National pissed off: Labour is nicking John Key’s dodginess!




A meeting between Broadcasting Minister, Clare Curran and Radio NZ’s Carol Hirschfeld at a Wellington cafe has put the scent of blood into National’s collective nostrils. Ms Curran had insisted that the meeting was informal;


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Ms  Curran has rejected claims that her meeting with Ms Hirschfeld was a secret meeting;

“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.”

National’s caretaker Little Leader, Simon Bridges, is braying for blood;

“We need to get to the bottom of what’s happened here but it seems very serious if Carol Hirschfeld has resigned and we need to understand what this means in relation to Clare Curran.”

The critical problem apparently lies with the fact that Ms Hirschfeld kept the meeting secret from Radio NZ’s hierarchy, initially claiming that her cafe meet-up was a “chance encounter”.  In response to a question from a National Party MP,    Radio NZ’s chief executive, Paul Thompson, informed a select committee;

“Carol had been to the gym, she was getting a coffee, they bumped into each other, in a cafe and had a conversation so it was hardly a secret meeting. I don’t have any concern.”

For a supposedly “secret” meeting, a cafe rendezvous seemed to lack most of the necessary ingredients for  a covert political operation.

Perhaps Simon Bridges is aggrieved that Labour has lifted one of it’s own strategies and attempted to use it themselves. When it came to “informal meetings”, National’s former Dear Leader, John Key, was quite the expert.

In 2011, Key met with Mediaworks’ former CEO, Brent Impey at a “social event”;



Note that at first, Key denied meeting any representatives with Mediaworks. Two days later, he was forced to concede “running into” Impey at a “social event”. The issue of a government bail-out of Mediaworks was “briefly raised”.

The following year, Key had another supposedly chance encounter with a corporate head hustling for a lucrative government deal;



A year later,  it was revealed that Key was at it again, with another of his “informal meetings” – this time with old school friend, Ian Fletcher;



As we recall, Fletcher was later appointed as the head of the GCSB.

But according to Key, the vacancy at the Government Communications Security Bureau was “not discussed”. Of course it wasn’t. Fletcher’s appointment three months later was a pure coincidence – right?

When it comes to dodgy deals done behind closed doors – or at “informal” events – nobody does it better that National.

And nobody weaseled out of being caught conducting secret informal “chance meetings” better than our own Teflon Don, whom Simon Bridges considered his hero;



As fellow blogger, Martyn Bradbury said succinctly on this issue;

“The media focus on the insignificant and judge the Left at a threshold far higher than they ever held National to account.”

Labour will have to make more of an effort to avoid these prat-falls. Because unfortunately, Key used up the country’s entire supply of teflon for himself during his leadership tenure with all his personal, Party, and ministerial scandals.

Of which there were many.





Mediaworks:  Hirschfeld resignation – Clare Curran to stay on as Minister

Maori Television:  RNZ’s Carol Hirschfeld resigns

Newstalk ZB:  Hirschfeld to resign immediately after Curran meeting saga

TVNZ:  Prime Minister defends loan to MediaWorks

NZ Herald:  SkyCity deal was PM’s own offer

Fairfax Media:  Key met spy candidate for breakfast

Beehive:  New GCSB Director appointed

NZ Herald:  ‘Jokiness and blokiness’ – How Bridges is emulating John Key


Radio NZ:  Carol Hirschfeld resigns over meeting minister – ‘There are serious questions here’

Radio NZ:  Curran on Hirschfeld’s resignation: ‘It was not a secret meeting’

Other Blogs

The Daily Blog:  Blind Alpacas vs war crime double standards – Hey look, what Curran did wasn’t great, but what’s worse is what the Former Attorney General did

The Standard:  An Orwellian Minister for Open Government

Previous related blogposts

Doing ‘the business’ with John Key – Here’s How

Doing ‘the business’ with John Key – Here’s How (Part # Rua)

Doing ‘the business’ with John Key – Here’s How (Part # Toru)






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  1. You have to hand it to Key he was the Master and when the NZ lame stream media asked questions it was water off a duck’s back ?

    This organised CC/CH coffee meeting/chat is a non-event, not a big deal ?

    This is PC gone mad ?

    If I was Minister of Broadcasting I would be having meetings with the janitor at RNZ to find out what was going on ?

    Something has definitely got up Griffen’s nose ?

    • First of a round of applause to Frank Mackasy for another fine blog on this very important topic. Bravo.

