Emails between Clare Curran and Derek Handley to be revealed

by Gia Garrick / 19 September, 2018
RelatedArticlesModule - Clare Curran

Clare Curran. Photo / Richard TindillerThe state services minister is expected to turn up to Parliament this afternoon with copies of former minister Clare Curran's personal emails to technology entrepreneur Derek Handley.

Chris Hipkins was visibly unhappy with the Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard, who gave him 24 hours to front up with the emails at question time yesterday.

It's just the latest in the ongoing saga over the Chief Technology Officer position, which has cost Ms Curran her portfolios and Mr Handley his new title.

It was National MP Nick Smith who complained to the Speaker, drawing attention to how many times he'd tried to extract an answer from Mr Hipkins about what was in those emails.

"I have now asked eight questions to try and establish the content of those emails. I've now had eight answers in which I've been told I can get them under the Official Information Act, that they might be archived. How can that be an acceptable answer?

"If that were the case we wouldn't bother with question time in Parliament, and members of this house would simply go through Archives and the OIA," he said.

Mr Mallard initially told Dr Smith to ask better-worded questions, and so he tried again. But Mr Hipkins revealed little more.

Another complaint from Dr Smith followed, and Mr Mallard decided it wouldn't be all that hard for Mr Hipkins to find them - given they're now in the hands of the chief archivist.

"In fact, I think it would be a good thing for transparency if in answering a specific and detailed and well-worded question, the minister brought the emails to the House and made them available in that way."

Mr Hipkins was not happy with the instruction, but will be expected to have them on hand this afternoon.

The same question time also revealed the prime minister had personal contact with the man handed the Chief Technology Officer role by the previous minister, only to have it swept out from under his feet as Ms Curran was demoted from Cabinet.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she received a text message from Mr Handley.

Derek Handley. Photo / supplied

"My best recollection is that I received some months ago, a text from Mr Handley mentioning the CTO role, which I do not recall directly engaging with as that would not have been appropriate," she told the House.

Ms Ardern said it had been at least a year if not two since she had spoken with Mr Handley.

This article was originally published by RNZ.


The key to long-term success after weight-loss surgery
107438 2019-06-26 00:00:00Z Health

The key to long-term success after weight-loss sur…

by Nicky Pellegrino

Weight-loss surgery is becoming more common, but lifestyle and attitude changes are needed for long-term success.

Read more
Matariki feast: Kasey and Karena Bird's family recipes
107605 2019-06-25 11:39:22Z Food

Matariki feast: Kasey and Karena Bird's family rec…

by Lauraine Jacobs

Māori food champions Kasey and Karena Bird share traditional family recipes that are ideal for Matariki.

Read more
Julie Anne Genter on bicycles, babies and what's going to make a better world
107579 2019-06-25 00:00:00Z Profiles

Julie Anne Genter on bicycles, babies and what's g…

by Emma Clifton

The MP made world headlines when she cycled to hospital to give birth. She talks about how this put her and what she stands for in the spotlight.

Read more
Toy Story 4: The beloved franchise reaches a Forky in the road
107472 2019-06-25 00:00:00Z Movies

Toy Story 4: The beloved franchise reaches a Forky…

by Russell Baillie

The fourth Toy Story instalment is clever, enjoyable and refreshingly weird.

Read more
Mitre 10 living wage ruling sets precedent for retail staff - union
Apple set to offer sign-in service to rival Facebook and Google
107596 2019-06-25 00:00:00Z Tech

Apple set to offer sign-in service to rival Facebo…

by Peter Griffin

In the wake of data-privacy scandals, Apple is beefing up protection for owners of its devices.

Read more
Understanding New Zealanders' attitudes to paying tax
107563 2019-06-24 16:28:59Z Business

Understanding New Zealanders' attitudes to paying…

by Nikki Mandow

We are pretty good about paying our taxes here, so why would we willingly go along with avoiding GST?

Read more
Border tax rort: Could you be caught by a Customs crackdown?
107530 2019-06-24 10:19:12Z Business

Border tax rort: Could you be caught by a Customs…

by Nikki Mandow

New Zealand retailers hit by a GST rort that has been going on for at least two years hope officials, Trade Me, ministers and even customers will...

Read more