themed event, here Collins lays the groundwork to increase the number of meetings with Oravida from two to three, all in a justice-themed visit.

15 October

MFAT officials learn7:

It appears Stone Shi has organised directly for the Minister to meet with a [redacted] (do they mean [redacted]) on Sunday evening. She would like you [NZ Ambassador to China] and Connie to attend.

Collins’ office directly requests briefing for the dinner, and also asks for Ambassadorial attendance8.

RS comment: Here Oravida goes around MFAT to book a third meeting with Collins including [redacted – likely a senior border official], and requests Ambassadorial clout be added to the meeting, too. Collins’ office plays along with Oravida.

16 October

Collins' office demands MFAT explain "why the Sunday dinner with [redacted] has not been included in the visit programme."9

MFAT emails are escalated to Deputy Secretary level for the first time. Eventually MFAT officials breathe a sigh of relief: “All squared away.” The dinner becomes “private.”10

RS comment: I used to work at MFAT. For questions around scheduling a small dinner in a Ministerial programme to escalate to Deputy Secretary level indicates either an enormously important dinner, or that something is seriously amiss.

Once you see the key events in a neat timetable, the pattern is very clear. MFAT is putting together an ordinary Ministerial programme, but Collins and Shi conspire to insert one after another Oravida event, until there are no less than three events including Oravida management in the programme. Collins has demonstrably lied to Parliament about at least one of those events, and probably two. She has also lied about her heavy involvement in getting Oravida and Oravida's contacts in Chinese border security included in her official programme.

This is so far beyond the pale for a Minister in low-corruption New Zealand. Judith Collins does not deserve to be a Minister.

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Commenting on this Blog entry will be automatically closed on May 11, 2014.


Tracey says:

Thanks so much for these documents. Have had a good read through them.

The Minister again yesterday tried to pass blame onto her department but her department and MFAT constantly distinguish between MOJ, Minister and Minister's office in their communications.

The honoured invitation to the oravida offices was forwarded by Collins to her people. It was not a "drop by for a cup of tea" rather than wait at the koru club, or have a sleep in the hotel room.

Right-Thinking-Nat says:

You trolls and bottom feeders have got it al wrong. It's a left-wing media beat-up on a fine upstanding member of the National Party. Everyone knows that Judith was being lined up as the first ever centre-right elected woman Prime Minister. The trolls and bottom-feeders should get a life and stop bullying a fine woman of impeccable character.

L O'Cahain says:

Try discussing facts instead of lashing out because the politicians you support are letting the country down.

Rob Salmond says:

@L O'Cahain: Its all good - I'm pretty sure "Right-Thinking Nat" is having a little fun at Kiwiblog's expense.

David Russell says:

You're saying that tongue in cheek, right?
This paper trail, if accurate, (it appears to be) is extremely damning, and shows a bunch of very wealthy influential people massaging/manipulating the system for personal gain.
Future Prime Minister?
She generates the heat, but deception seems to damage her health.
She cannot sustain the huff and puff.
Definitely not a Prime Minister we could trust.

Ianmac says:

A compelling timeline. Not much room for wriggling Judith. Rumours of agitation by Nat Caucus behind the scenes.
Thanks Polity.

donna says:

Well done. Too lazy to read all the docs myself so thanks for doing the hard work on the public's behalf. On the basis of this, Collins needs to go.

Sheepsarse says:

I have got the dirt on Key, Collins and a few others.

Lesley says:

Thank you for making the documents available and clarifying the timeline. Since all of these communications were before Judith Collins left for China on 17th October, she has clearly lied and should be sacked, ie John Key should insist that she resign.

N A Mushroom says:

Does this refer to the email Grant Robertson tabled in Parliament last Tuesday and tried to tell us about before he was shut down by having his microphone turned off?

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