Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has stood Customs Minister Meka Whaitiri aside while an investigation is carried out into staffing issue in her office.
Stuff has been told relations in Whaitiri’s office are toxic and she is understood to have been through an entire rotation of staff in the short time she has been in the job.
I also understand she went through five EAs in her last term of Parliament. Of course she isn’t the only MP who goes through a lot of staff. That by itself is not a reason to lose your job.
People who are close to the situation told Stuff on Thursday Whaitiri can be unpleasant and difficult to deal with, but it’s understood Ardern’s actions relate to a specific incident involving a single staff member.
NewstalkZB gives more details:
Barry Soper told Mike Yardley that there are allegations, currently unproven, that Whaitiri had physically assaulted a staff member, and that is what is being investigated.
If the allegations are correct, that would certainly be a sackable offence.
Off memory this is the first time a Government has had two Ministers facing action in one week – one demoted and one stood down for now.