Video: Stuart Nash returns to Parliament, ignores questions over Cabinet breach, walks off

Former minister Stuart Nash is refusing to answer questions over his leaking of confidential Cabinet documents to donors.

Nash is back in Parliament this week. He was sacked as a minister in March after it emerged he emailed two donors about Cabinet discussions in 2020. He hasn't fronted all media since.

The Prime Minister then ordered a review into his communications with donors to "look at whether there have been any other breaches of Cabinet collective responsibility or confidentiality, or whether there have been any perceived or actual conflicts of interest between Stuart Nash and those donors".

Newshub tried to question Nash on Tuesday but after initially stopping to answer, he walked off.

We wanted to ask if he regretted leaking the information, whether he expects more potential breaches to emerge during the inquiry, and whether he believes his actions have hurt Labour's chances in the Napier electorate at the upcoming election. 

But he wouldn't answer questions.

Nash announced in early April he would stand down from politics at the upcoming election. 

"I have had the privilege of serving in the Ardern Cabinet during the darkest of days, managing crisis after crisis after crisis, while driving forward an ambitious and progressive agenda of continuous economic and social improvement and transformation," he said at the time.

"While the work has been very rewarding, and both intellectually and professionally stimulating, it has also been incredibly taxing on relationships with family and friends. It's now time to address this balance."

Nash resigned as Police Minister in March after admitting he once rang the Police Commissioner to suggest he appeal a court judgement. That's a breach of the Cabinet Manual as ministers aren't meant to comment on or involve themselves in prosecutions or sentencing.

A day later, it emerged Nash had also once nearly faced a contempt charge after going on the radio and saying the killer of slain police officer Matthew Hunt should receive a lengthy sentence. The Solicitor-General ended up recommending the Attorney-General give Nash a telling-off.

But it didn't end there, with Prime Minister Hipkins then demoting Nash and placing him on a final warning after it came to light Nash had used inappropriate processes to advocate on an immigration case.

Nash's email to donors came out later, leading to his dismissal from Cabinet altogether. 

He apologised to Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, Cabinet, his caucus colleagues, staff and Labour members "for letting them down and causing an unwanted distraction".

"To the people of Napier, whom it has been an absolute pleasure and privilege serving and representing in Parliament, I also offer my apologies," he said.