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.
Labour is letting down its candidates from the start by getting media releases about their selection wrong.
Take this one announcing the candidates for Botany and Pakuranga for example.
The first four paragraphs talk about the process and only then does it get to the candidate, Tofik Mamedov, but still expends more words on the process than him.
It then talks about his nationality and that he’s been campaigning but it doesn’t give any of the biographical details you’d expect, would-be voters would want to know and which might have a chance of being published.
The omission is emphasised because the release carries on to talk about the selection of the party’s candidate for Pakuranga, Barry Kirker, about whom it does give some details.
That release was bad enough, but it compounded its mistake with an even worse one which listed the two candidates covered in the first release with those for three other electorates – Papakura, Taranaki-King Country and Whangarei.
The party might have no hope of winning these seats but it should be able to give the candidates the dignity of a separate, and comprehensive, media release.