Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has dismissed Iain Lees-Galloway as a Minister over an affair he had with a former staffer who worked in an agency he oversaw.
Ardern said the relationship was consensual, lasted for a year and ended several months ago.
She said it was “untenable” for Lees-Galloway to remain an MP - specifically to keep his Workplace Relations and Safety role.
Ardern said he inappropriately used his office to sustain a relationship.
She received an email with allegations about the relationship from a third party - not the woman involved - on Tuesday.
The person initially raised the issue with Opposition Leader Judith Collins, who told them to get in touch with the Prime Minister's office.
Collins told media in interviews on Wednesday morning that she had received correspondence related to a Labour Party Minister.
The saga comes in the wake of National MP Andrew Falloon resigning over it coming to light he sent unsolicited pornographic images to women.
Andrew Little will take Lees-Galloway's Workplace Relations and Safety portfolio, Kris Faafoi will take his Immigration portfolio and Carmel Sepuloni his ACC portfolio.
Ardern said the relationship hadn't seen taxpayer funds misappropriated.
Lees-Galloway won't seek re-election, but will remain an MP until the election.
Here is a statement from Lees-Galloway:
I accept the Prime Minister’s decision and apologise absolutely.
I have acted completely inappropriately in my position and can not continue as a Minister.
I have apologised to my family for letting them down. Please appreciate their privacy.
I also apologise to anyone who has been hurt by my actions.
Here is a statement from Ardern:
This morning I am announcing that I have dismissed Minister Iain Lees Galloway as a Minister.
Yesterday afternoon the leader of the opposition advised me of an email she had received that related to Iain Lees Galloway. She conveyed to me that she had asked the individual to relay anything directly to my office.
No other details were provided to me.
My Chief of Staff subsequently contacted the Leader of the Opposition’s office to pass on contact information, should that be required by the correspondent. At around 3pm my office received an email directly from a third party alleging that the Minister had an inappropriate relationship with a former staffer who worked in one of his agencies.
This was the first time that I had heard such allegations.
At around 545pm last night I sat down with the Minister and put a range of questions and allegations to him. He confirmed that a consensual relationship had occurred, that it involved someone who had previously worked in his office and had been based in one of his agencies
I want to be clear up front, I wish to protect the identity of the person so will avoid providing any details over and above those necessary to explain my decision that may reveal who they are. I request that the media and other politicians respect this.
Over the course of the conversation with the Minister, it became clear to me that his position as a Minister was untenable. I advised him of that at the time.
The Minister has shown a lack of judgment over a period of 12 months.
In undertaking this relationship he has opened himself up to accusations of improperly using his office.
He has not modelled the behaviour I expect as a Minister that is in charge of setting a standard and culture in work places.
His actions have led me to lose my confidence in him as a Minister.
The Minister takes full responsibility for his actions and accepts my decision. He has also decided not to stand at the next election.
Carmel Sepuloni will become the Minister for ACC, Andrew Little will become the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety and Kris Faafoi will become Minister for Immigration.
My final comment is this. Politics is a place where we do need to maintain standards, and politicians should pay the price for mistakes, their families should not. I do ask that we try and maintain that distinction.