Barry Matthews' future as head of Corrections is in serious question, after his Minister Judith Collins pointedly refused to express confidence in him yesterday.
Ms Collins' reluctance to back her departmental chief executive came after what she called a "damning" report from the Auditor-General raised concerns that the public's safety was at risk because of
its failure to monitor paroled offenders.
Ms Collins would say only: "I have confidence Mr Matthews understands exactly just how seriously I am viewing this issue."
Ms Collins' blunt criticism of the department and her refusal to back Mr Matthews means their working relationship is at an end, and will give his employer, the State Services Commission, little choice but to remove him.