Allan is the Minister for Justice and Minister for Regional Development.
Speaking at a function at state propaganda unit RNZ to farewell her partner Mani Dunlop, Allan criticised the organisation for its culture and treatment of Maori staff. According to media reports the comments were prefaced by a disclaimer they were made ‘off the record’ and in Allan’s capacity as Dunlop’s partner.
Dunlop had been at RNZ for 11 years where she had most recently presented the Midday Report. She resigned after missing out on the chance to present the station’s ‘flagship’ programme, the Morning Report.
The Cabinet Manual states:
‘ministers must conduct themselves at all times in the knowledge that their role is a public one,’ and must ‘exercise a professional approach and good judgement in their interactions with the public and officials, and in all their communications, personal and professional.’
Section 13 of the Radio New Zealand Act 1995 says, ‘no responsible Minister or any other Minister… may give direction to the public radio company in respect of a “a particular programme or a particular allegation or a particular complaint.’
Allan issued an apology by public statement today she said she spoke in her ‘personal capacity, ;but I absolutely acknowledge and accept that I am a senior government minister, and as such that “there is not such a delineation in terms of public perception While I don’t have ministerial responsibility for the Media and Broadcasting portfolio, I sincerely apologise if any of my comments or reflections said at Māni’s farewell made any person feel uncomfortable.
‘On reflection, I also accept that it could have been interpreted as me telling RNZ how to manage their staff or company. That was not my intent and it is certainly not my job.
‘My sole intention was to speak on behalf of Māni’s family.
Allan has apologised to Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, with the PM’s Office issuing a statement saying, ‘in this instance it would have been better if Kiri, given her ministerial position, had chosen not to take the opportunity to speak.’