RNZ meeting 'should never have happened' - expert

Drive 27/03/2018
Photo: Newshub.

Carol Hirschfeld has resigned as a senior manager at Radio New Zealand (RNZ) after misleading management about a controversial meeting with Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran, RNZ says.

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."

To look into why this indiscretion is an issue Ryan Bridge and Lisa Owen speak to Andrew Geddis, Department of Law, Otago University and National Broadcasting spokesperson Melissa Lee.

Listen to both interviews in full above.

Drive with Ryan Bridge and Lisa Owen, 3pm - 6pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.