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Heather du Plessis-Allan: Stuart Nash had become a walking liability for Labour anyway

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Wed, 15 Mar 2023, 5:26pm

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Stuart Nash had become a walking liability for Labour anyway

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Wed, 15 Mar 2023, 5:26pm

That didn’t take long. Six and a half hours, and Stuart Nash was gone.

Just after half past 7, he went on Newstalk ZB and boasted about calling the police commissioner about a guy who got home D for illegal weapons and whether there would be an appeal.

By 2pm, he’d resigned. Well, that’s the story anyway.  

I suspect he might’ve been fired. He was still defending himself mid-morning, which says to me he needed someone else to point out how untenable his position was. 

He needed to go. Not only because what he did was this morning was absolutely a sackable offence, but also because Nash has become a low level walking liability for Labour in the last few weeks.

I don’t know what’s going on with him, but he’s been making a lot of mistakes in the last few weeks, especially since the cyclone. He's done some weird stuff.

He took umbrage at the warning that power might be out for two weeks after the cyclone, he said it was alarmist and over the top based on who knows what, because some people are without power and it’s been a month.

His response to gang crime was to plead with the gangs to pull their heads in.

He defended the forestry companies saying most of the slash wasn’t theirs when it actually overwhelmingly is.

And now this. He's been around long enough to know that Government ministers cannot call up the Police Commissioner and suggest to him that he needs to pursue certain individuals.

Even if he’s on the right side of public opinion, even if most of us would probably agree that four months home D is not enough for a guy busted with an illegal semi automatic and heaps of illegal ammunition.

There’s a very good reason why Government ministers aren’t allowed to call up the police and encourage them to go after certain people. I don’t need to tell you why that’s wrong.

Maurice Williamson lost his job over doing less than this this. Back in 2014, he called up the police just to ask them what they were doing in a certain investigation. And just for calling, for that error of judgement, John Key sacked him.

In the end, this was probably an easy call for Chris Hipkins to at least accept Nash’s resignation.

Because this wasn’t Nash’s first mistake in recent weeks, which suggests it probably wasn’t going to be his last.

The question now is whether Hipkins thinks Nash can pull himself together, or whether he’s going to be a liability in the other portfolios he holds. 

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