Clare Curran resigns: ‘This pressure has become intolerable’

News 07/09/2018
Photo: Newshub.

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

She resigned as the Minister for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media and as Associate Minister for ACC.

"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," Ms Curran said in a statement.

It means she's no longer a Minister, as she resigned from her other responsibilities under pressure two weeks ago.

"Clare Curran contacted me last night to confirm her wish to resign as a Minister and I accepted that resignation," The Prime Minister said.

"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."

Minister Kris Faafoi will take over as Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, outside of Cabinet, and Peeni Henare will take over as Associate Minister for ACC.

Despite her accepting the resignation on Thursday night, Ms Ardern told Newstalk ZB on Friday morning that Ms Curran had "paid her price" and wasn't in danger of being fired.

"I have huge expectations of my ministers and those in the ministry but I also accept from time to time they will also have bad days," she said.

Ms Ardern said this wasn't a contradiction as ZB asked if she had demanded Ms Curran to resign. She didn't, but accepted the resignation last night.

Ms Curran was absent from Parliament on Thursday on "personal leave," so was not available in Question Time to respond to National MP Melissa Lee's questions.

In Parliament on Wednesday she struggled to respond to questions from Ms Lee over the use of her personal email address to conduct Government business.

On August 23 she resigned as the Minister for Open Government and Government Digital Services, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern removed her from Cabinet, over her failure to disclose a meeting she held in her Beehive office.  

Before that, she came under fire for failing to disclose a meeting with former RNZ executive Carol Hirschfeld in response to a written parliamentary question.

It appears Ms Curran remain a Labour MP and the MP for Dunedin South.