Judith Collins defends Shane Reti as other MPs snap up attention

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 25 Feb 2021, 5:36PM
Simon Bridges and party leader Judith Collins. Photo / File

Judith Collins defends Shane Reti as other MPs snap up attention

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 25 Feb 2021, 5:36PM

National leader Judith Collns says she has no intention of changing her Deputy - despite one of her predecessors as Leader grabbing headlines this week. 

Earlier this week, former leader Simon Bridges tweeted saying the increase in violence was because of our woke police commissioner Andrew Coster, and that up until now he has led a softly approach.

He followed that up with a public storming-out of Parliament yesterday, where he called Speaker Trevor Mallard a "twat" as he went.

Asked by The Country's Jamie Mackay why Bridges, Nicola Willis or Chris Bishop aren't in the deputy role currently occupied by "backroom boffin" Dr Shane Reti, Collins says what she wants from MPs is a wide range of skills and experience. 

"[Reti] is extremely capable in all sorts of areas, particular in the House, but also working with the party." 

She says that the House is only part of what MPs do, and being good at debating isn't the only skill a leader needs. 

"Trevor Mallard used to be excellent in the House when he was a Minister. That doesn't necessarily mean you'd want him as a deputy."

Collins yesterday spoke with Bridges about his Coster comments. She says that it's important for those in Opposition and Parliament to understand that they don't attack public servants - rather, focus on the Minister in charge.

"They are the ones we hold to account." 

On Bridges' "twat" comment, Collins says Bridges told her he didn't say it - but she says it shows the level of frustration with Mallard. 

"Yesterday's performance in Parliament by Trevor Mallard shows once again why we've lost confidence in him."

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