Meka Whaitiri says she accepts Prime Minister's decision to sack her as she faces barrage of questions on return to parliament

Meka Whaitiri accepts Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s decision to sack her as a minister, saying she is committed to self-improvement as she returned to parliament.

Ms Whaitiri was sacked as Customs Minister after an investigation by ministerial services into an alleged assault of a staffer during an event in Gisborne in late August.

The Prime Minister says she took action after an investigation deemed an incident did happen. Source: 1 NEWS

She batted away repeated questions from the media about the investigation and its findings, which she disputes.

“It’s been a debilitating time, but I really want to reflect on what I need to do to improve myself, to regain the confidence of the prime minister,” she said.

“I’m absolutely gutted, but I accept the prime minister’s decision but I’m going to work really hard and reflect on what I need to do to improve myself.”

“I can’t talk about the report until it’s released but like I said, I accept the prime minister’s decision.”

Ms Whaitiri, the MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, said she was grateful for the support from Māori caucus and others.

“Willie has declared and so have my Māori caucus members that they continue to have confidence in me to do the job that I was elected to do,” she said.

“You know, I’ve got a lot of work to do here on behalf of the people of Ikaroa-Rāwhiti.”

“I’m very humbled by the support of the Māori caucus and those that have sent support but I’m here to do a job.”

“As I travel throughout the electorate we’re having meetings and I will tell them when I see them face-to-face my plans going forward.”

Whaitiri says she is determined to earn the Prime Minister’s trust back, and work hard for her electorate, after her sacking as a minister. Source: 1 NEWS

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Simon Bridges and Judith Collins were 'defamatory' with 'meth crooks' claim, says Winston Peters

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has accused Simon Bridges and Judith Collins of making defamatory claims over their ‘meth crooks’ claim about the 800 evicted Housing NZ tenants who will receive compensation.

The opposition leader and National’s housing spokesperson have repeatedly said they were against compensation for the Housing NZ tenants who were evicted as a result of adverse meth tests on their properties.

The National leader says it sends a poor message that those found to have cooked or used meth in Housing NZ homes get compensation. Source: Breakfast

READ MORE: Simon Bridges against compensation for tenants proven to have smoked or cooked meth in Housing NZ home

“I’m appalled that Judith Collins and Simon Bridges, who have pretence to be experienced and practiced lawyers, would think that people who are utterly innocent and in their hundreds and hundreds should be turfed out of a place and have all their assets and materials destroyed because of a hoax scientific investigation, which wasn’t scientific at all, and that they shouldn’t deserve some compensation,” he told TVNZ1’s Breakfast.

READ MORE: Judith Collins savages decision to compensate Housing NZ tenants evicted over meth contamination

National’s housing spokesperson savaged the decision to compensate Housing NZ tenants who were evicted for using P or allowing its use in their homes. Source: 1 NEWS

“I know ordinary people might do it but how could a lawyer possibly believe somebody is guilty before proven to be that and that’s what I find for narrow venal populism in which they’re not going to be successful they have appeared to use such language.”

Housing New Zealand released a report last week admitting it shouldn't have turfed out tenants based on methamphetamine contamination guidelines which have since been found to be misused.

The period was dubbed 'meth hysteria' - during which hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent unnecessarily on stripping out homes, and hundreds of state tenants kicked out.


The deputy prime minister was appalled that the opposition leader and housing spokesperson could make the meth crook claim about mostly innocent Housing NZ tenants. Source: Breakfast

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Scott Morrison says nation must embrace divisive Australia Day, but calls for another day to recognise indigenous Australians

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the nation must embrace Australia Day "warts and all", but has called for another day to be set aside to recognise indigenous Australians.

Mr Morrison says January 26, 1778 is when "the ships turned up" in Australia.

"We can't pretend that it's some other day that it happened ... we've got to embrace it all, warts and all," he told the Nine Network today.

But Mr Morrison believes there should be a separate day to acknowledge 60,000 years of indigenous history.

"We don't have to pull Australia Day down to actually recognise the achievements of indigenous Australians, the oldest living culture in the world," he told the Seven Network.

"The two can coexist."

The federal government has stripped a NSW council of its right to hold citizenship ceremonies, after it refused to hold them on the national holiday, opting instead for January 25.

Mr Morrison said if council's such as Byron Shire Council want to treat citizenship ceremonies like a "political football", the Commonwealth can easily go elsewhere.

"Citizenship is about the citizens, it's not about the egos of councillors," he said.

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek said the opposition also supports Australia Day remaining on January 26 and is open to the idea of an additional day to recognise indigenous Australians.

But Labor is disappointed the prime minister has flouted such a "significant idea" through the media without consultation.

"It's disrespectful," she tweeted.

"Unlike Scott Morrison, we'll consult indigenous people and our indigenous caucus about whether a proper day of recognition with an additional public holiday is a positive way forward - we're open to it."

Byron Mayor Simon Richardson has said Australia Day caused pain in a section of the community and questioned whether the values of a fair go and mateship were being reflected.

"Is it true mateship to willingly, willfully and continually to celebrate what rightfully is great to be an Australian on a day that some Australians are pained by?" the Greens mayor told 3AW.

Immigration Minister David Coleman said citizenship ceremonies should be about bringing communities together.

"The council's actions are divisive and the Australian government will not stand by and allow this to happen," he said.

The government last year removed the right to host citizenship ceremonies from Melbourne's City of Yarra and Darebin councils after they voted not to hold them on January 26.

Commonwealth Games hold an indigenous welcome
Source: Te Karere


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Perth mum who accused kids of hanging daughter from tree with skipping rope handed restraining order

A Perth mother is readying for a court battle, following a much publicised bullying case involving her daughter.

Belinda Yoon's 10-year old daughter Amber was allegedly hung from a tree with a skipping rope, but is now facing a restraining order from the parents of the children accused of doing it.

In an emotional post on social media, Ms Yoon spoke about her frustrations in the apparent protection of her daughter's abusers.

"Apparently I've been driving past their house in an agitated state, for one I had no idea about their first names or even where they lived," a tearful Ms Yoon said.

"I'd love to know how they could cause us even more heartache, when we have already hurt enough.

"Let us heal, let us try and move on from this and I was trying to do that in a really positive way to try and create change for everybody.

"It feels like I'm almost getting bullied myself because they just want me to be silenced and I won't be."

Ms Yoon will appear in the magistrates court next month, saying she will challenge the restraining order.

“She honestly thought she was going to die,” Amber Yoon said through tears of her 10-year-old daughter. Source: Nine


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