Saturday, July 20, 2024

PM accepts Nash resignation

Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins, has accepted the resignation of Stuart Nash, who will step down from the role of Police Minister following revelations today of comments he made regarding a court decision prior to his appointment to the Police portfolio.

The Opposition today demanded Mr Nash’s resignation after revealing he criticised a judge’s decision and called the Police Commissioner to discuss whether the court decision would be appealed.

“This morning I was made aware of a media interview in which Minister Stuart Nash criticised a decision of the Court and said he had contacted the Police Commissioner to suggest the Police appeal the decision,” the Prime Minister said this afternoon.

“The phone call took place in 2021 when he was not the Police Minister. Minister Nash has assured me he has no connection to the case in question or any individuals involved.

“He also assured me this was the only occasion that a conversation of this nature occurred with the Police Commissioner.

“Nevertheless, it’s my view Minister Nash’s action in contacting the Commissioner in relation to a possible appeal was unwise.”

The Prime Minister said it was also his view that Mr Nash’s comments, both at the time and subsequently in defending his actions were inappropriate and represent an error of judgement.

“The Cabinet Manual sets out an expectation that Ministers exercise a professional approach and good judgement in their interactions with the public and officials, and in all their communications, personal and professional,” Mr Hipkins said.

“Minister Nash’s comments on this occasion do not meet these standards. 

“The Manual also sets out that Ministers should not comment on or involve themselves in the results of particular cases. Again Minister Nash’s actions do not meet this expectation.

“The Minister has reflected on his actions and agrees it is no longer tenable for him to hold the Police portfolio.

“As such Minister Nash has offered me his resignation from the Police portfolio, effective immediately. I have advised the Governor General to accept it and she has done so,” the Prime Minister said.

Minister Megan Woods has been announced as acting Minister of Police.

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