Judith Collins' Twitter reply sparks accusations of racism

By Te Ao - Māori News

National leader Judith Collins has come under fire from Twitter users who are accusing her of racism.

Late this morning, Collins tweeted Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, saying she looks forward to meeting him tomorrow.

A reply came from another Twitter user, @Joholmesblog. It said, "For God's sake treat him like a civilized human being and don't head butt him" - a reference many commenters interpreted as poking fun at the hongi after another picture of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Morrison doing a hongi, with noses and heads pressed together was added to the comment. 

It's Collins' response that has everyone talking.

Twitter user @CateOwen said: "Judith Collings replying 'Indeed' to a person tweeting racism is pretty on brand. she's not doing the racism directly, but she's agreeing and empowering the racist who is."

Other commenters had stronger opinions.

A National Party spokesperson told Te Ao Māori News, “Ms. Collins took the Twitter comment in question to mean that she should not be rude to the Australian Prime Minister when meeting him. She did not interpret this as a reference to hongi.”