A former press secretary for John Key says Jacinda Ardern's decision to drop her weekly interview slot with Mike Hosking's Newstalk ZB radio show is a "real missed opportunity".
Former Prime Minister John Key's chief press secretary Sia Aston says Ardern's job is a privilege, and also a duty.
"Prime Ministers have a huge expectation on them to be available to a broad range of media interviews on top of their daily job," Aston tells Magic Talk's Ryan Bridge on Monday.
"There's no question that we ask a lot of them but you know, that job is a privilege, it's also a duty."
The current Prime Minister has come under fire for cancelling her weekly slot on Hosking's radio show, with National leader Judith Collins describing it as "arrogant".
ACT leader David Seymour also lashed out, accusing Ardern of not liking "hard questions".
Aston, who resigned from her role as Key's chief press secretary in 2016, says it's disappointing not just for Hosking, but for his audience.
"It's a real missed opportunity," she says.
"And the main point here is that it's not about the interviewer, it's not about Hosking, whatever people think of him, it's actually about the audience.
"And that's a key thing that is being missed here, is that there's a huge audience to lose and you've just got to be very careful that you respect the audiences that you are ultimately trying to communicate with."
As a former press secretary, Aston says it's a no-brainer that the Prime Minister should front-up to the media.
"I mean most people, particularly political tragics like myself, this is what we have come to expect and know that Prime Ministers for years and years have fronted up every Monday morning and done this round of media," she says.
"[It] was just a no-brainer. We may have changed the timings occasionally to suit logistics but we would never - I would never have considered pulling out."
Aston adds: "But as I say, I don't know the thinking behind this decision."