COMMENT:

History repeating itself - or karma?

Well for Clare Curran it was history but for her predecessor David Benson-Pope in the Dunedin South seat she holds it was karma.

There are a lot of similarities of the rise and fall of these two, it must be something in the Dunedin drinking water.

Advertisement

Benson-Pope was forced to resign after inconsistent statements he'd been making over a conflict of interest employment issue at the Environment Ministry that didn't gel with the steely Helen Clark.

Even before coming into Parliament Curran was at the centre of a conflict of interest at the same ministry, where she was employed as a consultant and had a close association to minister David Parker.

With Benson-Pope down in the dumps Curran struck, successfully challenging him for the nomination for his seat.

By the time he stepped down as a minister, Benson-Pope was a quivering wreck, having developed a nervous tick. By the time she resigned, Curran as Communications Minister, was incapable of communicating, with incomprehensible babble spilling out as she attempted to answer a straight forward question in Parliament.

Politics is a tough business but if you answer questions honestly and in good faith you generally survive relatively unscathed.

And that brings us to the Prime Minister. In answer to a question on Friday morning, whether she was considering cutting ties with Curran, or fire her, Jacinda Ardern said no, she believed the minister had paid the price.

Yeah well the night before she'd accepted her resignation and the perception left from her comment was that Curran was safe.

That doesn't reflect well on what was clearly obfuscation by Ardern - nor does this whole saga reflect well on her leadership. Curran committed what were two significant strikes, meeting secretly with people who sought to gain from her role in Government, she should have been fired after the first and after the second it was a no-brainer.

Her bumbling confession about her use of her private emails to conduct government business simply added to her unsuitability to hold ministerial warrants.

In his resignation statement Benson-Pope said he didn't want the controversy surrounding him to divert attention from the huge successes of the government.

Curran told Ardern the issues surrounding her were causing an unacceptable distraction for the Government.

Oh and there's something else these two have in common: attending the demise of them both was Clark's former chief spin doctor and now Ardern's chief of staff Mike Munro - who presumably travelled to Dunedin to make sure Curran was on message.