Meka Whaitiri removed as Minister

News 20/09/2018
Photo: Getty.

Labour MP Meka Whaitiri has been stripped of her ministerial roles after an investigation into a staffing matter in her office.

"No one wants to lose ministers, but I have to make decisions based on the information in front of me," said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Ms Ardern said she no longer has confidence in Ms Whaitiri. Ms Whaitiri will remain an MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti and as the chair of Labour's Maori caucus.

Ms Whaitiri has accepted the decision but continues to contest aspects of the report, which Ms Ardern said is not yet ready for public release.

"No one wants to lose Ministers," Ms Ardern said.

The Prime Minister made the announcement from the ninth floor of the Beehive on Thursday afternoon.

Ms Whaitiri stood aside from her portfolios on August 30 while an investigation was carried out by Ministerial Services.

Newshub understands there were allegations of a physical incident with another staff member in her office, which involved some shoving.

The PM announces the removal of Ms Whaitiri as Minister.

Ms Ardern would not confirm whether Ms Whaitiri was involved in a physical altercation.

Ms Whaitiri's portfolios were Minister of Customs, and Associate Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Local Government and Crown/Māori Relations.

Ms Whaitiri is the second Minister to be kicked out of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Cabinet, following former Minister Clare Curran.