If the responsible Minister is not responsible, is the Prime Minister?

Mon, 02 Dec, 2019

“The Prime Minister must sack the Police Minister. If he won’t take responsibility for a massive privacy breach within his own department and resign, she must make him”, according to ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Responsible firearm owners are careful not to talk about their guns, because they don’t want bad people to know they’ve got them. Police just left access to 37,000 people’s names, addresses, and what sort of guns they have open to hundreds of people.

“This afternoon at the Prime Minister’s post-Cabinet press conference, the Police Minister refused to take responsibility, instead blaming Police and a software provider.

“It is difficult to imagine how the Government could screw up worse, seriously endangering thousands of New Zealanders from a project designed to protect public safety.

“Nash doubled-down by saying he wouldn’t reconsider his approach to firearms law changes, that the buy-back was going ‘incredibly well’, and that there were no implications for a firearms register. He is in la-la land.

“The Cabinet Manual is clear that Ministers are accountable to Parliament for ensuring their departments run properly and that they are required to account for the actions of a department when mistakes are made.

“Nash has done nothing of the sort. New Zealanders will rightly be asking where the accountability is in this Government.

“Worse, this leak is not a result of business as usual, but Government policy. This privacy breach is the direct result of rushed law-making. Every party but ACT tried to make complex law in just nine days, and now New Zealanders are bearing the cost to their privacy and safety.

“Jacinda Ardern is happy to talk about banning guns on CNN, but ducks for cover when her policy makes New Zealanders less safe.

“Parliament’s rushed and haphazard Arms Amendment Act threw Police a massive hospital pass. Attempting to administer a huge ‘buy-back’ scheme in just six months has damaged their morale. It had damaged public respect for Police even before this disaster.

“The buck stops with the Police Minister. He needs to accept responsibility for such an inadequate process and resign.”