The Curran Hirschfeld meeting was not a chance encounter

The Herald reports:

Carol Hirschfeld is leaving Radio NZ, effective immediately, after saga over her meeting with Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran.

Hirschfeld had earlier repeatedly assured RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson a meeting with Curran on December 5 last year was coincidental, after she and the minister had bumped into each other in a Wellington cafe.

The saga became public after National MP Melissa Lee asked questions Hirschfeld’s meeting with Curran at a Wellington cafe.

Lee asked Radio NZ chief executive Paul Thompson about it by Lee at a select committee and Thompson said it had been a chance encounter between the pair.

But on Sunday, Hirschfeld told Thompson the meeting had been arranged.

So the nature of the meeting was lied about. We were assured at the time they just happened to run into each other at Astoria, and this is now revealed to be a lie.

Why a lie? Who asked for the meeting and arranged it? If they tried to cover up the nature of it, that is an admission they knew it was inappropriate.

The meeting had already drawn criticism from National, which claimed Curran had tried to hide the meeting as it was not included in her diary.

And Curran failed to mention the meeting in response to written questions. You could possibly understand that for an unplanned meeting, but this was an arranged meeting.

Also why did Hirschfeld after months of lying about the meeting, suddenly tell the truth to her boss at Radio NZ. Was it about to be exposed?

So questions for the Minister are:

  1. Who requested the meeting?
  2. Why was it requested?
  3. Why did she not include the meeting in her diary as it was pre-arranged?
  4. Why did she omit the meeting in the response to written questions on meetings with RNZ staff?
  5. What specifically was discussed at the meeting?
  6. How many other meetings had she had with Hirschfeld, before or after the election?
  7. Having seen multiple media reports describing the meeting as coincidential, why did the Minister never correct them?

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