Herald unimpressed with Ardern’s misleading statements

The Herald editorial:

Reasonable candour with the public — or “transparency” as she likes to call it — is another of the qualities we should be able to expect from a Prime Minister. At 8am yesterday morning, a few hours before Curran’s resignation was to be announced, Ardern was asked by Newstalk ZB’s Chris Lynch in a recorded interview whether she had considered firing Curran over her recent performances.

“No,” the Prime Minister replied, “because I think she has paid her price”. She went on to say she had high expectations of her ministers, “but I also accept from time to time they will have bad days”.

A few hours later she announced she had accepted Curran’s resignation the previous night.

Curran had offered the resignation and Ardern had accepted it, so strictly speaking her answer to Lynch was not false. She had not fired Curran and was not about to. But she must have known her answer to him was giving a completely false impression.

The statement was designed to mislead. And it was totally unnecessary. Why have the PM go on radio and deceive listeners as opposed to the far better option of announcing the resignation a few hours earlier than you planned.

The Prime Minister’s answer was needlessly misleading. It was a small lapse in the life of this Government so far, as is the loss of a low-ranking minister, but too many such lapses and its life could be short.

It’s not the first time the PM has done this. Remember her insistence that Labour knew they had the numbers to elect Mallard Speaker, and that the deal they did with National on select committee numbers was out of the goodness of their heart. It was blatantly and transparently untrue.

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