Curran’s inevitable resignation as a Minister

After a woeful effort in Parliament on Wednesday and a no-show on Thursday it looked inevitable that Clare Curran’s position as a minister was no longer tenable, and so it turned out.

The official story is that Curran offered her resignation as a minister to the Prime Minister on Thursday night , and that was accepted by Jacinda Ardern. Whether she needed nudging or pushing or whether it was entirely her decision is unknown.

Ardern’s statement: Clare Curran resigns as Minister

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted Clare Curran’s resignation as a Minister.

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

“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.

Statement from Clare Curran on her resignation as Minister

“I advised the Prime Minister last night I would resign as a Minister, which she accepted,” said Clare Curran.

“I have come to the conclusion the current heat being placed on me is unlikely to go away. This pressure has become intolerable. For the benefit of the Government, and my personal wellbeing, I believe that resignation is the best course of action.”

Curran gave a brief statement to media yesterday afternoon:

She read a statement:

Today I advised the Prime Minister that I have resigned from all my Ministerial portfolios.

I am, like the rest of you all, a human being, and I can no longer endure the relentless pressure that I’ve been under.

I’ve made some mistakes. They weren’t deliberate undermining of the political system, but my mistakes have been greatly amplified and the pressure on me has become intolerable.

We all bring to our jobs strengths and weaknesses. Our political system should never try to cast people in the same mould.

I was really proud to have served in the coalition government ministry. During my time as a minister I’ve worked hard on issues I’ve really believed in. How to bring more depth, maturity  and sustainability to our media system, particularly publicly funded media, to fundamentally make our democracy stronger.

How to give New Zealanders more confidence and trust in our political system, and the motivation to be active and to understand how they can have their voices heard.

And how to build a productive, inclusive digital society that leaves no one behind.

I’m deeply saddened I won’t be able to do that.

I thank my Prime Minister for the chance she gave me.

I thank all my colleagues and my party for the support, encouragement and solidarity they show every day.

On the question of Gmail use.  I use my Gmail account infrequently for work, and it would have been discoverable, and it hasn’t been used to conceal anything.

And I will continue as the MP for Dunedin South.

She left as soon as she finished, not taking any questions.

So she blames it on “the relentless pressure that I’ve been under”, but she is responsible for much of that pressure.

One apparent discrepancy in her statements:

Ardern’s statement: “Clare Curran contacted me last night to confirm her wish to resign as a Minister and I accepted that resignation”.

Curran’s written statement: “I advised the Prime Minister last night I would resign as a Minister, which she accepted”.

Curran’s spoken statement: “Today I advised the Prime Minister that I have resigned from all my Ministerial portfolios.”

That could be a mistake. It could also be that the spoken statement was written on Thursday (day not night?) and not edited for being given on Friday.

Time will tell whether Curran puts herself forward for Dunedin South in 2020, whether the Labour party selects her, and whether she gets re-elected. It is not a given that she would succeed. Her majorities:

  • 2008: 6,449 (Labour majority  4666)
  • 2011: 4,175 (National majority 1,837)
  • 2014: 3,858 (National majority 2,485)
  • 2017: 8,717 (Labour majority 5,019)

The National candidate from 2011, Jo Hayes, is now a National list MP.

The National candidate from 2014, Hamish Walker, switched to Clutha-Southland in 2017 and won Bill English’s old seat.


Tracey Watkins (Stuff):

NZ Herald:


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  1. Reply
  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  8th September 2018

    The end of an error.

  3. chrism56

     /  8th September 2018

    Sounds very much like a MP under a lot of metal stress – are we certain she isn’t the unknown person in National’s caucus with a burner cellphone?
    There will be little sympathy for her. She knifed a lot of good people on her way up and this is karma.

    • robertguyton

       /  8th September 2018

      I thought Paula Bennett’s screeching performance in the House was a highlight – well done, all!

      • Trevors_elbow

         /  8th September 2018

        Curran was an attack sign for Labour from way back…. live by the sword due by the sword…

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  8th September 2018

          Yes, I thought her fragility was the other side of that coin. It often is. Those too desperate to dish it out can’t take it coming back.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  8th September 2018

      Chrism, that thought did cross my mind.

      Yes, people who dish it out seldom seem to appreciate other people returning the compliment. It does seem that those who hand out abuse scream and cry the loudest when the other people retaliate.

  4. robertguyton

     /  8th September 2018

    Good work, Pete!

  5. David

     /  8th September 2018

    Bet there is more to come, really upset she has gone but for probably the only time in her life her colleagues will bemoan losing a relative talent from their ranks.

  6. PDB

     /  8th September 2018

    I think Labour simply wanted to announce it late on Friday like they have done in recent weeks with stories they want buried. Unfortunately Ardern fluffed her lines early Friday morning and her PR machine had to be employed to try and save face, but instead they doubled up on the lie by sending an edited transcript of Ardern’s interview to the media that deliberately left out key words. Messy all around.

    • David

       /  8th September 2018

      True, the political writers Trevett, Watkins and Young studiously avoided pinning Ardern on that point and its about time they stopped running interference for their girl.

    • High Flying Duck

       /  8th September 2018

      If the government keeps this up they’ll have to pass urgent legislation for more Fridays…

  7. Gerrit

     /  8th September 2018

    Has Ardern risen to her level of incompetence? it would seem so.

    I guess there are always baby diversions to keep the constituents minds off the poor job she is doing.

    Latest a children’s baby book and an elevation to New Zealand’s First Family status.

    “It’s the first picture book about New Zealand’s first family, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Clarke Gayford and baby Neve.”

    New Zealand’s first family?


    • Kitty Catkin

       /  8th September 2018

      Some fools think that because the US has this First Family silliness, we have it too,

      A picture book about that family ? That WILL be interesting….I don’t think. Poor children being given THAT to read. It’ll put them off reading for life.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  8th September 2018

        It looks nauseating and will fall flat on small children.

        Too PC for words. Pass the bucket.

  8. Ray

     /  8th September 2018

    There is a really interesting article in the ODT by Dene Makenzie which gives a good overview (from a Dunedin point of view) of her serious lack of success.
    The killer point was she always made reporters wait, always. And since being a Minister would not meet with the local press. This from a so called PR expert.

    No 1 rule of life: Be nice to the wee people on the way up because they will be in a position to put the boot in on the way down!

    • She had a record of not liking and avoiding people who might criticise her, so the local media would be a problem.

      She had blocked me on Twitter, I presume because I was sometimes critical (the other Dunedin MP David Clark still blocks me, as does the Labour party).

  9. Blazer

     /  8th September 2018

    another orange to be squeezed on a daily basis to the….pith..move on..

    • Trevors_elbow

       /  8th September 2018

      Hahahaha.. thanks Auntie Helun channeling Bol…

      Nothing to see here… joexpenses issue list I the Bridges hit job, the Speaker kindly killed the Speakers investigation if the leak… nothing to do with an old flame possibly in trouble???

      National should put the rest of the ammo in stock on Curran out there… must be pretty terrible since she has resigned trying to avoid it…

  10. Zedd

     /  8th September 2018

    ‘justice has been served’.. time to move forward.. no need to further ‘pillary’ our SthD MP.. methinks :/

    she can just ‘go quietly to the back bench’.. losing her ministerial warrant is punishment enuf ? 😦

  11. Reply

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