The Prime Minister’s got a call to make on Kiri Allan, which is to back or cut her.
And if history is anything to go by, he's going to make the wrong call, because he’s already made this call twice before and got it wrong.
The first time with Stuart Nash, he backed him. Then more stuff came out and he had to get rid of him.
The second time with Michael Wood- he backed him, and then more stuff came out and he had to go.
And so if history is the best predictor of the future, the same thing’s about to happen with Kiri Allan.
He's going to back Kiri, and then more stuff is going to come out and she’ll be gone.
Kiri Allan’s already been in trouble a couple of times recently. There was the Meng Foon conflict of interest, and then the inappropriate speech given at her then-fiancé’s leaving do at Radio New Zealand.
And now we’ve got these allegations we’re dealing with right now about her behaviour and conduct towards staff.
It is well-known around Wellington that staff have found her very difficult to work with. And the fact that the heads of not one, but three Government departments raised concerns about her should be setting off alarm bells.
Because these guys are senior public servants. They have reasonably thick skins from dealing with difficult ministers for years. They don't complain lightly.
It takes a fair bit to tip one over, let alone three.
And it’s also known that media and opposition politicians are already digging around about Kiri, because they’ve heard that staff found her difficult.
Based on that, Kiri Allan is a liability for Labour in an election year.
The call Hipkins has to make now is- does he tough it out through to October and hope nothing else about Kiri comes out?
Or does he pull off the band aid right now and hope there’s enough time for voters to forget all of these ministerial shambles by October, when they have to choose which of the two parties can do a better job of running Government.
As I say, Hipkins has made the wrong call twice already. I reckon he’ll do it again.
Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show.
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