      So people still need dirty politics explained to them. Metiria is like this wiki now and everything else is like speculation or hyperbole that male right wing men in particular don’t commit fraud or wanked. But the thing is dirty politics derives its impact from how the public perceives the weaknesses of another or when we see through our animal eyes a vulnerable person struggling on TV. So on the Savannah a lion sees through its animal eyes a vulnerable calf and moves in on the kill while the pride of lions cheers as they watch on through a TV. And it’s like Metiria struggles on against media incursions over $50 thousand overplayed accommodation allowance and Winston just casually pays back about the same amount and yet you know Winston went on to choose there partner in government. Yet the sums of money is roughly equivalent. That should tell you Winston should receive ten times more media attention right…

      Even though we’ve got chronic under funding of the health system, or a $100 million funding boost to our spy’s so they can spy on us, does that mean Metiria is more fraudulent and deserves more media attention? No.

      And now attention is focused on Carol Hersfield and Clair Curran who has barley even spent there weekly salary. It really, really just makes you face palm and go what the fuck is up with this community.

      I mean obviously Curran and Hersfield would deserve such massive media attention IF they had blown hundreds of millions of dollars but they didn’t.

      People really do take bloggers and pundits opinions seriously. But it doesn’t mean that those opinions are informed at all. As you can see from Franks blog it takes a lot of reading from a lot of different sources to come up with a decent, coherent opinion and Franks kindly read through a snipped the relevant bits for us so we don’t have to go through all the reading. And people who read Franks blog can have confidence that when they speak about the Hersfield and Curren debacle that there opinion is informed. So respect Frank.

      Obviously John Key has already set the precedent for meetings. It’s up to the the questioner in parliament to prove that what was discussed in that meeting had ministerial responsibility and you can do that with supplementary questions. And if the National Party runs out of supplementary questions maybe they can ask The Greens for some help.

      We really need informed opinion to go off of and I think those of The Daily Blog is one of the more concrete ones. This is obviously years after John Key committed these transgressions and it’s so important we show Frank and the rest of the team at The Daily Blog the level of respect that is saluted. Yet you’ll get normies in the debating community questioning the strength of our arguments. And people try and act like its a competence thing or they scream it’s all about my feelings. That’s just pussy shot and I have zero respect for it and neither should any one else.

      • Ditto, Sam. Frank’s attention to detail and recent vents is what makes him formidable blogger.

        The National Party has forgotten it’s own dubious dealings over the last nine years and we have only the tip of the iceberg as to what Key got up to. Unfortunately, the msm is unwilling or unable to give us the full details and backgrounds of National’s dodgy deals.

    • It is not the Minister of Broadcasting’s job to have meetings with ANY employee of RNZ without the board’s knowledge and approval. There is a reason for that. It is called ensuring impartiality.

      • Why did Griffin ring Lee directly, if not to create his own influence, after all he was Jim Bolgers spin doctor and what of Key’s “secret” meeting and what did Key and Bank’s have to say in the Teapot saga and why did both Key and English delete texts that were potentially damaging to their careers?

        Is Griffin impartial?
        Was Bridges impartial when trying to influence an OIA?
        DID the MSM go day after day with any of these issues?

        When did the radio jock Hosking go after National like he has Labour?

      • So what about Key’s “informal” meetings, Gosman. The ones Frank documented. Plus all the ones we don’t know about? Do those pass the “sniff” test? I think not. As usual one rulefor the Nats, one for everyone else.

      • Is it the role of a Board Chair to discuss employment matters with an Opposition MP, Gosman?

        And why was it ‘ok’ for Dear Leader Key to carry out “informal meetings” with various individuals (plus Skycity’s entire board!) which had a direct bearing on how the National-led government dealt with the GCSB appointment for a new chief; Skycity; and a government bail-out of Mediaworks?

        It’s not that these things should or should not have happened. It’s the utter hypocrisy of National in this current situation.

        As for your reference to impartiality (and the perception thereof) – you may have a point.

      • Oh Gosman! You’re back! I was thinking of you the other day and missing your provocations.

        I’m not that sure that the approval of any board guarantees impartiality. The board didn’t get where they are, on those sustaining fees, by stern impartiality – now did they? Not in this country, for sure.

        And it didn’t work so well with Bob Simcock, either. Rolled right over the board and most others, that ex-MP turned Chair. Too much kowtow and partiality, I think.

