Ikaroa Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri stands down from ministerial portfolios

Ikaroa Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri has been stood down from all her ministerial portfolios while an investigation is being conducted into a “staffing matter" in her ministerial office.

According to the Prime Minister’s office Jacinda Ardern was advised of the staffing matter last night. However details of the inquiry have not been released.

“Meka Whaitiri has told me she will be fully cooperating with the investigation, which will be thorough and conducted as quickly as possible,” said Ardern.

Mana MP and Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi will be the Acting Minister of Customs while the matter is being investigated.

Whaitiri is the second Labour Minister to be stripped of a ministerial portfolio in a week. The stand down comes after Clare Curran was sacked from cabinet and stripped of her Government Digital Services and Open Government portfolios after her second failure to declare a meeting.

Whaitiri was the Associate Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Local Government and Crown Māori Relations. Her Associate Minister responsibilities will revert to the lead portfolio Ministers.