Kiri Allan resigns after reckless driving, car crash and arrest

Kiri Allan resigns-Kiri Allan RNZ Photo by Samuel Rillstone

Venkat Raman
Auckland, July 24, 2023

Embattled Kiri Allan resigned from all her Ministerial portfolios this Morning following her arrest last night on Evans Day Parade in Wellington Central.

In a statement, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said that Ms Allan was involved in a car crash as a result of reckless driving and that the Police found after a breath test that she had consumed alcohol over the permissible limit.

Crash, resistance and arrest

On top of that, she was reported to have resisted arrest, which is an offence in itself.

Mr Hipkins said that Police Commissioner Andrew Coster had advised him that Ms Allan was taken into custody at 10 pm on Sunday and was released at about 1 am today.

A Radio New Zealand Report quoted the Police as saying that Ms Allan was charged with careless use of a motor vehicle and refusing to accompany a Police Officer. The Police served an Infringement Notice on her for having excess breath alcohol between 250 mcg and 400 mcg.

Mr Hipkins said that the actions of Ms Allan were inexcusable and that he was informed that she was experiencing extreme mental stress at the time of the incident.

“My initial concerns last night were about her immediate safety and well-being. It appears that some of her personal struggles came to a head yesterday and were contributing factors in this incident,” he said.

Mr Hipkins said that he spoke to Ms Allan earlier this morning and advised her that he did not believe that she was in a fit state to hold a ministerial warrant.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins speaks about the Kiri Allan incident and her resignation this morning (Video Source: RNZ)

Allan resigns

“She expressed remorse and had already sent me a message just before that indicating that she intended to resign. She understood that retaining her ministerial warrant was untenable, especially for a Justice Minister to be charged with criminal offending,” he said.

Mr Hipkins said that he had recently provided Ms Allan with an 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 do not 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,” he said.

Mr Hipkins said that he will announce the reallocation of portfolios later today.

Political future

In a separate Statement, Ms Allan said that she was heading home and will consider her future in politics in light of the latest developments.

“Over recent weeks, I have faced a number of personal difficulties. I took time off to address those and believed that I was okay to juggle those challenges with the pressure of being a Minister. My actions yesterday show that I was not okay, and I have let myself and my colleagues down. I accept that my position as a Minister is untenable. I am very sorry for my actions, the harm they could have caused and the embarrassment it has placed on the government and my colleagues,” Ms Allan said in the Statement.

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