Pity being the PM’s Press Secretary

An interesting article from Audrey Young detailing a week in the media pool travelling with . Covers the breaking of the news about Paris to Vietnam and APEC.

The parts that made me laugh was these:

Newstalk ZB’s Barry Soper gets a pic on his iPhone, and more: his request for Key to talk to ZB’s Leighton Smith is turned down by the press secretary. Soper texts Key personally and gets the okay immediately.


Afterwards, TV3 asks the press secretary if Key could do a down-the-barrel-of-the-camera piece for Story before he leaves the hotel. There’s no enthusiasm. The reporter texts Key who says yes immediately.

Poor press secretary. Their role is to play bad cop and try to keep the media requests manageable. But when the gallery all have the PM’s number and can just text him directly, well of course they do.

Young notes:

Most visits abroad, Key has two “stand-ups” a day worked into his schedule in which he is asked questions on domestic issues and those relevant to the place he is visiting.

He almost never declines to answer a question. He almost never gives a brief answer.

While it must make life challenging for his media team, I do like the fact he is so open to the media.  In a average week there may be seven or more press conferences or stand ups.

In the absence of any action or decision required by the Government, Key dispenses with being Prime Minister and becomes commentator, giving his opinion on anything and everything.

Which is generally fine, but he really should stop speculating on what the Reserve Bank may do!

Comments (17)

Login to comment or vote