Labour MP Meka Whaitiri stripped of ministerial portfolios

by Jo Moir / 20 September, 2018

Meka Waitiri. Photo / Wiki Commons

 Labour MP Meka Whaitiri has been stripped of her ministerial portfolios but remains an MP.

Ms Whaitiri, who was stripped of her ministerial responsibilities while under investigation for a "staffing matter" has been at Parliament during the last two weeks.

Ms Whaitiri held the portfolios of Customs, Associate Agriculture, Associate Crown Maori Relations, Associate Forestry and Associate Local Government.

She initially worked from her Ikaroa-Rawhiti electorate after Ms Ardern announced she had been sidelined but returned to Parliament on September 6 to celebrate and speak to a Treaty Settlement bill.

 

At the time she would not answer questions about the inquiry.

"I'm co-operating with the investigation and I've got no further comment. Today is about Te Wairoa and I'm here as a local MP, proud to be the local MP for this historic settlement."

Ms Whaitiri has been in Parliament this week and spoke in the special Women's Suffrage Day debate on Wednesday.

The Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP was being investigated by Ministerial Services.

She was accused of "manhandling" her newly employed press secretary while in Gisborne at a Crown hui event late last month.

Members of the Labour Maori caucus have been staunchly behind the MP and backed her holding on to her co-chair role in the caucus during the investigation.

Ms Ardern also supported Ms Whaitiri keeping her Maori caucus responsibilities.

This article was originally published by RNZ.

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