When Ministers in the previous Labour government opened new buildings or conferences, it was their custom to acknowledge National Party MPs who had made a special contribution to the event or opening. Not to do so is small-minded.
Police Minister Judith Collins consistently shows herself to be just so small-minded. That doesn’t worry me personally, but I was absolutely gobsmacked on Friday when she opened the new Christchurch South police station, and failed to mention the immense debt this new building owes to the advocacy of Progressive MP Jim Anderton over a decade and a half. Instead, Collins trumpeted the new building as proof of National’s commitment to police and policing. National had nothing to do with this new station except as de facto purchasers of the ribbon Judith Collins cut. The station was planned and funded under Labour, but inspired by Jim Anderton’s tireless support.
Judith Collins was incredibly ungracious. The police and public around the country have come to expect that, but Jim Anderton deserved better. Perhaps this picture of Jim and former Minister Annette King turning the first sod at the station site helps redress the balance.