“Jacinda Ardern was hopeless at holding her Ministers accountable and if Chris Hipkins wants New Zealanders to believe that his Government is different he needs to show that he will be decisive in sacking unethical and poorly-performing Ministers,” says ACT Deputy Leader Brooke van Velden.

“The big question for the Prime Minister today is whether he will tolerate a Minister that hides the truth from him and makes him look like a fool.

“It’s already been established that Nash has breached the Cabinet Manual on two occasions by commenting on individual Police prosecutions. Now it’s emerged that he hid the full story from his boss.

“Two days ago, after it emerged that Nash had called Andrew Coster about an individual case, Hipkins asked for an assurance from Nash that he’d never done anything similar.

“Hipkins was asked by media on Wednesday whether he sought that assurance and he said: ‘Yes I have, and I’ve received that assurance from him.’

“It appears that Nash failed to inform Hipkins about an incident in 2020 when Crown Law investigated Nash for more inappropriate comments around the handling of a Police case and encouraged Attorney-General David Parker to censure him for his conduct.

“Nash was either telling his boss porkies or being cute with the truth. Either way, Nash has now publicly embarrassed his boss.

“Hipkins needs to explain how it is that he can have confidence in someone who breaches the Cabinet Manual, brags about it publicly, doesn’t learn from his mistakes, and obfuscates about the truth.

“It’s clear that Nash doesn’t have the ethical standards required to be a Minister. The Cabinet Manual says:

‘…at all times, Ministers are expected to act lawfully and to behave in a way that upholds, and is seen to uphold, the highest ethical standards…Ultimately, Ministers are accountable to the Prime Minister for their behaviour.’

“Jacinda Ardern tolerated poor performance and low standards. The question now is whether Hipkins can make the necessary call and get rid of Nash.

“What more does he need to do to get sacked?”

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