Luxon slams Govt over 'another ministerial scandal', Seymour calls for early election if PM can't find 'capable' Michael Wood replacement

National leader Christopher Luxon says the Michael Wood Auckland Airport shares saga is just "another ministerial scandal".

Chris Hipkins on Tuesday afternoon stood down Wood as Transport Minister after details came to light about his $13,000 worth of shares in Auckland Airport. 

It was revealed Wood initially failed to declare the shares to Parliament's pecuniary interests register. Despite declaring them appropriately last year, he failed to correct previous registers. Wood told the Cabinet Office about the shares when he became the minister, but also that he was selling them, which still hasn't happened.

Hipkins said this was "frustrating" because "a lot of this would've been avoided through better transparency and so, clearly, that's something that Michael Wood will take some time to work through". 

"I am disappointed and I've certainly expressed my disappointment to Michael Wood."

Speaking to AM on Wednesday, Luxon said this was "happening at a great regularity".

"I just don't understand after, having seen Stuart Nash, having seen Kiri Allan, having seen Jan Tinetti, having seen now Michael Wood - either [Hipkins is] not very effective at laying the law down and having a real straight talk with his team to say, 'These are my expectations - damn well deliver them' or they're obviously not following his instructions very well."

In a statement, ACT leader David Seymour said Hipkins keeping Wood as a minister would be "telling every New Zealander, and the world, that the Government may be working for its public interest or perhaps for its members' private interests".

While Seymour defended Wood on Tuesday, the NZ Herald reported on Wednesday Wood had earlier declined airport authority status to the North Shore Aerodrome.  

"Yesterday, you could give Wood the benefit of the doubt. Sloppy and incompetent but where's the harm?

"Today, that question is answered. Nobody can trust a Government where the minister making decisions for your business might be secretly investing in your competitor," Seymour said.

Luxon accused the Government of being "focused on itself".

"It's losing the plot and it's out of touch with what matters most to New Zealanders."

Seymour said if no Government minister was "capable" of doing Wood's job, Hipkins should "bring forward the election".

"The question of Wood being a minister is no longer a matter of 'life admin' as Chris Hipkins has put it. It is now a matter of whether people can trust the New Zealand Government to be open and transparent about who it serves."

Wood told the NZ Herald on Wednesday the decision to decline the airport’s application "was made after carefully considering the overwhelmingly negative feedback from the community and advice from officials".

He didn't offer his resignation but accepted Hipkins' decision to stand him down as Transport Minister, Wood said on Tuesday.

"I made a mistake here. I accept that," he told reporters

"That is on me and the appropriate thing that I do now is fix that."