Politics | Kiri Allan

Kiri Allan reveals she won’t stand in this year’s election

“For now, it’s time to step out of the arena.”

Kiri Allan will not be contesting this year’s election so she can heal and “chart a new course” for her life following her mental health struggles that led to her crashing her car in Wellington on Sunday.

In a social media post, Allan apologised to Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and to her party members for her actions.

“To the Prime Minister - I have undermined you and the trust you placed in me to do an important job for New Zealand. I cannot express the remorse I feel. I am so, so sorry,” she wrote.

“Second, to my colleagues and party members. I can’t describe how full of anger towards myself for letting you all down.”

“Many people have placed their trust and confidence in me as a political leader. I have failed all those that put their trust and confidence in me. I have let my electorate down, my party down, and all those that relied on me.”

She confirmed she would not contest the East Coast electorate she won in 2020, but did not rule out a return to politics.

“For now, it’s time to step out of the arena. Im not sure how long for, or if I’ll return, but my focus is now on trying to find a different kind of strength to serve our people and our place.”

Kiri Allan shares a heartfelt message. Credit: Instagram via Kiri Allan.

She also sent a message of gratitude to the people of the East Coast, thanking them for their support.

“I will continue to serve you as a MP until October and my offices are open with our arms wide open.

“I tried to dare greatly, my face marred by dust and sweat and blood and I hope that there were benefits for the people and places I represented by being in the arena.

“I erred, many times, and kept trying to battle for our people that needed the most.”

Allan resigned all her portfolios on Monday after being arrested by police overnight on Sunday.

She was charged with careless use of a motor vehicle and refusing to accompany a police officer, following a car crash in Wellington on Sunday night.

She was also issued an infringement notice for having excess breath alcohol between 250 and 400mcg.

Allan had openly struggled with mental health this year. She took mental health leave and returned from that leave only last week.

It comes after senior Cabinet Minister and Labour Māori caucus co-chair Willie Jackson said he does not think Kiri Allan should stand at the forthcoming election, saying she was not in a good place.

He added that Allan’s deterioration might not have occurred had he been in Wellington on Sunday night.

“She wasn’t good, she wasn’t good bro. If I’d been in Wellington it might not have happened. She rang me about six o’clock, four hours before it all went wrong,” Jackson said.

Jackson said he did not send anyone to be with Allan after their conversation, “because you can have a good kōrerō with her - start off in a crazy sort of mode and then end up falling over and laughing, you know, which is where we were at on Sunday.

“Then of course it all fell apart,” Jackson said.

Heading into Labour’s weekly caucus meeting, Jackson said Allan should not stand at the election, although it was ultimately Allan’s call.

“I don’t think she should stand at all. I think she needs to have a time out and come back another day.

“She needs to get out of here and get away from politics when you stay away from politics.”

Jackson said that both he and Prime Minister Chris Hipkins were unsure about Allan returning to work, but Allan was adamant she could return.

“The Prime Minister and them, they really didn’t want her to come back. They were really worried, but my view was well, she seemed to be 100 per cent on form.

“We were all not so sure about her coming back to work, but she was adamant, she wanted to come back - she was very clear.

“There was respect for her in terms of coming back. You know, we all had our doubts but in the end she made it clear she wanted to come back.”

Jackson said Allan performed brilliantly in her week back.

“She came back, she performed, she was fantastic. We had a lot of laughs and then she went down again.

“She’s passionate, she’s, she’s a beautiful person Kiri but she’s just, she’s sick and, and she needs that support.”

Hipkins said on Tuesday that Allan would not serve as a minister again.

“I think given everything that has happened and particularly the offending over the weekend was serious and should be taken seriously.”

Hipkins said MPs grappling with mental health got second chances but that the circumstances of Allan’s situation made a return untenable.

“There are other issues involved including potential criminal offending.”

Former National leader Todd Muller who has been open about the toll mental health can take on politicians said that the question of a second chance was one for Labour.

“But certainly in my life - actually beyond just the mental health challenges - I’ve had a number of second chances in my life and, I suspect you all have too.

“What people look for I think is integrity that you are open about what you’ve done and not done and how you seek to improve yourself day by day,” he said.

Muller said he got on well with Allan personally.

“I have a lot of time for Kiri personally - whether this is a path for her in the future that’s up to her.

“I just hope she’s surrounded by love and can heal because this takes time.”