Collins says PM made 'a bit of a weak decision' not to accept Twyford's resignation over plane phone call

National MP Judith Collins says it's "a bit of a weak decision" for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to decline Transport Minister Phil Twyford's offer to resign today for making a phone call on a domestic flight after the aircraft doors had shut in preparation for take-off.

Mr Twyford says he recognises he made the call when he shouldn’t have, and this is inappropriate for anyone, particularly for him as Transport Minister.

He apologised to the Prime Minister and offered his resignation as Transport Minister.

Ms Ardern declined his offer but will had his responsibility for the Civil Aviation Authority to Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter.

Ms Collins says someone told her about the phone call and she decided to check out whether it's right with a written question in Parliament.

"And obviously it was right. Obviously Phil Twyford, the Minister of Transport, in charge of Civil Aviation, did actually make the phone call, during, when the plane was taxiing." she told 1 NEWS.

Ms Collins said she thinks Mr Twyford he had no choice other than to offer his resignation, "and I think that was the right thing to do".

Asked what she thinks of the Prime Minister's decision to decline his resignation offer but take responsibility for Civil Aviation off him, Ms Collins said: "Well it is probably is a bit of a weak decision. But having said that, we will wait to see what else happens over the next little while."

She added: And look, it's her choice. I've always thought if she's the Prime Minister she's got to set standards for her own cabinet. And so she's made her own decision. So not really for me to judge."

Meanwhile the Civil Aviation Authority says the Director of Civil Aviation has received details of the alleged breach of Civil Aviation Rules by Phil Twyford and will examine the facts before determining what action, if any may follow.

National MP Judith Collins was the one to bring the infringement to Parliament's attention Mr Twyford said. Source: 1 NEWS

It is premature to speculate on what might happen next and the CAA won’t comment further while inquiring into the matter, it said in a statement tonight.

The National MP brought the Transport Minister's indiscretion to the attention of the House after someone told her about his call. Source: 1 NEWS



'He was visibly shaken' – 1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch explains why Phil Twyford's phone call from plane is a 'big deal'

1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch has explained why Transport Minister Phil Twyford's phone call from a closed door plane matters so much, and says he was "visibly shaken" while fronting media over the incident.

Earlier today Mr Twyford offered to resign for making a phone call on a domestic flight after the aircraft doors had shut in preparation for take-off.

Mutch broke down why the issue caused the reaction it did, on 1 NEWS at 6pm.

"It's clear he was visibly shaken by this, the reason that taking the phone call after the plane doors had closed is a big deal is because he is the Minister of Transport responsible for the Civil Aviation Authority and taking that phone call broke the rules," Mutch said.

National MP Judith Collins was the one to bring the infringement to Parliament's attention Mr Twyford said. Source: 1 NEWS

She also added that Mr Twyford admitted he could face prosecution over the incident.

Mr Twyford issued a statement today, saying he offered his resignation over the matter, but the Prime Minister declined.

"I recognise that I made the call when I shouldn’t have," Phil Twyford said. "This is inappropriate for anyone, but particularly inappropriate for me as Transport Minister.

"I apologise unreservedly.

"I have apologised to the Prime Minister and offered my resignation as Transport Minister. She has declined my offer but chosen to transfer my responsibility for the Civil Aviation Authority to Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter.

The National MP brought the Transport Minister's indiscretion to the attention of the House after someone told her about his call. Source: 1 NEWS

"I have referred the matter to the Civil Aviation Authority who will follow whatever processes they deem appropriate," Phil Twyford said.

Speaking to media at Parliament Mr Twyford revealed that it was National MP Judith Collins who brought the issue before the House and he hadn't given it a moment's thought before she did so. 

He again gave an unreserved apology while speaking to media, saying he "made a mistake" and his actions were "unacceptable".

Mr Twyford also revealed the call was made to a staffer and was around one minute long. He didn't reveal the details of the call and why it was so important to make at the time.

As Transport Minister, Mr Twyford should have known better than to make a call after the plane's doors had shut. Source: 1 NEWS


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Lamb's out of reach for many Kiwis so why not eat the tongue, gut and throat gland?

It's a Kiwi favourite, but the price of lamb puts it out of the reach of many these days.

So, Seven Sharp asked, on 'National Lamb Day' are we just looking at lamb all wrong? 

Tongue, guts and throat are the less popular cuts of lamb but it's time to look at using the whole animal - as was done for centuries.

Reporter Rachel Parkin went down country to investigate.


It's a Kiwi favourite, but with the price of lamb out of the reach of many, it's time we looked at using the whole animal. Source: Seven Sharp