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Justice minister quits

Published:Sunday | August 31, 2014 | 8:00 AM

WELLINGTON (AP):New Zealand's Justice Minister Judith Collins resigned yesterday from her portfolios amid a scandal about her ties to a controversial blogger.

The resignation comes just three weeks before New Zealand's general election and could impact the chances of centre-right Prime Minister John Key returning for a third term in office. Opposition parties will see the move as victory while Key will hope it will bring closure to the scandal.

Collins was one of Key's top ministers and observers had considered her a possible future prime minister.

New Zealand freelance investigative journalist and liberal activist Nicky Hager first detailed the extent of Collins engagement with blogger Cameron Slater in a book he released this month, Dirty Politics, which was based on hacked emails from Slater's Whale Oil blog that Hager had obtained.