Hirschfeld resignation: Clare Curran to stay on as minister

Clare Curran takes questions on Carol Hirschfeld's resignation.
Clare Curran takes questions on Carol Hirschfeld's resignation. Photo credit: Anna Bracewell-Worrall/Newshub.

Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran will not be following in Carol Hirschfeld's footsteps and resigning, following a controversial meeting between the two. 

Ms Hirschfeld resigned after management at RNZ said she'd misled them about the nature of the meeting for almost four months. Ms Hirschfeld had told management the meeting was a coincidence, before admitting on Sunday it was pre-arranged.

As a result of Ms Hischfeld's insistence the meeting came after they bumped into each other at a cafe, RNZ's chief executive Paul Thompson unintentionally misled Parliament.

Ms Curran said her staff "twice contacted RNZ to correct that".

RNZ protocol would have meetings between the broadcaster and Ministers arranged through the chair or chief executive.

In Parliament on Tuesday, Ms Curran said it's a "huge shame" that RNZ lost Ms Hirschfeld, "a respected, talented and long-serving broadcaster."

But Ms Curran defended her own conduct during what she called an "informal catch up over breakfast."

"At no time have I ever said the meeting was coincidental. 

"While I believe the meeting was not official and informal, as soon as I became aware that it should have been considered an official meeting in answer to a written question, I corrected the Parliamentary record. This was a mistake. 

"The meeting was not a secret, and I regret that the meeting took place."

Opposition leader Simon Bridges said Ms Curran has been misleading about the nature of the meeting. He said it wasn't informal.

"There's serious questions here and I want to get to the bottom of it," he said.

Newshub.

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