18 Sep 2018

Govt told to front up with personal emails between Curran and Handley

6:03 pm on 18 September 2018

The Speaker of the House has told the government to front up with personal emails between former minister Clare Curran and technology entrepreneur Derek Handley.

Screengrab of Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran speaking to media outside ASB Waterfont Theatre on 28/03/2018

Clare Curran resigned as a minister earlier this month after being unable to answer questions about what official work she had carried out on her personal email. Photo: RNZ

Ms Curran was stripped of the Government Digital Services role after it was revealed she used personal emails and did not properly record a meeting with Mr Handley, who was applying for the Chief Technology Officer role.

National MP Nick Smith has repeatedly asked State Services Minister Chris Hipkins how many emails there were between Ms Curran and Mr Handley and the contents of them.

Trevor Mallard said it would be good for transparency for Mr Hipkins to bring the emails to the House.

"Then it should not be beyond the wit of the various people within the State Services Commission to sort out the relevant emails and to have them available for a fuller and more transparent explanation in the House tomorrow."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has revealed she received a text message from Derek Handley about the Chief Technology Officer role but she said she did not respond to it.

"My best recollection is that I received some months ago a text from Mr Handley mentioning the CTO which I do not recall directly engaging with as that would not have been appropriate."

Mr Handley was offered the role of the country's first Chief Technology Officer, but will now be paid out $100,000 after the offer was retracted by the government.