Justice Minister Kiri Allan resigns after being charged with reckless driving, resisting arrest

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jul 23, 2023 |

Justice Minister Kiri Allan has resigned as a Cabinet minister after being charged with reckless driving and resisting arrest in Wellington last night.

Allan was taken into police custody on Sunday night after a car crash in Wellington and “is assisting with inquiries”.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said shortly after 9.00pm last night Kiri Allan was involved in a car crash on Evans Bay Parade in Wellington. 

 She was taken into custody and held in the Wellington Central Police station. She was released around 1.00am this morning.

 She has been charged with reckless driving and resisting arrest.

 She also returned a breath test over the legal limit but at a level considered an infringement offence. Police have not pressed charges in relation to that.

“While her alleged actions are inexcusable, I’ve been advised she was experiencing extreme emotional distress at the time of the incident. Her recent personal struggles with mental health have been well documented and it appears some of those issues came to a head yesterday.” 

“I have spoken with her first thing this morning and advised her I do not believe she’s in a fit state to hold a Ministerial warrant. 

 “I believe it’s also untenable for a Justice Minister to be charged with criminal offending. 

“Kiri agrees, and she’s advised me she wishes to resign all her portfolios immediately, is heading home, and taking time to consider her future in politics. I’ve accepted that resignation.

“I recently provided Kiri the opportunity to address her mental health issues. After taking some time out I believed she was okay and was assured by her she was.

“Last night’s incident is evidence there are not always quick fixes when it comes to mental health, and the best thing for Kiri right now is to focus on her whanau and her wellbeing away from Parliament.

 “I don’t provide this detail to diminish her actions, they were indefensible, but to provide context for the distressed circumstances she found herself in when the incident occurred.

 I will confirm the reallocation of her portfolios later today” Hipkins said.

In a statement, Allan said “this morning I have advised the Prime Minister I will immediately resign all my portfolios.

“I’m heading home and will be taking time to consider my future in politics. 

“Over recent weeks I’ve faced a number of personal difficulties. I took time off to address those, and believed I was okay to juggle those challenges with the pressure of being a Minister.

“My actions yesterday show I wasn’t okay, and I’ve let myself and my colleagues down.

“I accept that my position as a Minister is untenable.

 I’m very sorry for my actions, the harm they could have caused and the embarrassment it has placed on the Government and my colleagues.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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