Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran must be much more transparent about her relationship with public broadcaster Radio New Zealand, National Party Broadcasting Spokesperson Melissa Lee says.
“Twice now we have the Government being less than open about their dealings with the company,” Ms Lee says.
“First last week, Clare Curran was caught red-faced attempting to hide a one-on-one meeting with RNZ Head of Content Carol Hirschfield by claiming it was a casual breakfast.
“And today we’ve learnt an employee of the Prime Minister’s Office promoted Government policy while participating in an opinion segment on National Radio but only described herself as a public relations consultant from a private company she no longer works at.
“The political independence of Radio New Zealand is paramount to its role as a public broadcaster. These events call into question the Minister’s ability to perform her Ministerial duties effectively.
“These events are another two strikes against both the Prime Minister’s and Clare Curran’s commitment to open and transparent Government in her Associate State Services (Open Government) delegations.
“Radio New Zealand operates in a competitive media environment. Both the company and its competitors must be confident there is nothing going on with the Minister in charge of the sector that could screw the scrum in a particular direction.
“Belatedly Clare Curran has now corrected the record about her meetings with Radio New Zealand. The Prime Minister needs to follow suit and apologise for the way her staffer represented herself.
“The Government is in danger of having its highly vocal commitment to open and transparent Government being seen for what it actually is – just another bunch of platitudes and hot air.”