Stuart Nash says he plans to stay in Napier seat after sacking

By Anneke Smith for RNZ

Stuart Nash says there will be no by-election in his Napier electorate, after being sacked as a minister over an "inexcusable" breach of Cabinet rules.

Nash was already on a 'final warning' before a Stuff report last night revealed he had emailed details of Cabinet discussions to two businessman - who were also his donors - in 2020.

The correspondence set out his opposition to a decision on a commercial relief package, of which the donors had an interest in, and details Cabinet discussions - a clear breach of Cabinet confidentiality.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said it was such a serious breach of the rules it would have warranted dismissal on its own, notwithstanding the other 'strikes'.

Nash had already lost the police portfolio for two missteps, including criticising the judiciary.

The National Party has been quick to call for a by-election in the Napier electorate, saying Nash should go from Parliament altogether.

"It's a serious and egregious issue; it is akin to insider trading. It's very simple; he needs to resign from Parliament," National's leader Christopher Luxon said.

ACT leader David Seymour was not so sure, saying some might argue strongly for it but the process can cost taxpayers north of $1 million.

"A by-election would be very expensive, it would take up a lot of time and energy and I just question what it would do for New Zealanders when we're having an election in just over six months."

Parliament can choose not to hold a by-election if an electorate MP resigns within six months of a general election.

This was currently being seen in Mt Albert, where Jacinda Ardern was delaying her departure to avoid a local contest so close to Election 2023.

RNZ asked Stuart Nash if he planned on sticking around in the Napier seat last night.

He texted back saying, "Yes, There will be no by-election."