RNZ chairman Richard Griffin says he is still considering whether to hand over a voice recording left on his phone by Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran.

A parliamentary committee on Thursday requested the voicemail and other communications after Griffin and RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson returned to set the record straight on the nature of a meeting between Curran and former head of news Carol Hirschfeld.

The voicemail is the key to determining whose account of the conversation is correct.

Curran has insisted that she was merely passing on advice from the Office of the Leader of the House that Griffin was not required to appear at the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Select Committee and a letter would suffice.


Griffin told the committee on Thursday: "The implication was, as far I was concerned, that it would be far more satisfactory to all concerned if we just put a letter on the table and left it at that."

Today Griffin said he would consider over the weekend whether to hand it over, even though efforts were already under way to retrieve the voicemail from his mobile phone.

"As we speak people are trying to retrieve it. It's not Radio New Zealand's property it's mine, it's my private phone.

"I asked them yesterday to retrieve it but I'm having second thoughts about it, well I'm not having second thoughts about it, I don't think anything's going to be achieved by it."

Select committee chairman Jonathan Young said while the committee could not compel RNZ to hand over information it could ask the Speaker to issue a subpoena for it. That would likely be the step taken if any of that information was refused.

Young said it was too early to consider whether the committee would seek to call Hirschfeld.

The first step was to look at the further information requested from RNZ.

At his committee appearance on Thursday, Griffin refused to play the voice recording but told members Curran "made it very clear that she wanted me to write a letter to the chair of the select committee to be on his desk before one o'clock that day which would then ensure that there wasn't a public hearing involving either of us [him or Thompson]".


Hirschfeld's repeated lies to her bosses over how her meeting with Curran at Wellington's Astoria cafe in December transpired resulted in her immediate resignation from the state broadcaster last week.

Griffin said he was devastated that the attempted cover-up of the meeting had resulted in the loss of a talented and valued executive, damaged RNZ's relationship with the new Government at a critical time for the broadcaster, and had caused reputational damage to individuals and potential damage to RNZ.

Thompson "sincerely apologised" for misleading the committee based on information he had believed to be true.

The specifics of what the pair discussed has not been revealed, with Thompson saying Hirschfeld said it was around the media sector and RNZ policy.