The Herald reports:
Transport Minister Phil Twyford has apologised and offered his resignation to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as Transport Minister after making a phone call on a plane.
Twyford has lost responsibility for the Civil Aviation Authority after the incident on a domestic flight.
Twyford made the call after the aircraft doors had shut in preparation for take-off.
“I recognise that I made the call when I shouldn’t have,” he said in a statement.
“This is inappropriate for anyone, but particularly inappropriate for me as Transport Minister. I apologise unreservedly.”
“I have apologised to the Prime Minister and offered my resignation as Transport Minister.
“She has declined my offer but chosen to transfer my responsibility for the Civil Aviation Authority to Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter.
Now I don’t think this is a resignation event. But a Labour MP called Phil Twyford apparently does. Because in 2014 when Gerry Brownlee also breached aviation security, RNZ reported:
Labour transport spokesperson Phil Twyford said John Key had been too quick off the mark in deciding not to accept Mr Brownlee’s resignation and should have waited for the outcome of the CAA investigation.
So if Twyford says Brownlee should have been stood down until a full investigation is completed, surely the same should apply to him now?
Mr Twyford said it was important Mr Brownlee was held to account, and pointed to the prosecution of John Banks when he was Police Minister for using his cellphone during a flight.
“Well I think it’s very important, for the public, that politicians are seen not just to make the laws but to follow them, as well, and that’s a pretty fundamental principle of our democracy.”
And here Twyford is basically demanding prosecution.
Again I don’t think this is a resignation offence. But Twyford has created the rod for his own back by his demands for Brownlee to be stood down in 2014. What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander.
Also of interest is Twyford didn’t own up to this when it happened. It was only when Judith Collins asked him a question about it, that he did anything.