New Zealand opposition Judith Collins calls Tasmania Australia’s ‘poor cousin’
New Zealand Opposition Leader Judith Collins is facing the fury of Tasmanians today after she labelled our island state “Australia’s poor cousin”.
Ms Collins, who has been nicknamed the “Crusher” by her political foes, is battling New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to become the country’s leader.
Kiwis will head to the polls tomorrow to vote, with Ms Ardern predicted to win by a landslide.
It’s been an uphill battle for Ms Collins, who is the leader of the country’s Nationals Party and is known for making outrageous or controversial comments.
However her ruthless dig at Tasmania might not have been as serious as some are suggesting.
Ms Collins has since admitted she made the comments to directly troll AAP’s New Zealand correspondent Ben McKay, who comes from Tasmania.
During a press conference earlier this week, Ms Collins described her campaign as “relentlessly positive”.
“It’s been relentless – relentlessly positive. That’s what we’ve been doing. Every day has been another day to go out and share a vision for New Zealand that’s not another Tasmanian one: It’s actually about us being a wonderfully exciting place to be,” she told reporters.
“We don’t want to be the poor cousin of the rest of Australia as such, as poor Tasmania is.”
Ms Collins later elaborated on her Tasmanian dig, describing it as a “lovely part of the world” but one without much infrastructure.
“I thought it was lovely – it reminded me of the Waikato before we had wonderful things like the excellent road of national significance, the expressway,” she said.
“I think it’s a lovely part of the world but do you necessarily want to go there with your hi-tech business? Possibly not.”
NZ Stuff’s chief political reporter Henry Cooke later revealed Ms Collins had said the comments to troll Tasmanian-born McKay.
Ms Collins and McKay both replied to the tweet, with the opposition leader joking she, “gave him something to write about”, adding a smiley face.
Kiwis were supposed to vote on September 19 but due to the coronavirus outbreak in Auckland the election was postponed.
Polls recently predicted Ms Collins will lose the election by a landslide not seen for years.