Constituents come before Cabinet

I am so pleased to be the Member of Parliament for Papakura but by now you will all have seen the news that I have resigned as a Minister.

As loyal supporters, you deserve an explanation.

I have resigned my ministerial portfolios for two reasons.

Firstly, I do not want to be getting in the way of the National Party campaign and policy announcements. As a loyal member of the National Party, the election campaign comes first and we want National to win back the treasury benches on September 20, 2014.

The second reason is the publication of an email between a group of people that includes a sentence discussing me. I cannot be responsible for the hearsay comments of others and I completely refute the suggestion contained in that email.

Inquiry request

On August 30, when I advised the Prime Minister that I was resigning, I said that I expected he would order an appropriate Inquiry to be held that would clear my name.

The Prime Minister has agreed and I have no doubt that I will be found to have acted appropriately at the time.

Resigning my portfolios is a big disappointment, but I will continue to work hard for my constituents in Papakura and National Party supporters across New Zealand.

The most important thing to me is to get on with being the Member of Parliament for Papakura and campaigning to remain so. Looking for the silver lining, I can say with confidence that I will now have even more time for the people of the Papakura Electorate and I look forward to continuing with delivering on law and order, housing, education, health and transport as I have over the past six years as a member of Parliament in the National-led Government.

Thank you for all the lovely emails, phone calls, cards and flowers I have received. They remind me of all the great people in our Electorate who pay me the honour of electing me to be their representative in Parliament.

Vote in Advance

It is very important that every eligible Kiwi takes part in choosing our government by voting on Election Day (September 20, 2014).

For some, voting on Election Day may not be possible for any of a number of reasons including work, sickness, infirmity, disability, being away from home, overseas or you may just wish to vote early. If any of these affect you, you may cast your vote in advance or cast a special vote.

There will be advance polling booths until September 19 in all New Zealand centres.

The location of advance polling booths or information about casting a Special Vote is available by ringing 0800-367656.

Sacred duty

Everyone who is eligible and enrolled to vote is legally entitled to take time from work to vote (s162 Election Act 1993) and must be paid for the time taken too.

Voting is an important part of citizenship in New Zealand and I urge all of you to go and vote and have your say on how the country will be run for the next three years.

Please vote on September 20.

Thank you for your continuing support.

Judith Collins has been an elected Member of Parliament from the Papakura (earlier Clevedon) Constituency since 2002. She held several ministerial portfolios since National came to power in 2008. She quit the Cabinet on August 30, 2014 following allegations that her actions attracted conflict of interest. An inquiry will begin shortly in this connection.

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