Meka Whaitiri removed as Minister

Labour MP Meka Whaitiri has been removed as a Minister after an investigation into an incident in her Gisborne office.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she no longer has confidence in Ms Whaitiri, after a report into the incident which involved Ms Whaitiri and a staff member on August 27.

"No one wants to lose ministers, but I have to make decisions based on the information in front of me," she said.

Ms Whaitiri has accepted the decision but continues to contest aspects of the report, which Ms Ardern said is not yet ready for public release.

"No one wants to lose Ministers," Ms Ardern said.
"No one wants to lose Ministers," Ms Ardern said. Photo credit: Newshub

Ms Whaitiri will stay on as MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti and as the chair of Labour's Maori caucus.

The Prime Minister made the announcement from the ninth floor of the Beehive on Thursday afternoon.

Ms Whaitiri stood aside from her portfolios on August 30 while an investigation was carried out by Ministerial Services.

Newshub understands there were allegations of a physical incident, which involved some shoving.

Ms Ardern would not confirm whether Ms Whaitiri was involved in a physical altercation.

Ms Whaitiri's portfolios were Minister of Customs, and Associate Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Local Government and Crown/Māori Relations.

Kris Faafoi will stay on as the Minister of Customs, which he took over as during the investigation, and Ms Whaitiri's associate portfolios have been reassigned to the lead Ministers.

Ms Ardern says she has no plans for a Cabinet reshuffle.

Ms Whaitiri is the second Minister to have their portfolios removed, following former Minister Clare Curran