28 Mar 2018

Broadcasting minister apologises over Hirschfeld meet

5:08 pm on 28 March 2018

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has received an apology from the broadcasting minister for initially failing to disclose a meeting with former RNZ head of news Carol Hirschfeld, she says.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Ms Hirschfeld resigned yesterday after repeatedly misleading the RNZ chief executive about the nature of the meeting, which she had said was a chance encounter.

RNZ staff are expected to maintain the broadcaster's independence and avoid private talks with politicians.

Broadcasting Minsiter Clare Curran yesterday had to correct a response to a parliamentary question, in which she did not initially declare the meeting, believing it to be of an "informal" nature.

The minister said she saw no reason to resign as Broadcasting Minister.

Ms Ardern said she had received an apology from Ms Curran "for the lack of transparency from the very beginning around the fact that the meeting occurred, and the fact that it was not included in that initial written question.

"It should have been, there is no question of that. The minister acknowledges that and has apologised.

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