The New Zealand justice minister resigned after being charged in a car accident. Chris Hipkins, the prime minister of New Zealand, announced on Monday that Kiri Allan, the country’s justice minister, has resigned after being charged with criminal offenses following a car accident.
Allan was involved in a car accident on Evans Bay Parade in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, on Sunday evening, according to Hipkins, who added that she was brought into custody and released at 1:00 a.m. local time on Monday.
Hipkins stated that the New Zealand Police charged Allan with “careless use of a motor vehicle and refusing to accompany a police officer” and issued an infringement notice for excessive breath alcohol. The police issued a statement confirming the accusations.
Allan stated on Monday that she had “faced many personal difficulties” recently.
She said, “I took time off to address these issues and believed I could balance them with the pressure of being a minister.” “Yesterday’s behavior demonstrates that I was not okay, and I have let myself and my coworkers down.”
Allan, among the contenders to succeed former Prime Minister Jacinda Arden, who resigned in February, stated that she was “heading home and will be taking time to consider my political future.”
In a Monday press conference, Hipkins stated, “While her actions are inexcusable, I was informed that she was experiencing extreme emotional distress at the time of the incident.”
“Last night, my initial concern was her immediate protection and well-being. It appears that some of her difficulties reached a climax yesterday and contributed to this incident.”
Allan has previously discussed her mental health and taken leave from her position, posting on social media last month that she “hit a wall a few weeks ago” after struggling with “personal circumstances, as well as other external things – even things like the cyclones having such a significant impact on our entire region.”
Reuters reports that Allan is the fourth minister to resign from the center-left Labour government since March, as the national election contest tightens three months before election day.
Following Allan’s resignation, Ginny Andersen will become minister of justice, while Kieran McAnulty will assume her responsibilities as minister of regional development. Grant Robertson will coordinate the response to February’s Cyclone Gabrielle, which devastated New Zealand.