Curran chaos continues – RNZ chair refuses to handover voicemail

The Clare Curran fiasco enters its fourth week now.

The NZ Herald reports that Richard Griffin won’t hand over the voicemail from Curran: Quote.

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 about advice she gave him.

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. End of quote.


Richard Griffin is now probably in contempt of parliament. Parliament’s website describes contempt:

The House based its general definition of contempt on Erskine May, which is the authoritative treatise on parliamentary law and practice in the United Kingdom.? The House may treat as a contempt:[13]

? any act or omission which?

(a) obstructs or impedes the House in the performance of its functions, or

(b) obstructs or impedes any member or officer of the House in the discharge of the member?s or officer?s duty, or

(c) has a tendency, directly or indirectly, to produce such a result.

This definition refers expressly to the House, members and officers; but contempt may also embrace conduct involving other persons, such as witnesses before select committees and persons who petition the House, or strangers who obstruct or impede the House in discharging its functions. An action that produces, or tends to produce, this result may constitute a contempt of Parliament.?End of quote.

Instead of the story dying quietly it seems it is destined to continue to debilitate the government. Jacinda Ardern should have sacked Curran weeks ago. If she had then these shenanigans would have stopped. She only has herself to blame for acting like a wimp.