The Opposition has shown a rare sign of support for embattled minister Stuart Nash after his resignation as Police Minister.
It’s been revealed the Solicitor-General considered prosecuting Nash over comments made on the radio about the legal process for the killer of police officer Matthew Hunt in 2020.
Nash wasn’t prosecuted in the end, but rather given a telling-off by Attorney-General David Parker.
Despite this, Nash was later reinstated as Police Minister just 45 days ago – a position he lost again this week after revelations he called the country’s top cop Andrew Coster urging them to appeal a court decision.
Newshub understands Prime Minister Chris Hipkins didn’t know about the 2020 rebuke when he reappointed Nash to the police portfolio.
While the Opposition has called for Nash to now be stripped of all his portfolios, National MP Erica Stanford has also sympathised with the embattled minister – saying he made a bad call that came from a good place.
“You have to feel a little bit sorry for Nash,” she told AM host Ryan Bridge.
“Clearly, and no one disagrees, he did the wrong thing but you could see he was clearly frustrated and actually reading the room.
“You’ve got to feel sorry for a Minister of Police in a Government that’s soft on crime.”
Nash on Thursday was confident he wasn’t going to be removed from Cabinet altogether.
Referring to incident where he called Coster, Nash said Hipkins “made it very clear to me if I stuff up like this again then I’m gone”.
“I will work incredibly hard to build back the trust of the Prime Minister and the country and people will judge me on that.”
Hipkins has defended his decision to not strip Nash of all his portfolios, saying his response was “proportionate”.