John Drinnan

Media writer for the New Zealand Herald

Judith Collins loses another media battle

Judith Collins. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Judith Collins. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Television New Zealand's rejection of a complaint from Justice Minister Judith Collins is another blow to the Justice Minister's battle with the media.

The complaint relates to a TVNZ Press Gallery report on One News in March, looking at revelations in Parliament about Oravida, but the state broadcaster has rejected her complaint following an investigation.

TVNZ declined to spell out the findings of its investigations, or the date of the rejection letter.

But it has been confirmed the minister was told well before her altercation in the weekend, when she accused TVNZ political journalist Katie Bradford of seeking intervention in a personal matter in 2010.

Collins subsequently apologised and said she was not asked to intervene.

Collins - who is a personal friend of the controversial blogger Cameron Slater - said she had other information on Press Gallery journalists that she might make public.

Collins' office did not respond to queries over whether she intended to take the complaint further, where it could be considered by the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

Collins was furious over the report during John Key's China visit that led TVNZ to claim she had burned her last chance with John Key.

A TVNZ source said it appears the report misconstrued events by assuming that Key had not already heard revelations about her Oravida relationship when he gave her a final warning.

Political complaints from governments are common in an election year.

But a number of events over the past 12 months have put a cloud over the relationship between politicians and media.

TVNZ is already on the back foot with an inquiry into possible Labour bias in its Maori and Pacific department while Shane Taurima was in charge.

In August last year the Press Gallery was critical over revelations that a Parliamentary Services inquiry had tracked journalist Andrea Vance's movements around Parliament.

- NZ Herald

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