The New Zealand Herald

Griffin defiant on voice message

- — Lucy Bennett

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.

The voicemail on Griffin’s phone is central to determinin­g whose account, Curran’s or Griffin’s, is correct.

The recording either reveals Curran tried to persuade Griffin not to appear, as he has suggested, or that she was passing on advice that he need not appear in person if he was not able and a letter would suffice.

Hirschfeld was forced to resign after repeatedly lying to her bosses over a meeting she had with Curran in December. She had said it was a chance encounter but Curran later said it had been diarised.

The pair met at Wellington’s Astoria cafe but the substance of what they discussed has not been revealed.

Select committee chairman Jonathan Young said the committee would meet on Wednesday to review last week’s hearing. Whether to ask Hirschfeld to appear would be discussed if it was raised by a member.

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