Griffin won’t voluntarily hand over Curran recording

After a weekend and a bit of pondering RNZ chairman Richard Griffin has advised that he won’t hand over a recording of a phone conversation between he and Clare Curran, despite acknowledging this is in breach of a select committee directive.

It’s hard to know whether he is staunch in protecting the recording, or is wanting the select committee to demand more strongly that it be handed over.

NZH: RNZ chairman Richard Griffin won’t hand over Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran’s voicemail

RNZ chairman Richard Griffin says he has no intention of handing over a voice message left on his mobile phone by Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran.

“No, I have no intention of handing it over, so I’m in breach of the select committee directive,” he told the Herald.

He declined to comment further, saying a letter outlining the reasons why had been sent to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Select Committee.

The committee had requested the voicemail and other communications between the Minister and Griffin following his and RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson’s appearance last week to correct the record over a meeting between RNZ’s former head of content Carol Hirschfeld and Curran.

Select committee chairman Jonathan Young said the committee would meet on Wednesday to review last week’s hearing.

He said a number of issues would be canvassed. Whether to ask Hirschfeld to appear would be discussed only if it was raised by a committee member.

National MP Melissa Lee, who has driven questions over the meeting, said she had not yet had a chance to review the committee documents so would not say whether she would raise the possibility of Hirschfeld appearing.

So this issue will get another airing after the select committee meeting tomorrow.

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10 Comments

  1. I suspect that Mr Griffin would prefer that the information was officially requested under the OIA,. The Cabinet manual says this on communications like that between a Minister and CEO:
    Official information” is defined in section 2 of the Act as any information held by a department or organisation (as defined, “organisation” includes most agencies in the wider state sector) or a Minister of the Crown (including a Parliamentary Under-Secretary) in his or her official capacity.
    and this:
    The definition of information is not confined to information on paper. Official information can include sound recordings, film, computer records, emails, text messages, and information known to a department, Minister, or organisation but not recorded in writing. Although an official or Minister could be required, under the Act, to write down information not yet in a written form, this is simply a means of making that existing information accessible to others. There is no obligation to form an opinion or create information in order to respond to a request.
    So if he has it, then it is discoverable. By doing it as an OIA request, it would clear him (at least in the public’s eyes) of the stupid allegations of bias or collusion that Labour members of the committee made.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 11, 2018

      So would publishing it, and it would save a lot of unnecessary hoohah over this boring issue.

      Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  April 10, 2018

    Boy, Griffin is certainly angry with Curran.
    And clever.

    Reply
  3. chrism56

     /  April 10, 2018

    I think he just wants it to be an OIA request. He was obviously very upset by the accusations of collusion/ bias from the Labour members of the committee. I think it will be an own goal by them.
    The Cabinet Manual says this:
    Official information” is defined in section 2 of the Act as any information held by a department or organisation (as defined, “organisation” includes most agencies in the wider state sector) or a Minister of the Crown (including a Parliamentary Under-Secretary) in his or her official capacity.
    and this:
    The definition of information is not confined to information on paper. Official information can include sound recordings, film, computer records, emails, text messages, and information known to a department, Minister, or organisation but not recorded in writing. Although an official or Minister could be required, under the Act, to write down information not yet in a written form, this is simply a means of making that existing information accessible to others. There is no obligation to form an opinion or create information in order to respond to a request.
    So it is discoverable, unless Ms Curran claims she wasn’t acting in an official capacity.

    Reply
  4. Reply
    • David

       /  April 11, 2018

      Be an interesting test for the partisan and arrogant Mallard particularly given his previous close relationship with Curran. He is very protective of Ardern in a quite paternalistic type of a way.

      Reply
  5. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  April 11, 2018

    Its over, Rover.
    Time to move on…. nothing to see

    RNZ matter at an end, says PM Jacinda Ardern: Little to be gained in forcing voicemail handover

    Reply
    • Missy

       /  April 11, 2018

      what happened to the Government being more open and transparent? It looks like she is hiding something and protecting Curran by saying it is over. She also looks like she is trying to indirectly direct a select committee. Not a good look for the PM.

      Reply

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