19 Sep 2022

Robertson critical of National releasing Uffindell investigation findings on day of Queen's funeral

4:02 pm on 19 September 2022

It is disrespectful and cynical for National to release findings of the Uffindell investigation on the day of the Queen's funeral, Acting PM Grant Robertson says.

This afternoon the National Party confirmed it was reinstating Tauranga MP Sam Uffindell to its caucus after an investigation by Maria Dew KC was unable to corroborate allegations against him of bullying and violence while at Otago University.

Speaking to media after the weekly Cabinet meeting, Robertson said he thought it disrespectful and cynical for National to release the findings of the Uffindell investigation on the day of the Queen's funeral.

There were other ways of handling it, he said.

"The National Party need to defend the way that they've handled this and who knew what when ... we've got important business to be getting on with."

When the Labour Party had an issue with a staff member, there was an executive summary released and "you ... would be expecting the same thing from National".

Robertson also announced that a national minute of silence would be observed at the start of New Zealand's memorial service for the Queen next week.

The one-hour service will be held at Wellington's St Paul's Cathedral at 2pm on Monday, 26 September.

Only invited guests will be able to attend the service in person, but it will be livestreamed and broadcast on two large screens at Parliament grounds.

The day is also a one-off public holiday.

On the public holiday, Robertson said most New Zealanders were likely to take some time to reflect, but different New Zealanders would treat the day differently.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in London to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs