PM accepts Curran's resignation

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Friday, 7 September 2018, 9:56AM
Curran took personal leave on Thursday after a nightmare in Parliament on Wednesday. Photo / NZ Herald

Listen above as Chris Lynch speaks with Jacinda Ardern Prior to Clare Curran's resignation.

Updated 12.08PMĀ 

Under-fire Clare Curran has quit as a minister.

She becomes the first casualty of the coalition government.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a radio interview with Newstalk ZB's Chris Lynch recorded at 8am this morning she was not considering cutting ties with the embattled minister.

But it has now emerged the errant minister told Ardern last night that she would quit - and Ardern accepted her resignation.

"Clare Curran contacted me last night to confirm her wish to resign as a minister and I accepted that resignation," Ardern said today.

"Clare has come to the view the issues currently surrounding her are causing an unacceptable distraction for the Government and immense pressure on her personally.

"I agree with her assessment that resigning is the best course of action for the Government and for her."

Curran was sacked from Cabinet and stripped of her open government and digital services responsibilities by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on August 24 after not disclosing a meeting set up using her personal email account.

Kris Faafoi will become the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, remaining outside of Cabinet, and Peeni Henare will become the Associate Minister for ACC.

Curran has been under fire again this week after bunglng an answer in Parliament about whether she had used her personal Gmail account for government business.

She was previously in hot water over failing to correctly diary meetings.

The February meeting with entrepreneur Derek Handley was over his interest in the vacant chief technology officer role.

It was held at 8pm in Curran's Beehive office with nobody else present, and was not put in her diary.

The next month Curran responded to a written question from National but failed to disclose the meeting.

It was her second strike, after a similar omission in relation to a meeting with former Radio NZ boss Carol Hirschfeld earlier this year.

Correspondence released by Curran's office showed Handley messaged Curran on Twitter on February 13 about his interest in the CTO role. The February 27 meeting was later set up using Curran's Gmail account.

In March and in response to a message from Handley, Curran texted through an MBIE email address where applications could be sent.

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