Apparently, it is common for politicians to let other people pay for their
meals. That must refer to business meals. However, Judith Collins
claims that this was just a meal with friends, since she was friends with
the two directors involved, and the Chinese official was a friend of theirs.
Moreover, she claims that no business was discussed! Why was senior
adviser Margaret Malcolm present, if it was just a meal with friends?
She can't have it both ways: either it was a business meal, which
is why it cost her nothing, or it was a meal with friends, in which case everyone
would presumably have paid for their own meal.
Judith Collins was formerly a tax lawyer, and conflicts of interest are
a major ethical issue which every lawyer has been taught to avoid. For
example, the legal ethics textbook, "Ethics: Professional Responsibility
and the Lawyer"1 has no fewer than 43 entries in its index under "conflicts
of interest". For Judith Collins not to have
foreseen a conflict of interest between her making a taxpayer-funded trip
to China and furthering the interests of her husband's company by lending
her ministerial prestige to a meal with a trade-related Chinese government
official is nothing short of gross incompetence! Either incompetence
Both the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and the Human Rights Act 1993
outlaw sexual discrimination in various ways. Yet Judith Collins permits
the New Zealand legal system to discriminate against
men in various ways. Either she is incompetent or
she is blatantly sexist and anti-male. I note that, in opposition,
she seemed to be constantly attacking men, and, as a Minister, she only really
started to blossom when she was photographed standing on a man's crushed car,
the nickname "Crusher Collins", which seemed to make her inordinately
One example is the separate offence of "Male
assaults female", which carries a higher maximum penalty than does
"Common assault" (the Law Commission has recommended that this discriminatory
provision be abolished), another example is the fact that female circumcision
is illegal but male circumcision is legal, and a third example is that the
taxpayer funds a Ministry of Women's Affairs, but no Ministry of Men's Affairs.
If Judith Collins was a competent Minister of Justice
-- indeed, a competent lawyer -- she would long ago have moved to abolish
such forms of anti-male discrimination. She would realise that to have
a Ministry of Women's Affairs, but no Ministry of Men's Affairs is a case
of predetermination or prejudice. It assumes -- without ever having
proved it -- that the problems that women have are greater than the problems
that men have, so that a Ministry is needed to address these problems.
In fact, what happens is that the Ministry constantly tries to justify its
existence by discovering and publicising problems which it thinks women have.
No one is funded to counter the Ministry's claims, and no one is funded to
show that men's problems are equal to or greater than women's problems, so
the predetermination that women have these problems appears to be supported
by evidence created by funding the Ministry! In fact, most politicians
are totally blind to what is going on -- the Hon. Gerry Brownlee once blurted
out "Bullshit!" in a Parliamentary committee, when I stated that
Feminism is New Zealand's state ideology. Obviously, you can't have
state-funded discrimination against men unless Feminism is the state ideology!
Feminism is the constant search for examples of female disadvantage, and it
regards any attention paid to men's problems as a dangerous distraction.
Judith Collins is the incompetent Minister of Women's
1 Webb, Duncan (2000): "Ethics: Professional
Responsibility and the Lawyer" Wellington, New Zealand: Butterworths.