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Penny Drops – But What About Seymour And Peters?

Stripping two Ministers of their portfolios just six months into the job shows Christopher Luxon’s management style is lacking, Labour Leader Chris Hipkins said.

“Christopher Luxon has taken more than a month to show any leadership for our disabled communities and take the portfolio off Penny Simmonds, and weeks to take any action on Melissa Lee’s total inaction during an obvious media crisis,” Chris Hipkins said.

“The Penny has finally dropped for Christopher Luxon. It’s taken a while but he has finally sacked his Minister for Disability Issues after she blindsided carers with changes to their funding flexibility – effectively cutting their financial support.

“The new Minister for Disability Issues must urgently reinstate funding flexibility and apologise to carers for the Government’s comments and accusations towards carers of disabled people.

“This whole debacle shows Christopher Luxon is out of his depth. He uses corporate jargon to make it seem like he’s top of things but took five weeks to make this decision.

“The Minister responsible for the media has also been booted from Cabinet today. She has shown total disregard for a sector in crisis. A sector that contributes to a strong, healthy democracy by keeping people informed.

“If these Ministers aren’t good enough for disability issues or media, it beggars belief they can be trusted with environment, economic development, tertiary education or ethnic communities.

“And what about Winston Peters, David Seymour and Casey Costello?

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“Christopher Luxon’s own Ministers have been publicly interfering with the independent Waitangi Tribunal with barely a rap over the knuckles. His deputy Prime Minister has on several occasions referenced Nazi Germany and the holocaust. Casey Costello conveniently forgot who wrote a memo from her office on tax breaks for tobacco companies and has failed to protect New Zealanders’ health.

“If Penny Simmonds and Melissa Lee meet the threshold for demotion, how long will it take for those Ministers? Christopher Luxon acts tough but isn’t brave enough to discipline his coalition partners.

“This is a coalition in chaos. Not even six months into the job and Christopher Luxon doesn’t have confidence in some of his own team to do the job.

“He should take some of his tough rhetoric in Opposition and apply it to his own leadership,” Chris Hipkins said.

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