The New Zealand Herald

Hosking doesn’t want PM on show

Newstalk ZB’s Soper, however, has challenged Hosking

- Belinda Feek and Ben Leahy

Radio host Mike Hosking has told his audience he doesn’t want Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern back on his breakfast show and asked if it would be better “not having her on”.

The Newstalk ZB radio host made the comments yesterday morning after speaking to Ardern live about the transtasma­n bubble. Ardern has already cancelled a weekly slot on Hosking’s show, a move that Hosking said showed Ardern was “running for the hills” and lacking in backbone.

The station’s political editor, Barry Soper, weighed in, saying Hosking was walking away from his responsibi­lity of holding leaders to account.

Hosking said on air yesterday that while he didn’t want her back on the show, “management and production argue she should come back on a periodic basis”. He expressed frustratio­n with yesterday’s interview and said he felt Ardern “didn’t want to be here” and that “are we not better on this programme . . . not having her on the show?”

“Give us the feedback,” he said to listeners.

Ardern last month scrapped her long-standing weekly appearance on Hosking’s show. At the time she said the decision was a month in the making.

Although the regular weekly slot was canned, Ardern said she, alongside her ministers, would continue to appear on the show “as and when issues arise”.

Yesterday a spokespers­on for the Prime Minister said Ardern happily accepted an invitation to appear on the show yesterday morning and that she considers any subsequent issues to be a matter for NMZE, the parent company of Newstalk ZB and the New Zealand Herald.

Yesterday’s interview featured some tense exchanges and after it ended Hosking erupted in laughter.

“We’re involved in this discussion at the moment,” he said to listeners.

“I don’t want her back on the programme and your feedback appears to back that up. If she didn’t want to appear on this programme that’s fine, that’s her issue, her pre

She didn’t want to be here, she doesn’t add anything when she is here.

rogative, and she can own that but she doesn’t come back. She doesn’t get to pop up every now and again when the news comes out in the form of a bubble. Now, to be fair to her, we did ask, and that’s the production’s side of this programme and she said she would so we’re now in discussion­s — I don’t want her back.”

Hosking said producers and management had wanted Ardern to reappear on a “periodic basis” when there was “big news, big headlines”.

“But then I look at what’s just happened, did she answer the questions to your satisfacti­on, did we raise some reasonably salient points, did we demand some accountabi­lity and not get any, yet again?” he asked listeners.

“So the over-arching question I would ask, are we not better on this programme, you and I collective­ly, not having her on the show? She didn’t want to be here, she doesn’t add anything when she is here, so who’s the winner and who’s the loser, that I guess is up to you.”

Hosking also earlier took a shot at other journalist­s after the PM announced last month she wouldn’t be coming on his show regularly by accusing some of being “compliant” and asking her “softball” questions. But Soper yesterday fired back. He said Hosking was arguing that he was the only one willing to ask tough questions to the PM and yet he was now walking away from that responsibi­lity to keep her accountabl­e.

“I’d say to Mike, you can’t have it both ways — accusing the media of not asking the right questions and being asleep at the wheel when you don’t even plan to take the wheel yourself.

“You are going to turn down the opportunit­y to ask questions that you clearly consider are the right ones.”

Hosking, meanwhile, declared that early feedback was firmly behind his belief the PM shouldn’t come on his show based on a selection of texts he read out on air.

“Our Prime Minister lives in a fantasy world,” said one listener.

“Oh my God, how can you stand it? How patronisin­g is this woman,” wrote another.

Comments on a story on the Herald’s website were mixed. “Mike’s looking very foolish maintainin­g his negative attitude, it’s a turn off,” said one reader, while another said, “Mike could always stand for government and shows us how its all done. Always easier to be a critic than put ones hand up to do the job.”

An NZME spokesman said company had no comment.

Mike Hosking, radio host


 ?? Photo / Michael Craig ?? Mike Hosking and Jacinda Ardern have clashed on air in the past.
Photo / Michael Craig Mike Hosking and Jacinda Ardern have clashed on air in the past.

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