Statement from the Prime Minister on Stuart Nash

Prime Minister

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 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. 

It is also my view that his comments, both at the time on the judiciary and subsequently in defending his actions are 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.

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.

Minister Megan Woods will be the acting Minister of Police for the time being.