Reseller News

Clare Curran dumped out of Cabinet

PM calls time on her most troubled minister after another undeclared meeting is revealed
  • Rob O'Neill (New Zealand Reseller News)
  • 24 August, 2018 14:16
Clare Curran has lost key digital portfolios

Clare Curran has lost key digital portfolios

The Minister for all things digital, Clare Curran, has been dumped from key portfolios after revelations of a second undeclared meeting.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the move at a press conference outside her Auckland electorate office today.

Curran has lost her Government Digital Services ministry and responsibility for Open Government after an undeclared meeting in February with tech entrepreneur and "astronaut in waiting" Derek Handley.

The meeting was reportedly about the recruitment of a government chief technology officer, a position which is still vacant after a prolonged and somewhat disjointed recruitment.

Megan Woods will take on Government Digital Services and Chris Hipkins Open Government.

Curran did not record the meeting or mention it in a written answer for a question from the opposition, but will remain Minister for Broadcasting and Associate Minister for ACC.

Earlier this year, Curran caused ructions within government and Radio New Zealand after a similarly undeclared meeting with broadcaster Carol Hirschfeld.

In a statement Curran said:

Today I tendered my resignation from the Open Government and Government Digital Services portfolios and have apologised for failing to live up to expectations of transparency. The Prime Minister has accepted my resignation.

I omitted to record a meeting with Derek Handley in an answer to a written parliamentary question.

It wasn’t in my diary because it was set up directly between Mr Handley, subsequently a candidate for the Chief Technology Officer position, and I simply forgot about it when the parliamentary answer was sent out.

I take full responsibility for not following proper process. The meeting with Mr Handley should have been in the diary and my staff should have been informed.

I have let myself and the Prime Minister down and my resignations today are the consequence of my error.

I am committed to making our government more open and ensuring that creatives and innovators in digital services have a voice at the table. I’m proud of the work I have undertaken.

I will continue to work hard in advancing this Government’s broadcasting and communications agenda.