Shortly after 9.00 pm 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 1.00 am 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 offense. 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 from 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 well-being 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.