PM averse to public service radio

The Prime Minister is becoming increasingly picky about who he will speak to in the media.

While happily fronting a weekly slot on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme, and on Radio Sports, and a one hour special on Radio Live, he has refused virtually all requests for interviews on Radio New Zealand.

He has declined 174 requests for interviews on Morning Report and has been interviewed on Checkpoint only five times this year. He has also turned down a request to appear on an election debate on Radio New Zealand.

This begs the question, what is going on here? Does the Prime Minister have an aversion to public service radio and a bias in favour of commercial radio? Or is it just that he wants to avoid in-depth news interviews in favour of soft lifestyle interviews.

Certainly his government has shown unrestrained hostility to Radio New Zealand. It has frozen its budget indefinitely, and Radio New Zealand is limping along, with its funding contracting every year (thanks to inflation), having to sell off its grand pianos to survive.

On the other hand, the Government has treated commercial radio generously, and given a $45 million bail out to Mediaworks.

But the Prime Minister’s bias in favour of commercial radio, and against public service radio, raises other troubling questions of accountability. The fourth estate has an important role in holding governments to account. But if the Prime Minister turns down over a hundred requests for interviews from our public service radio station, which is listened to by hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders every morning, how is the government to be held properly to account?

22 Comments Posted

  1. “..I am sure that Sue is aware of the need to apologize for that error…”

    so why is it that neither she nor frog are doing that..simple’d think…? it arrogance..hubris..or ignorance..? has to be one of those three…

    ..i mean..kedgeley became an mp almost by accident…

    ..and she always had the distracted-air of someone who felt they should be somewhere their promised middle-class life…

    ..her inattention to animal-welfare – and her continued eating of and wearing the skins of dead-animals are testament to that lack of committment/attention…

    ..but this is distraction tipping over into willful misinformation…


  2. Yes Phil it SHOULD have been. I have no control over that. However, I submit to you that focusing on the error is not the best way to salvage the rest of the message. We all acknowledge it here. More than that I do not have the ability to do.

    I only have control over what I say here. I am sure that Sue is aware of the need to apologize for that error.


  3. There is also the point that by giving the PM free “Face Time” or in this case “voice time” it is, without him ever uttering a word about politics, a huge advantage over his opponents who have no such access.

    There is no such thing as “bad” publicity at this point. Make him the most familiar face and voice and he will be the next PM. No matter what his policies actually are.

    This is simply wrong. It is UTTERLY wrong, and it needs to be answered in the streets if it cannot be corrected in the courts.

    There is a fundamental fairness that has to be observed. It is not.


  4. “..You are focusing on making a bad mistake worse..”

    no i am not..i am trying to stop something minor..becoming bigger..

    ..(as in..a reference point to the unreliability of green m.p.’s…and frogblog…

    ..something that should have been cleared up about five seconds after the email from radio new zealand…on the day the incorrect/false claim was made..

    ..way back on the 5th…eh..?)


  5. Garteh Hughes managed to make a clear follow up to the air quality business and the misinformation wasn’t even his fault.

    The same should be done here: Despite the incorrection assertion about JK, National are starving one of NZ’s most prized institutions that is often the only source of proper in-depth news, without which a proper democracy cannot function.

    As it stands with this statement, Sue can be accused of lowering herself to JK’s level and playing soundbite politics and not even getting that right.

  6. Phil

    I agree that it would be far better if she corrected the error immediately. It is not in my power to make that happen, that it is an error, not a lie, seems fairly obvious from the actual numbers involved.

    That it undercuts the her true statement about the nastiness that National is involved in, is very obvious to all. I am trying to point back at that nastiness. You are focusing on making a bad mistake worse. Which approach is wiser in the run-up to the election?



  7. It would be interesting to know just how many requests actually have been turned down. Mr Barr doesn’t tell us that.

  8. “..As for Sue being wrong about the numbers… well likely she is..”

    gee b.j..!..yr offhand referral to a blatant lie…

    ..and the refusal to retract/apologise for that blatant (published) lie..

    ..(by both kedgeley and the website administrator..)

