From the dust a star is born

Taranaki Daily News - - News - Mike Wat­son

Na­tional MP Ju­dith Collins has a rep­u­ta­tion for ren­der­ing gov­ern­ment pol­icy to rub­ble dur­ing ques­tion time in Par­lia­ment.

But the com­bat­ive politi­cian, nick­named ‘‘Crusher’’, met her match dur­ing a visit to a dusty Taranaki work site yes­ter­day.

Never one to mince words, Collins came face to face with a 50-tonne con­crete crusher, also named Ju­dith.

Collins said she was flat­tered to have the ma­chine, owned by Taranaki Con­crete Re­cy­clers, named after her.

‘‘I like the fact she has a nice name, that she’s re­li­able, and that she’s fight­ing the fight,’’ Collins told TCR owner Sy­mon Klemra.

‘‘The great thing about Ju­dith here is that she gets things done,’’ she said.

‘‘She takes what is rub­bish and works her magic and turns it into gold.

‘‘I like her, she’s a star.’’ The Op­po­si­tion spokes­woman for Hous­ing and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment, and RMA plan­ning re­form, vis­ited Klemra’s Wai­whakaiho work­place with col­league Jonathan Young dur­ing a ‘‘full on’’ two-day visit to Taranaki pro­mot­ing ‘‘Women in In­flu­ence’’.

Collins spoke at a Taranaki Cham­ber of Com­merce break­fast meet­ing be­fore­hand, brief­ing the au­di­ence on what she de­scribed as the dam­age be­ing done to the Taranaki econ­omy by the Coali­tion Gov­ern­ment’s ‘‘pho­toop knee jerk’’ de­ci­sion to ban off­shore oil and gas ex­plo­ration.

She also spoke about elec­tric­ity sup­ply and se­cu­rity, and fuel price rises.

Na­tional would re­verse the oil and gas leg­is­la­tion, she said.

‘‘We will change the law back and start ed­u­cat­ing New Zealan­ders about the im­por­tance of the oil and gas in­dus­try to the econ­omy, and to their own life­styles,’’ she said.

‘‘You can’t make a cell­phone with­out met­als and min­er­als, all of which come from the ex­trac­tive in­dus­try.

‘‘A whole lot of Kiwi kids have no idea . . . they think their cell­phones come from the iPhone tree. They don’t, they come from nu­mer­ous min­er­als and ex­trac­tions . . . things peo­ple in Taranaki do all the time.

‘‘It’s about ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple and be­ing pos­i­tive about a fan­tas­tic in­dus­try that makes a dif­fer­ence be­tween liv­ing in the 19th cen­tury and the 21st cen­tury.’’

Collins said a Na­tional gov­ern­ment would help small busi­nesses like TCR and stop in­dus­trial re­la­tion law be­ing in­tro­duced by the Gov­ern­ment, say­ing it would take the coun­try back to the 1970s.

Klemra said fuel costs for his com­pany had risen 15 per cent in the past few months.

Collins said $1.25 in ev­ery litre of fuel was go­ing to the Gov­ern­ment.

The rise in fuel prices, and the drop in value of the New Zealand dol­lar, was driv­ing a lack of con­fi­dence and un­cer­tainty among the fi­nan­cial sec­tor, she said.

‘‘You can’t make a cell­phone with­out met­als and min­er­als . . .’’ Na­tional MP Ju­dith Collins

ANDY JACK­SON/STUFF

MP Ju­dith Collins meets her name­sake, Ju­dith the con­crete crusher, at Taranaki Con­crete Re­cy­clers.

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