On that transcript

The PM was asked about the incorrect transcript at question time. Hansard reports:

Hon Simon Bridges: Who in her office provided the media with an inaccurate transcript of her interview with Chris Lynch?

Rt Hon : I think what the member might be referring to is a request that was made to my office to provide a transcript, which, I should point out, is publicly available. The interview was public. My understanding—I’m advised by my office that in providing that, they didn’t repeat one of the questions from the interviewer. That obviously would have been obvious if the individual who asked had listened to the interview that’s publicly available.

This isn’t correct. The proactively contacted me because my blog was based on a Herald story which they said was an inaccurate reflection of the PMs comments, and was being changed. They told me the PM had merely said she was not firing Curran, rather than “her job is safe”.

They offered to send me through a transcript. I said that would be helpful, and they did. I edited my post in fact before I got the transcript, and then added it on.

And the bit that was missing wasn’t an entire question, but part of a question. It showed she wasn’t just asked if she would be firing Curran, but also if she was cutting ties with her.

Hon Simon Bridges: When did she first find out that her office had provided an inaccurate transcript of her interview?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Actually, I reject the premise of that question.

Is she saying it wasn’t inaccurate?

I should point out that the PMs Office did apologise to me for the transcript, which was appreciated. In their apology they explicitly say it “wasn’t 100% accurate”.

Hon Simon Bridges: Is the Prime Minister disputing that a doctored transcript went from her office to media on Friday?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: The member is insinuating that my statements weren’t accurately transcribed. My understanding is that the transcript—as so-called—didn’t include the full questioner’s details, rather than my answers. But, again, at the core of this issue is whether or not what I said was publicly available; it was, it was a radio interview.

I think calling it doctored is too harsh, and I haven’t. I do think (as is often the case) it is a stuff up, rather than malice. Someone junior probably typed it up and paraphrased it (there were a number of minor changes plus one significant change) and the senior staff didn’t check or realise it wasn’t a verbatim transcript. I don’t agree with most of the policies of this Government, but I know quite a few staff in the PMs Office and have always had respectful dealings with them.

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