'Informal' Hirschfeld meeting was scheduled in Minister's diary for an hour

Clare Curran takes questions from media on Tuesday.
Clare Curran takes questions from media on Tuesday. Photo credit: Anna Bracewell-Worrall/Newshub.

Newshub has obtained a copy of embattled Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran's diary on the morning she met with outgoing Radio New Zealand news boss Carol Hirschfeld.

The diary reveals the meeting was scheduled for a full hour, and ran across time the Minister was supposed to be in an official Government meeting. 

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.

Ms Curran has maintained the controversial meeting was "informal", even though it was previously arranged. 

But her ministerial diary for that day, released to Newshub by her office, shows an entry signalling the meeting between the two was scheduled in for an entire hour. 

The Minister's diary for the morning of 5 December.
The Minister's diary for the morning of 5 December. Photo credit: Supplied

Unusually, Ms Hirschfeld is not named in the diary entry - instead she's referred to only by her initials. 

Other entries referring to meetings seem to contain the full name of the person the minister was meeting with, although surnames have been redacted under privacy provisions of the Official Information Act. 

As a result of Ms Hirschfeld'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."

Newshub.

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