A tale of two ministers: Government evades questions over ministerial conduct

One of the Government's embattled ministers went into hiding on Thursday, while the other reappeared.

After struggling to answer questions in the house on Wednesday, Clare Curran failed to show up to question time - taking personal leave.

She was stumbling over basic questions about using her personal email to conduct ministerial business.

The Prime Minister's office told Newshub Jacinda Ardern would be in the house for Question Time, but she wasn't - and deputy Winston Peters was defending Ms Curran instead of Ms Ardern.

"We all have an off day," he said.

Thursday wasn't set to be much better. Ministerial expenses came out, revealing Ms Curran spent $1066 on a brief spin in a chauffeur-driven car.

It was a trip to study the Commonwealth Games broadcast. She rode from Brisbane to the Gold Coast and back; at an hour each way, that's an expensive two hours.

It follows a fair few off days for the Minister; there was the secret meeting with Carol Hirschfeld, which cost Hirschfeld her job; then the secret meeting with Derek Handley, which got Ms Curran sacked; then the use of her personal emails.

As Ms Curran disappeared, her fellow embattled minister, the suspended Meka Whaitiri, emerged from hiding in her electorate.

Ms Whaitiri, who's accused of assaulting a staff member, was forced to show her face at Parliament on Thursday.

Like Ms Curran, Ms Whaitiri avoided Question Time, but had to be in the house for the Te Wairoa Treaty settlement.

She was loathe to talk about the assault allegations that saw her stood down as a minister.

"I'm co-operating with the investigation and I've got no further comment. Today is about Te Wairoa," she said when Newshub asked about the allegations.

Newshub wanted the Prime Minister's take on these ministerial disappearing-reappearing acts.

But she too fell off the radar, taking the day to work from home and refusing to answer media questions - just like her ministers.