Collins' Samoan husband comment under the gun

The leader of New Zealand’s National Party, Judith Collins, has come under fire in that country for her now infamous “my husband is Samoan so Talofa” comment made during the first Leaders Debate on Tuesday evening.

Newshub reported that Collins was being raked over the coals on social media for "weaponising" her husband's ethnicity during the debate.

In response to a question from Aorere College head girl, Aigagalefili Fepulea'i Tapua'i about what each leader would do about high school students being forced to leave school and find employment to support their families, Collins started off by saying "My husband is Samoan so, talofa", reports Newshub.

"We've got to get people into trades [and] we've got to get them education," she said, saying her husband also left school to find employment.

However her full response to the question was brushed over by social media users furious at Collins for using her husband as a "shield", Newshub reports.

One person implied Collins would divorce her husband when she leaves politics, as she would no longer need to use him to "shield herself from accusations of racism".

Another said Collins "weaponises" her husband.

The comment was likened to the "I have black friends so I can't be racist" trope.

Other users blasted the National leader for making the question about her.

Even Fepulea'i Tapua'i was unimpressed with Collins', calling it "clownery".

"Judith did not just say 'Fili I understand my husband is Samoan'" she vented on social media.

Newshub has contacted Fepulea'i Tapua'i and Collins for comment. Collins is contesting the seat of Prime Minister against incumbent Jacinda Ardern.

Collins is married to Samoan, David Wong-Tung. He was a Police officer and had migrated to New Zealand from Samoa as a child.

Bg pattern light


Subscribe to Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device as well as feature-length investigative articles.

Ready to signup?