Monday, April 22, 2024

Nash sacked from Parliament

Minister Stuart Nash has been dismissed from the New Zealand Parliament, the Prime Minister confirmed overnight.

In a statement released late yesterday, Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins, confirmed he had advised the Governor-General to dismiss Stuart Nash from all ministerial portfolios.

“Late this afternoon I was made aware by a news outlet of an email Stuart Nash sent in March 2020 to two contacts regarding a commercial rent relief package that Cabinet had considered,” said Mr Hipkins.

“In the email he sets out both his opposition to the decision Cabinet reached and the position that other Cabinet members took.

“This is a clear breach of collective responsibility and Cabinet confidentiality.”

The Prime Minister said Mr Nash has “fundamentally breached my trust and the trust of his Cabinet colleagues and his conduct is inexcusable”.

In addition, the two recipients of the email were donors; Troy Bowker and Greg Loveridge, via GRL Holdings Ltd, who have both donated to Stuart Nash.

They are also commercial property owners who had an interest in the Cabinet decision, the Prime Minister said.

“That crosses a line that is totally unacceptable to me.”

“I expect Ministers to uphold the highest ethical standards and his actions raise perceptions of influence which cannot stand. 

“In recent weeks I have sought and been given assurances from Stuart that there were no other instances or allegations of misconduct that I should be aware of. 

“While Stuart was on a final warning, I want to be clear that this incident would have resulted in his dismissal in its own right. I consider the matter to be a very serious one.”

Mr Hipkins said Minister Megan Woods would step in as Acting Minister for Economic Development and Acting Minister of Forestry, with Minister David Parker to take on the Oceans and Fisheries portfolio as Acting Minister.

Meka Whaitiri will lead the Hawkes Bay Cyclone response on an acting basis.

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