        Still: it’s a lovely fairy story about impartiality, and quite comforting – in a banal sort of way.

  2. The Heralds attack dogs are onto it,

    Fran O’Sullivan: PM could take leaf out of Clark playbook

    John Drinnan: Hirschfeld affair a bad look for RNZ

    Trevett: Why PM won’t sack Clare Curran

  3. On Radio NZ’s ‘Morning Report” this morning, it was announced that Board Chairperson, Richard Griffin (and former advisor to Jim Bolger) advised National MP, Melissa Lee, that Carol Hirschfeld had resigned – before it was publicly announced.

    Ms Lee said she was surprised by the resignation of Ms Hirschfeld, who she described as a “well respected journalist”, and was given notice of the move by RNZ chair Richard Griffin shortly before the announcement.


    Was that appropriate?

    Why did he discuss this with an Opposition MP?

    Did he have Board permission to disclose this?

    What other contacts does Griffin have with National?

    The Curran-Hirschfeld event is beginning to create ever-widening ripples.

    • I will repeat what I said Griffen is a gnats man and a gnats lackey why do you think he is in that position. I heard the interview with racist melissa lee and I couldn’t believe he(Griffen) told her what he did then I remembered he is a gnats lackey they have many and this is how they get their dirt it runs deep deceit.

    • I think I find that he most disturbing, Frank. I thought the Board, Chairperson, and CEO reported to the Minister, and NOT opposition MPS!!! What goes on here???

  4. Labour need to stop letting bloggers and the media set the narrative. They’ve dropped the ball the last few weeks on this front. Some crap scandal gets dropped at the start of the week, drip fed all week into the news cycle and come the weekend we get a slew of opinion articles from the likes of garner/hdpa etc about how hopeless labour is. Rinse and repeat.

    Have they learnt nothing from key? Just say “yeah I’ve spoken to the people involved and akshully I’m comfortable with it, at the end of the day most New Zealanders are more interested in a) cricket ball tampering or b) married at first sight” then refuse to answer any more questions on the subject

    Curran should have just said I had a meeting in my capacity as MP for Dunedin, then dumped her burner phone and got a new number.

    • Curran isn’t as smart as Key, hung Hirschfield out to dry.

      Key is street smart Curran is not ?

  5. All the trivia the mainstream media focuses on keeps the proles attention well away from crucial matters they should be thinking about, such as the accelerating meltdown of the planet or the total unsustainability of current living arrangements.

    March 25, 2018 410.16 ppm

    March 25, 2017 407.74 ppm

  6. agree 100% with Reginal they could also say I wasn’t wearing my ministerial hat or I can’t recall. Jhnkey also did a lot of shoulder tapping for important roles Devoy, muppetparae and I am sure there are many others that haven’t yet been mentioned

  7. Making a mountain out of a molehill!

    Wish that instead of becoming sidetracked on small things the government actually tried to focus on the bigger picture and think about long term effects of the decisions and direction of this country and the weakness in their ideological strategy for the past 30 years.

    The “left” becoming bogged down in the trivial, happens so often that I think it is actually a right wing strategy.

    As with the revelations of Cambridge Analytica – a group who have an interest in changing the direction of society, have found ways to create individual realities so everywhere someone turns they get a manufactured message that is controlled by power interests and manipulated into what the puppet master wants.

    • Winston is also easily sidetracked and chases red herrings without having all the facts ?

      The media love it when they bait him into a sideshow ?

  8. Simon Bridges wants answers about this issue. Fine, fair enough.

    However before Labour starts answering some questions, how about Simon and his motley mob of miscreants give us some answers about Operation Burnham and National’s involvement in sanctioning the mass killings of innocent civilians.The same government that Bridges was part of.

    Seems Labour’s broadcasting woes are so much more important to Natz than its own war crimes, which are still being hidden despite facts being borne out about the incident!

  9. Hi Gosman

    Where did you dream that bit of nonsense up ? Do you really mean that no person can talk to any other person without going to some Chairman of some Board somewhere.

    No wonder National never got anything of any importance done in 9 long years.

    • I don’t believe I did state that. I did state you cant organise formal meetings with RNZ if your are the Minister of broadcasting without informing the board.

      • Gosman, but isn’t that what Key did? Didn’t he carry out business via informal meetings? Please tell us why its so wrong when the Left (allegedly) does it it.

  10. it is a pity that it is unparliamentary for coalition mp’s to just say to the nationals shut the f*ck up!

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