Wellington, January 18, 2019
Kiwibuild Head Stephen Barclay has officially resigned from the role.
Stephen Barclay Photo for RNZ by Patrick O’Meara
In a statement issued on his behalf, it was announced that he would step down from today (Friday, January 18, 2019)
Housing Minister Phil Twyford’s office said that he would not be commenting on Mr Barclay’s resignation as it was an employment matter.
Last month, Mr Twyford confirmed that Mr Barclay had not been at work for a number of weeks.
RNZ understands that Mr Barclay’s absence arose from an employment dispute following the KiwiBuild unit’s transfer to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. But the Minister did not go into further details.
At the time the Ministry issued a statement saying that Mr Barclay had not quit, despite speculation.
The National Party says that the government owes the public an explanation following the announcement.
National Party’s demand
National’s Housing spokesperson Judith Collins said Mr Twyford had some explaining to do.
“He needs to front up and tell us what has gone on, how much has it cost us, how long is the contract and has been paid out till the end of his contract,” she said.
Mr Barclay was employed to do a job, or he was employed to not do a job, Ms Collins said.
“If he was employed to do a job then that tells me that either someone’s else way doing it or else no-one’s leading KiwiBuild, which has already shown itself to be a much more difficult beast than Phil Twyford, or the government seem to anticipate,” she said.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has previously said the matter is operational and was “nothing to do with the KiwiBuild policy, or the implementation of the KiwiBuild programme.”
The issue was an “unwelcome distraction,” Mr Twyford previously said, and would not affect the rollout of Kiwibuild.
Brad Ward had been assisting Kiwibuild with operational support while Mr Barclay was away.
He is a member of the senior leadership team at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
Indian Newslink has published the above Report and Picture under a Special Arrangement with www.rnz.co.nz