As it happened: Clare Curran resigns, former 1 NEWS journalist Kris Faafoi named new Broadcasting Minister

Clare Curran has resigned as Minister for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media.

1.07pm: Ms Ardern has now finished speaking and that concludes our live updates for now. Ms Curran is understood to be speaking to media this afternoon. We'll bring that to you as it happens. For now, goodbye.

1.03pm: Ardern on her selection of Mr Faafoi as Minister for Broadcasting.

"He has experience working in the broadcast industry himself, he's had the portfolio before, I think he'll do an excellent job.

On Peeni Henare: "I think there is huge potential in Minister Henare and he has the capacity to take up that role."

12.58pm: Peeni Henare is a new Associate Minister for ACC.

12.57pm:  More from Ardern: "She's made a decision on behalf of herself but also on behalf of the government but it’s been a tough one for her nonetheless." 

12.52pm: More from Ardern on her answer to Newstalk ZB this morning: "The question I was asked this morning was whether I’d asked her to resign and the answer was no.

"Clare Curran contacted me last night to advise me that she wanted to resign from her portfolios.

"We talked it through and I accepted her resignation."

12.51pm: The new broadcasting minister is former 1 NEWS reporter Kris Faafoi.

National MP Chris Bishop also thought the possible on-air break up was ‘outrageous’.
Source: 1 NEWS

ONN 1 News at 6 promo image
For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

12.49pm: "I think the pressure she felt was pressure she actually put on herself," Ms Ardern says, adding she realised she was meeting "her own high standards".

12.47pm: The Prime Minister is now speaking about Clare Curran, you can watch it here.

Clare Curran.
Clare Curran. Source: 1 NEWS

12.37pm: While we wait for Ms Ardern, who will speak at 12.45pm, political columnist John Armstrong last night wrote on how the PM's trip to Nauru was a PR disaster. This caps off a pretty awful week for the Government.

12.29pm: Ms Ardern is in Gisborne with Shane Jones announcing a $152m cash injection for the East Coast. That's now been totally overshadowed and she will speak on Ms Curran shortly. We'll bring that to you live.

12.22pm: Here was Ms Curran's statement moments ago: "I advised the Prime Minister last night I would resign as a Minister, which she accepted.

"I have come to the conclusion the current heat being placed on me is unlikely to go away.

"This pressure has become intolerable. For the benefit of the Government, and my personal wellbeing, I believe that resignation is the best course of action."

12.18pm: News of Curran's resignation came after Ms Ardern earlier told Newtalk ZB she wouldn't fire her.

12.15pm: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted the resignation of Clare Curran as a minister in her Labour-led Government.

Ms Ardern made the announcement this afternoon.

Ms Curran was the Minister for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media.

"Clare Curran contacted me last night to confirm her wish to resign as a Minister and I accepted that resignation," said Jacinda Ardern.

"Clare has come to the view the issues currently surrounding her are causing an unacceptable distraction for the Government and immense pressure on her personally.

"I agree with her assessment that resigning is the best course of action for the Government and for her."

Ms Curran absent from Parliament on personal leave

Her announcement comes after Ms Curran was absent from Parliament yesterday on personal leave.

That came after the MP was rattled in Parliament on Wednesday when asked about the use of her personal email for Government business.

Ms Curran appeared flustered in offering a rambling and incoherent response to a question from National's Melissa Lee.

"To the best of my recollection, um, ah, ah, I haven't, um, I haven't used my, um I've answered um OIA, ah, ah, OIA responses and personal, um and parliamentary questions correctly and to the best of my recollection, um, ah, you know, that, that has, that's what I've done," was Ms Curran's confused response.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters later defended Ms Curran's performance, telling Paula Bennett "we all have an off day, and no one would understand that better than the member asking the question".

The Prime Minister last month accepted Ms Curran's offer to resign from her Government Digital Services portfolio and Open Government responsibilities.

In February, Ms Curran had met with tech entrepreneur Derek Handley at her Beehive office in her capacity as Minister of Government Digital Services to discuss Mr Handley’s interest in the vacant Chief Technology Officer role.

The meeting was not recorded in Ms Curran's diary, neither her staff nor officials were made aware of it and it was later mistakenly left out of an answer to a parliamentary question.

The failure to disclose the Handley meeting came after Ms Curran held a meeting with Radio NZ’s Carol Hirschfeld in December.

This resulted in Ms Hirschfeld resigning after she initially mislead then-Radio NZ board chair Richard Griffin over the meeting, telling him it was accidental.

That led to Mr Griffin and RNZ CEO Paul Thompson then inadvertently making false statements to a Parliamentary Select Committee over the nature of the meeting - which was in fact pre-planned.

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