Clare Curran resigns as Broadcasting Minister

by RNZ / 07 September, 2018
RelatedArticlesModule - Curran

Clare Curran. Photo / RNZ

Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran's resignation has been accepted by the Prime Minister.

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

"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."

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.

On 24 August, Minister Jacinda Ardern removed Ms Curran's Government Digital Services and Open Government portfolios and sacked her from Cabinet.

Ms Curran kept her Broadcasting and ACC portfolios until today.

In February, Ms Curran met with Derek Handley at her Beehive office in her role as Minister of Government Digital Services.

The meeting was to discuss Mr Handley's interest in the vacant chief technology officer role.

Ms Curran did not record the meeting in her diary and subsequently failed to record it in a written parliamentary question.

"The meeting itself wasn't the issue, it was the lack of transparency around it, that's also why she lost the Open Government portfolio," Ms Ardern said at the time.

She accepted Ms Curran's offer to resign her Government Digital Services portfolio and Open Government responsibilities.

Ms Curran had apologised and said to the best of her knowledge, there were no other meetings she had failed to record.

"The most important thing is to be as accountable as possible and I think I'm certainly being accountable and paying a fairly heavy price today," Ms Curran said at the time.

The February meeting was the second that Ms Curran was found to have not properly recorded.

Ms Curran also found herself in hot water over a meeting with RNZ's former head of news Carol Hirschfeld in December 2017.

Ms Hirschfeld resigned in March, after it emerged she had lied to her boss, saying the meeting with Ms Curran happened by chance, when it had been planned.

In the past week, Ms Curran has continued to come under fire.

Yesterday she requested personal leave and failed to show in Parliament, after a dismal performance during Question Time the day before.

Ms Curran appeared to stumble through an answer to National MP Melissa Lee's question on whether she had used her personal email account for official government business.

Ms Lee said she did not think Ms Curran has been transparent about using her personal email account for government business.

In figures released this month, Ms Curran ranked among Government ministers who spent about $1.5 million on travel and accommodation between April and June this year. She took a chauffeur-driven car from Brisbane to the Gold Coast at a cost of $1000.

This article was originally published by RNZ.

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