Judith Collins denies ‘bullying’ KiwiBuild home buyers

Drive 30/10/2018
Photo: File.

National MP Judith Collins denies claims that she has cyber-bullied a young couple who bought a KiwiBuild home.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford claimed the couple feel bullied because she trolled the couple’s personal pages, all of which Ms Collins vehemently denies.

“The fact is I haven’t been into their social media accounts at all,” Ms Collins told RadioLIVE. “I haven’t even looked at them.”

Fletcher Ross and Derryn Jayne bought one of the first completed KiwiBuild homes as a newly graduating doctor and marketing manager. The couple’s eligibility for a KiwiBuild home has angered those who believe the scheme should be targeted towards low-income and homeless families.

Ms Collins retweeted a screenshot of an Instagram post of the pair, captioned "204 countries + 7 seas and I had the privilege of meeting you". Her caption reads: "204 countries - maybe doesn't need taxpayer support".

The reference to 204 countries is a popular Internet meme about the chances of meeting your partner.

Mr Twyford says Mr Ross and Ms Jayne had felt so bullied that they had removed their social media profiles. He also argued that the scheme was always intended to give young families a chance to enter a difficult housing market.

Ms Collins called his claims “defamatory” and tweeted that it’s “just the sort of lie I'd expect from Phil Twyford".

She told RadioLIVE that she has nothing against the young couple, and clarified that her tweet was directed at Mr Twyford's choice to use a globetrotting, childless couple as the face of KiwiBuild.

“Good on the young couple – they’ve done nothing wrong. He [Mr Twyford] has.”

Listen to the full interview with Judith Collins above.

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