Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has reiterated her support for Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran in the wake of a cafe meeting that resulted in an RNZ senior employee losing their job.
Ardern made the comments during a rural tour of Otago today, saying "no new information" had come out of today's select committee meeting attended by RNZ chairman Richard Griffin and chief executive Paul Thompson.
Carol Hirschfeld resigned as RNZ's head of news last week after repeatedly lying to her bosses about the meeting at Astoria cafe in central Wellington in December last year.
Hirschfeld had said it was a chance encounter, but it was found four months later that the breakfast meeting was instigated by Curran and arranged via text between them.
Earlier today, Griffin and Thompson had to reappear before the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Select Committee at Parliament to correct the record over their earlier comments about the nature of the cafe meeting.
Their appearance in Wellington was pre-empted by reports yesteday that the Broadcasting Minister had phoned Griffin to suggest it would be better for him to write a letter rather than appear in person at Parliament.
Both Curran and Ardern earlier denied that, saying Curran left a phone message to pass on advice from the Office of the Leader of the House that a letter would be faster to correct the record if he was unable to make it to the select committee in person.
After opening a science block at Waitaki Boys' High School, Ardern today stated eight times there was no new information over the Carol Hirschfeld affair involving Curran, or the phone call she made to Griffin about his appearance at the select committee.
Ardern confirmed she had spoken to Curran about her recollection of the voicemail and it matched up with what had been recollected at select committee today.
"The minister has clearly made mistakes, she has apologised for them.
"I certainly advised her that the call to Richard Griffin should not have been made, but as I say there's nothing new that we have learned from today that we didn't already know.
"From what I hear has come of today's meeting, there is no new information, I have reprimanded the minister for making that call she shouldn't have, but I don't think we've learned anything new from today that we didn't already know.''
Meanwhile, Griffin refused to play Curran's voice message to the select committee today.
He said he had interpreted the message left on March 29 as a "strong suggestion that I immediately send a letter to the select committee chair. The Minister seemed to be labouring under the impression at the time she left the message that we were to appear that afternoon.
"She 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."
Earlier today, Curran left New Zealand to attend the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia. She was due to return on Saturday.