Judith Collins "needs to think about what she says before she says it", says Poto Williams, after a comment made by the National leader caused the Police Minister's daughter to feel "unsafe" for her mother.
However, Collins was adamant she was not "at all ambiguous" with the comment and it was not meant in the way the Police Minister had initially interpreted it.
At a Kerikeri meeting last month of the Super Blues, a National Party wing for people concerned with senior citizen issues, Collins was reported by NZ Herald as saying "I think a lot of people want to bottle her" while discussing Police Minister Poto Williams.
“There's a pause just long enough for the implication to set in, then Collins explains - of course - she means to keep Williams in a bottle like a genie,” the article stated.
Today, Williams said her initial interpretation of Collins' comments "was the one of harm and that's what caused me to just really be quite shocked by that".
"I was pretty taken aback, pretty shocked by it," Williams said. "My family, on reading that, were pretty distressed."
"I think Judith Collins just really needs to think about what she says before she says it."
"We are public people and we live public lives and we have an expectation that our work will be critiqued. In this case, my daughter feels unsafe for me and that is not on."
However, Collins was adamant the bottle comment had been misinterpreted.
"I was speaking about a genie in a bottle," Collins said.
When asked why a person would want to bottle Poto Williams like a genie, Collins said, "because she is someone who just pops out every now and again with a completely stupid view about something and I actually think she is the worst Police Minister I've ever seen".
"It's really wrong for someone to take something completely out of context. I think you'll remember David Fisher (the reporter who wrote the article) was very clear I didn't mean that."
On Collins' clarification that it meant bottling like a genie, not physical bottling, Williams said that "anyone reading that could either see it as one of those two options".
"Great that she's cleared that up... All I can say is that as Parliamentarians we have a particular standard we have to meet, and on this occasion I'm not sure she did.
"If there was some ambiguity in that I'm pleased she's cleared it up, but it doesn't diminish the distress my daughter and my family are feeling at the moment."