Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has sacked Stuart Nash from all of his ministerial portfolios, following another breach of the Cabinet Manual, the New Zealand Herald has reported.
Nash was already on his final warning, having lost the police portfolio two weeks ago for two missteps, including criticising the judiciary.
Tonight it emerged Nash sent an email to senior business figures in 2020 while he was small business minister. The email contained cabinet discussions related to a commercial relief package being negotiated at the time.
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said in the email, Nash expressed "both his opposition to the decision cabinet reached and the position that other cabinet members took". The email was sent to two of Nash's donors, which Hipkins said as commercial property owners, had "an interest in the Cabinet decision".
"That crosses a line that is totally unacceptable to me."
"This is a clear breach of collective responsibility and Cabinet confidentiality," Hipkins said.
"Stuart Nash has fundamentally breached my trust and the trust of his cabinet colleagues and his conduct is inexcusable."
Hipkins said even if Nash was not already on a final warning, this latest revelation would have triggered his dismissal.
Megan Woods will take over Nash's economic development role, while David Parker will pick up oceans and fisheries and Meka Whaitiri the Hawke's Bay cyclone response.
- NZ Herald