Judith Collins on obesity, Greens' wealth tax and unfair media coverage

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 15 Oct 2020, 9:51AM

Judith Collins on obesity, Greens' wealth tax and unfair media coverage

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 15 Oct 2020, 9:51AM

National Party leader Judith Collins says she's surprised her comments on obesity have turned into a hot topic in the lead-up to election.

Speaking to NewstalkZB's Mike Hosking this morning, Collins said the reaction had surprised her.

"I was simply saying people do need to know what to do and need to take personal responsibility.

"It's not that hard...the science is there."

Collins said professional boxer-turned health guru Dave "The Brown Buttabean" Letele was "a bit of a character."

Letele is among community voices who have condemned Collins' comments surrounding obesity that it was not an epidemic and that it was on the individual.

Letele is now well-known for his work to tackle obesity within the Pacific and Māori communities particularly in South Auckland and West Auckland.

Collins acknowledged that the work Letele is doing in the community is exactly what she was calling on people to do.

On the discussion around the Green Party's wealth tax policy and the possibility of a Labour-Green coalition, Collins said: "We know what their fall back is always - which is to tax."

"They can't grow the economy because they have no plans to do it."

Collins hit out at the media, saying the treatment of Labour leader Jacinda Ardern meeting large crowds at shopping malls compared to the treatment of her walkabout in Ponsonby - when claims of a rent-a-crowd of National supporters were brought in to make her look better - was "pathetic".

"If I'm out there talking about policy, I'm not gonna be at the mall."

Collins said at times she felt like she was speaking to press secretaries for Ardern instead of reporters.

She said there needed to be more diversity in the press gallery.

Come Saturday, Collins said she wanted to see Labour below her.

"I hope that they land in a position below us, actually, with Act."

She said she still believed National could win the election - but said that was why they needed people to give their party vote to National.

"Yeah, we can [win], actually. But it is very hard."

Collins said she believed the Act Party would get over the line and also thought the Māori Party would get at least one seat.

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