Prime Minister’s statement on Kiri Allan

Prime Minister

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins met with Kiri Allan this morning to discuss her recent leave and allegations made against her.

She will return to work on Monday and resume her full duties. 

“Kiri has had a rough time lately, both personally and at work, and I’m pleased she is in a much better space after taking some time off and getting some professional support,” Chris Hipkins said. 

“Mental wellbeing should never be a source of shame or embarrassment. I commend Kiri for speaking publicly about her recent struggles and I’ve been resolutely committed to supporting her through that.

“Mental health challenges can confront any of us. It’s important we create an environment where people can speak openly about that and get any help they need.

“Kiri is a talented Minister who makes a huge contribution to our government. It’s important we have a diversity of views, voices and experiences around the Cabinet table and Kiri’s recent experiences only adds to that.

“In our discussions, Kiri did acknowledge that in her passion for her work she sets high standards and high expectations of herself and her staff, but staff and officials must be treated with respect, and there is clear guidance for MPs around that. Kiri agrees with me on that.

"Coming to grips with being a Minister can be tough, especially in the first year. When you add the fact Kiri has battled and overcome cancer in that time plus some personal challenges it’s understandable that she was feeling under pressure. 

“Regardless, I’ve made my expectations to Ministers around their conduct crystal clear and Kiri has agreed to focus on the way she interacts with those around her and make improvements where necessary. I expect all Ministers to do the same.

“When she returns to work Kiri will receive extra coaching to support her to create the positive working environment both of us are committed to,” Chris Hipkins said.

Kiri Allan thanked the Prime Minister, her colleagues, friends and members of the public who have offered her so much support in recent weeks.

“It’s been a really tough time for me lately and I’ve really appreciated all the aroha that’s come my way. It’s helped me to get through and I know I can come out of this a stronger and better person,” Kiri Allan said.

“I’m absolutely passionate about my work and the difference I can make for my community and for Aotearoa.

“I apologise to anyone who has found my behaviour towards them unacceptable. I will also offer that apology personally to anyone who wants to talk to me individually.

“I want to create a working environment where we set high expectations and work hard to achieve them. But I’ll be working extra hard to make sure those around me know and see how much I appreciate them and value the work they do.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to work and focussing on the important tasks we have ahead,” Kiri Allan said.