Maurice Williamson resigns as Minister

Prime Minister John Key has accepted Maurice Williamson’s resignation from Cabinet:

 “I have been made aware that Mr Williamson contacted Police some time ago regarding their investigation of Mr Donghua Liu,” Mr Key says.

“Mr Williamson has assured me that he did not in any way intend to influence the Police investigation.

“However, Mr Williamson’s decision to discuss the investigation with Police was a significant error of judgement.

“The independence of Police investigations is a fundamental part of our country’s legal framework.

“Mr Williamson’s actions have been very unwise as they have the potential to bring that independence into question.

“I have advised the Governor General to accept Mr Williamson’s resignation as a Minister.

Mr Key said he will appoint a new Minister outside Cabinet early next week and in the meantime, Nick Smith will act in the Building and Construction portfolio, Nathan Guy in Land Information, and Simon Bridges in Customs and Statistics.

The Minister has done the right thing by resigning from Cabinet for this error of judgement.

The resignation is as a minister, he is still the MP for Pakuranga.

8 Responses to Maurice Williamson resigns as Minister

  1. Mr E says:

    Swift action by all involved.

    But this whole fiasco is a bad look for National.
    I am less than impressed.


  2. Gravedodger says:

    I wonder if the declined tilt at the super city mayoralty is now looking like an opportunity lost, sheesh no scrutiny there if he had won.


  3. jabba says:

    WOW .. THAT WAS QUICK .. Helen would have told him to hang in there for 2 weeks .. at least it was serious and not about who he had dinner with


  4. Andrei says:

    Its called nipping it in the bud jabba – it makes the problem go away faster and the whole thing will be forgotten in a week.

    A day or two of embarrassment at the worst and it also shows decisive leadership – so there’s a silver lining.

    This is why John Key makes every other contender for PM look like the dolts they are – he knows how to handle a crisis.


  5. Judge Holden says:

    Selecting experience-free troughers from the tobacco lobby, trying to influence police investigations into wealthy donors who they previously granted citizenship to against advice, endorsing products from companies their spouses direct while on taxpayer funded junkets and then having secret dinners with Chinese border officials when said company has border issues. That’s so far this year and just the Nats, let’s not discuss its coalition partners. What is it with the right and corruption?


  6. dave kennedy says:

    Andrei, I stand to disagree, Key has supported Ministers and coalition partners way beyond a level of credibility (John Banks, Peter Dunne, Hekia Parata and Judith Collins). For the level of misdemeanor Maurice should probably even resigned as an MP. Maurice is a clever and witty speaker as we know but stepping in to influence the police for a friend was highly improper.

    Another example (and it is to my own blog but you have the choice to visit it or not) shows Key’s difficulty in taking responsibility:


  7. andrei says:

    Dave Kennedy – the’re politicians, almost by definition that means the’re ratbags


  8. dave kennedy says:

    Andrei, despite my distaste for the behaviour and the decisions made by many in this government I have actually met many MPs from almost all parties that I would say are decent people and have a principled approach to their jobs. I don’t agree, as you obviously do, with Cameron Sater’s view that all politicians are basically dirty. Using a random selection, can you explain how any of these are ratbags?:
    Kate Wilkinson, Tracey Martin, Holly Walker, Louisa Wall, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga


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