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Another Mahuta Cabinet Manual Breach

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta’s failure to consult Justice Minister Kiri Allan over entrenchment is another breach of the Cabinet Manual and the Prime Minister should sack her, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says.

“Questioned in Parliament this afternoon, Ms Allan disclosed that Ms Mahuta did not consult her about the entrenchment provision in the Three Waters Bill that Parliament adopted during the committee of the whole house stage.

“The Cabinet Manual makes clear at section 5.14 that Ministers are required to consult the Minister of Justice on ‘all proposals affecting constitutional arrangements’. Ms Mahuta manifestly failed to do this, instead cooking up constitutional chicanery with the Greens and leaving her Ministerial colleagues in the dark.

“Ms Mahuta first failed to uphold a clear Cabinet minute opposing entrenching sections of the Three Waters Bill and it’s now clear she failed to even talk to the Minister responsible for New Zealand’s constitution as well.

“Ms Allan has also been asleep at the wheel during this debacle. She told Parliament this afternoon that she didn’t remember when she first learned that Parliament had entrenched a section of the Three Waters Bill.

“Ms Allan said she first became aware of Ministry of Justice advice against entrenchment on the 28th of November – which was the day Cabinet considered what had happened in the House a few days prior.

“This is a constitutional cluster of epic proportions and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern needs to show some leadership and hold someone accountable for this debacle.”

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