The National Party leader released a statement claiming Mahuta’s actions show the PM has ‘lost control’ of Cabinet.
The full text of Chris Luxon’s press statement reads:
‘Nanaia Mahuta’s open defiance of Cabinet rules shows PM Jacinda Ardern has lost control of her Cabinet.
‘Cabinet agreed on May 30 that the [Water Services Entities] Bill should not entrench the privatisation provisions. Despite ruling out entrenchment of any form or threshold, Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta openly defied the PM and forcefully backed the entrenchment clause in the House two weeks ago.
‘In that speech, Ms. Mahuta led the charge for the government, claiming a ‘moral obligation’ of those opposed to privatisation to support entrenchment of the provision. Labour then unanimously voted for it.
‘But Cabinet opposed any form or threshold of entrenchment, not just one requiring 75% support. Therefore, the Minister’s claim her efforts to entrench aspects of the Bill with a 60% threshold is somehow different, is nonsense.
‘The Cabient Manual is clear: It says ‘once Cabinet makes a decision, Ministers must support it, regardless of their personal views.’ Yet, despite breaching the Cabinet Manual and openly defying her colleagues and the PM, Ms Mahuta remains a Minister.
‘Three Waters is a debacle. Not only is the government confiscating assets from community ownership, but in an effort to rush it through [under] urgency, the responseible Minister tried to sneak in unconstitutional and undemocratic entrenchment provisions against Cabinet guidelines.
‘For a Minister to openly defy a Cabinet decision, shows that the PM has lost control of her Cabinet.
‘It’s time for Jacinda Ardern to show some leadership, hold Ms Mahuta accountable, and sack her.’
The Prime Minister is yet to respond.