'Wounded target': Clare Curran has no credibility left - Duncan Garner

  • 06/09/2018

Clare Curran has no credibility left as an MP and the Prime Minister should take appropriate action, says The AM Show host Duncan Garner. 

Ms Curran was removed from Cabinet last month after she failed to officially record a meeting she had. It was then revealed on Wednesday that she had used a private Gmail account to conduct official government business. 

Garner criticised the minister's credibility, telling The AM Show her "woeful performance in Parliament trying to explain tells you everything you need to know" about her. 

The former Minister for Open Government and Government Digital Services appeared nervous and shaken when she spoke before Parliament on Wednesday. 

"To the best of my recollection, um, ah, I've, uh, I haven't used my, ah, I have answered, ah, OIA responses and personal, um, and Parliamentary questions correctly and to the best of my recollection," she said. 

Ms Curran failed to record a meeting she held at her Beehive office in February with Derek Handley in relation to the vacant role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

It was not recorded in her diary, nor was her staff or any officials made aware of it. It was also left out of a written answer to a parliamentary question.

She remains Minister for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, outside of Cabinet.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said last month it was a "significant demotion" for Ms Curran to give up two of her portfolios. But in light of the Gmail revelation, and her shaky performance before Parliament, there are calls for her to be sacked. 

"What more does the Prime Minister need to sack embattled, flustered minister Clare Curran?" Garner said. 

"What are you trying to hide Clare? Who knows?"

"Curran no longer passes the test as a minister, does she? Her credibility, crucially, has gone. She can't be trusted and she's a liability for the Government," said Garner, before labelling Ms Curran a "walking wounded target". 

"It will be a test for Prime Minister Ardern. When she returns home today [from Nauru], surely you would think she would sack Curran and send her to the back benches, and promote someone with some talent and honesty, someone perhaps like Kris Faafoi?" 

Mr Faafoi is the Minister for Civil Defence. The Customs portfolio fell to Mr Faafoi last week after Meka Whaitiri stepped down, while an investigation is carried out into a staffing matter in her office, allegedly involving a physical incident. 

"Curran should be gone. Have you got it in you Prime Minister?" Garner said.