Kiri Allan back on leave, will meet with Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in couple of weeks

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins will catch up with Minister Kiri Allan "in a couple of weeks" as she goes on leave again.

Hipkins returned from his whirlwind trip to China on Saturday night, and by Monday he was again answering questions around Allan's conduct after allegations surfaced about her mistreating staff in her office - claims that she refutes. 

Allan recently spent a week on mental health leave, due to personal circumstances, including the separation from her fiancée. She returned to work, faced with allegations from a senior public servant that she had screamed and yelled at them. 

On Monday, during the Prime Minister's post-Cabinet press conference, Hipkins said he had a "brief phone conversation" with Allan earlier in the day. 

"I've indicated to Kiri that we'll have a catch-up when I get back from Europe which will be in a couple of weeks."

Prime Minister Hipkins said he "suggested" to Kiri that she "take a couple of weeks off" which he told media Allan is doing. 

Allan tweeted during the Prime Minister's press conference, making clear that this time's leave is not mental health leave, and she actually taking a "couple of days off over the school holidays".

"Because each parent has to, as we don't have others that can take care of our kid. Please stop conflating my MH (mental health) with external allegations."

In a separate tweet, Allan said she's responding to the press gallery's characterisation of her leave.

"Not the boss - he was pretty clear," she said.

"A lot has happened since we've caught up, and as the boss said, we will have a yarn when we get a chance."

In another tweet, Alan pleaded with the media to not "conflate" the mental health issues with other allegations. 

"My MH (mental health) issues were to do with personal things that happened. MH (mental health) is not an excuse for poor behaviour - I've been clear, where there are issues to answer for, I will." 

Prime Minister Hipkins said Allan has had a "rough couple of weeks" and believed it "would be good for her to take some time off".

"She's indicated that she would like to take some time off, it's school holidays, a lot of people will take a bit of a break during this time and I think that would be a good thing."

He said when ministers have been the subject of intense scrutiny, which he highlights Allan has been, he would encourage them "to take a bit of a breather".

"And that's what I'm doing here."

He said an investigation into the allegations is not necessary because the issues were not raised formally, but instead informally - he says those who have dealt with them are satisfied with the outcome. 

"The feedback that I've had from the senior level of the public service, is that they, the chief executives, the relevant chief executives are satisfied that any issues that were raised informally were resolved at the time.

"I don't see the need for there to be a separate layer of enquiry over the top of that."

The Prime Minister wouldn't be drawn on questions surrounding his confidence in Allan, saying it would be "premature" to make judgements until he's spoken with her. 

"Kiri is an exceptionally talented minister who has contributed an awful lot to our Government."

Since Hipkins took over as Prime Minister, he said he's been "very clear" with his ministers that they "will treat their departmental officials, the staff working in their office with respect and with basic courtesy".

"I don't expect ministers to be absolutely perfect human beings. Everybody will have a bad day from time to time, particularly when they're under pressure."