    ..does surprise somewhat…

    ..but what surprises the most is the apparant uncaring attitude to the damage to credibility of these sort of failures… all concerned..

    ..and apparantly..also by you…


  9. Is he indeed on a talkback program? The only radio I listen to as a rule, is Morning Report… occasionally classic rock. Kim on Saturdays when she has someone interesting…

    I reckon she would dissect him… but she would have the power of the microphone. People phoning in to him are subject to his power of the microphone… they only get the air time he is willing to give them and inconvenient questioners are unlikely to get in.

    It has to do with topic too, the Rena, their response and the oil drilling permits connections would be good right now. The bulk of the troubles his party causes go a lot deeper than can be put across in a 30 second question… and listeners only get the information around the subject that the station and PM provide. Consider the background needed to explain why the Nact version of the ETS is actually corporate welfare… basically theft, or how the fractional reserve system is wrong… we went on for over 300 messages on that thread.

    As for Sue being wrong about the numbers… well likely she is, but the refusal to do an election debate? THAT isn’t a matter of numbers. The gutting of funding for public radio? THAT isn’t a matter of numbers.

    That is the simply National trying to shut off the supply of truth.

    That’s the way their corporate owners like it, and that is what they will do if they get the chance. It is abominable.

    They are working to cut off democracy by changing us out of MMP, working to cut off information by silencing the public radio.

    They serve evil, mostly by not knowing who they serve.


  10. Sue Kedgely says “PM averse to public service radio”

    A more accurate headline for this story would be

    Sue Kedgely averse to truth.

    You are still allowing a blatant lie to be further diseminated around the net.

    An MP / party with integrity would say – “sorry – I stuffed up” and issue a retraction.

    If you let misinformation like this stand, then helps undermine all statements from Green Party MPs.

  11. It did sound like RNZ were persistent asking 174 times!

    And I agree a retraction or edit is in order. This stuff hangs around on the net and will come back to bite.

  12. Yes Mr. Key is doing the ‘Presidential sytle’ campaigning..
    only appearing, IF he is likely to look/sound good !
    I’m sure he would take up offers from ZB too. I stopped listening to them, after it started to sound like their hosts are presenting campaign announcements for the National Party.. e.g. “Rah Rah.. Key & Co.” & “Boooo to Labour & the Greens” (or words to that effect).
    Then I remembered that both; Banks & Henare were both previously employed there !

  13. this is a shocker…kedgeley has just made this figure up..

    ..john key did not decline invitations 174 times..

    ..where is kedgeleys’ retraction and apology..?

    ..and what really pisses me off..?

    ..i took kedgeley at her word..

    ..and did a bloody story on this at whoar..

    ..i will now go and update it..

    ..that for some reason…kedgeley just made this up..



  14. Photonz,

    It’s not as bad as a “made up” figure. Sue Kedgely has obviously made a basic comprehension mistake. She assumed Key had been asked 184 times, when in fact this was the number of Morning Report programmes, not the number of interview requests.

    What is worse, making up the “facts” (as many politicians of all persuasions seem to be experts at), or not checking what one writes? I remember a teacher telling me that sloppy writing indicates sloppy thinking … but I think making up “facts” is worse.

  15. So where did Sue Kedgely get the information

    “He has declined 174 requests for interviews on Morning Report ”

    or is that claim just made up?

  16. The New Zealand Herald reports:

    Of the 184 Morning Report programmes this year, Mr Key had agreed to be interviewed in 10.

    This reporting is correct, however it is incorrect to assert from this that the Prime Minister has turned down 174 requests from Radio New Zealand for an interview.

    John Barr
    Communications Manager
    Radio New Zealand

  17. RNZ need only announce publicly that in view of these figures Key will no longer be asked for an interview. And, unannounced, never refer to Key, the PM or his office but simply speak of a government spokesman or representative; and to complete the erasure have a reporter simply repeat his words on air (which they do already anyway).

  18. While Keys’ policies make me angry at times, I definately admire his political skills.
    I trust the Greens will pull him up if he breaks any rules. Also BjChip should be on the phone if he does do a talkback show.

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