Prime Minister Chris Hipkins leaving Stuart Nash to make 'announcement' about future, getting advice on consequences

The Prime Minister is leaving an "announcement" about Stuart Nash's future as an MP to the man himself, but is seeking advice on what other consequences there could be from sacking him.

Fronting media in Upper Hutt on Wednesday morning, Chris Hipkins said he hadn't had an update since dismissing Nash as a minister on Tuesday night, but would be meeting with the Cabinet Office soon.

"Obviously, to talk about the consequences and the flow-on implications of the decision I made last night to dismiss Stuart," Hipkins said.

He is expecting to share more on that with media later in the day.

Hipkins sacked Nash on Tuesday night after it came to light Nash had emailed two businesspeople - who were also donors - about Cabinet discussions on a commercial rent relief package in 2020. Cabinet conversations are meant to be confidential.

Asked if Nash had told him he will retire at the election, Hipkins said: "I want to leave that as an announcement for Stuart to make and I think that's an appropriate thing for him to do".

"He's been contemplating his future. I think it's appropriate that he gets the space to make that announcement himself and make that decision for himself."

But Hipkins said that shouldn't be read into as meaning Nash will be retiring.

"I'm not making those commitments, those decisions, those announcements here. They are ones for Stuart to make."

Nash has told Newshub: "I am not resigning. There won't be a by-election."

If he retires later in April, a by-election doesn't have to be held due to the proximity to the general election - but 75 percent of Parliament would have to agree.

Hipkins said the people of Napier don't deserve to have a by-election right now considering the centre is still recovering from Cyclone Gabrielle.

He said it's not unusual for ministers who have been dismissed from Cabinet to carry on in Caucus, pointing to instances where that also happened when National was in Government.

Decisions over whether Nash should stay in Caucus are matters for both himself as the leader of Labour as well as the wider party, Hipkins said.

"It is a more complex situation. Stuart is elected by the people of Napier," he said.

"These are Stuart's decisions and he'll articulate them. If he does decide to stay on, at least until the election, then I'm confident he will work hard for the people of Napier. They deserve to have their representation right at the moment as well rather than have the seat vacant."

The National Party is calling for Hipkins to launch a review into conduct by Nash to ensure no other sensitive material has been leaked.

"You do end up asking the question, 'Well, what else has been shared?' Think about the portfolios that Stuart Nash has had around economic development, forestry and fisheries," leader Christopher Luxon said.

"I think Chris Hipkins has to undertake some sort of review and reassure himself no other information has been leaked or to others."

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster was also at the media standup alongside Hipkins.

Nash resigned as Police Minister two weeks ago after admitting to ringing Coster two years ago - when Nash wasn't Police Minister - about a court judgement. Police are meant to be independent of ministers.

Coster said his dealing with Nash "have been professional and they have been respectful".

He said "generally speaking" he has been "comfortable with the nature of those interactions".

Coster said the situation reported on "speaks for itself".

"I was pretty clear in speaking to that initially that whilst it appeared to be a particular thing in the way it was framed, I didn't feel pressure from him. I found him to be venting on a particular case."

Coster said he didn't feel the need to raise that situation with ministers as he believed it was "simply a venting".

"But of course the perception around that is different."

He said he has never raised conversations he has had with Nash with ministers.