1 Feb 2009

Minister admits she should've told PM of letters

6:06 am on 1 February 2009

The Minister for Social Development and Employment has admitted she made a mistake in not telling her party leader about two letters she wrote on behalf of convicted gang member, Viliami Halaholo.

One letter was written to a sentencing judge, another to the parole board, while Paula Bennett was in Opposition.

Halolaho, who is in jail for causing grievous bodily harm, is the father of the minister's grandchild.

Ms Bennett says writing the letters was the best way to support her family but admits she was wrong in not telling the Prime Minister, John Key, about them when the matter became public last weekend.

She has apologised to him.

In a statement issued on Saturday afternoon, Mr Key said he was disappointed he was not told of the letters earlier and said he wants all of his Ministers to be upfront with him at all times.