Text messages between Carol Hirschfeld, Clare Curran

Text messages between Carol Hirschfeld, Clare Curran

Clare Curran says she has no intention of resigning as Broadcasting Minister, in the wake of the controversy of her meeting with the former RNZ head of news Carol Hirschfeld.

And she says that calling it an unofficial, informal meeting was wrong, and it may have been naive to have it in the first place.

"I think I've been really, really open about what happened, how it happened, I've just released the texts between myself and Ms Hirschfeld".

She said Ms Curran had said she should have acknowledged the meeting occurred, when asked in Parliament.

Ms Ardern said she had full confidence in Ms Curran.

However, she said on Tuesday that it was a mistake to omit the meeting.

She said her office contacted RNZ immediately to correct Ms Hirschfeld.

On Sunday, Ms Hirschfeld admitted the meeting was pre-planned, leading to her resignation yesterday.

"It was a high-level discussion about the state of the media in New Zealand".

Asked if it was naive, she said: "It may have been naive, but I was unaware of that".

She rejected any suggestion it was a clandestine meeting.

She said it was a shame that Hirshfeld had quit over the matter.

Curran's office had contacted RNZ after Griffin and Thompson defended Hirschfeld's version of events at a select committee to correct them, and left it for them to deal with.

She had told them it was a chance encounter, but the state broadcaster received evidence that proved otherwise.

December 5: Media commentator John Drinnan blogs about the meeting, saying any discussions about the future of RNZ should be with board chairman Richard Griffin or chief executive Paul Thompson. She reassured them it was a chance meeting.

He says the issue was compounded by Hirschfeld maintaining an incorrect version of events for nearly four months.

The NZ Herald reports that National MP Melissa Lee revealed that Mr Griffin told her beforehand about the impending resignation before it was tendered by Ms Hirschfeld yesterday.

Griffin described the saga is disappointing for the whole company.

Lee is the one who has led the charge for transparency around the meeting between Curran and Hirschfeld.

"I think we do need to understand why it is exactly that Carol Hirschfeld has resigned, and what that means for Clare Curran".

Lee asked Radio NZ chief executive Paul Thompson about it at a select committee and Thompson said it had been a chance encounter between the pair. "She is a well-respected journalist, and it was never about her", Lee told RNZ.

"As I say, in a flawless world I would look to better timing, in fact that sort of circumstances won't happen again", he said at the time.

Griffin also told the select committee the meeting was not scheduled.

RNZ head of news and digital Glen Scanlon will take over her responsibilities in the interim.

The meeting attracted political criticism from National, as it was not included in the minister's diary.

RNZ management questioned Ms Hirschfeld about the matter again.

Curran was defending excluding the meeting in her answer to a Parliamentary written question as recently as February 20 during Question Time in the House.

Ms Curran has come under pressure after initially failing to disclose the breakfast meeting in response to parliamentary questions last December.

December 7: National MP and broadcasting spokeswoman Melissa Lee asks Ms Curran for a list of meetings with RNZ staff since December 1.

Curran eventually responded: "Because I didn't perceive it as an official meeting".

It also broke RNZ protocol and the chain of command between the minister and the public broadcaster.



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