Why Did Jacinda Ardern Go Soft On Curran?

Labour is pushing ahead with a shake-up of public media – leaving the forgetful broadcasting minister Clare Curran at the helm. This follows the second incident where Curran has forgotten to declare meetings with industry players or nofified staff. Labour’s broadcasting policy is already a mess. We need to look at where its muddy amd strategy is headed. Do want the State more involved in journalism?

On Friday, Prime-minister Jacinda Ardern removed two of Curran’s four portfolios and took her out of Cabinet. She left the errant minister with broadcasting, and associate minister for ACC. Chris Hipkins will take over Curran’s bizarrely inapproriate role as “minister for open government.”  Dr Megan Woods will take over as minister of government digital services, the portfolio that got Curran into trouble when she forgot to declare an interview with a potential job applicant.

Labour true believers and government-friendly journalists have sought to portray Ardern’s move as quick decisive action –  a counter to the  nagging doubt about her leadership skills. Ardern had her concern face on. But PM go easy on Curran after her second failure of the year. 

Ardern says she learned of Curran’s latest transgression on Monday. She chose to announce it at 4pm on Friday, in the middle of big political changes in Australia, and debate source of a leak against Opposition leader Simon Bridges. In my opinion was an old-fashioned news dump meant to avoid media attention and should have been called out as such.

Derek Handley

The latest debacle where Derek Handley, the high-profile entrepreneur Derek Hadley who was interested in a new position of the government’s Chief Technology Officer. In an unusual move  Curran had restarted the search for a CTO, after she was not impressed enough by the applicants,

Handley, by the way. is a director of Sky TV.

Ardern noted this is the second time that the minister’s note keeping and liaison with staff. On December 5, Zaqzigger.com broke the story of Curran’s meeting at the Astoria cafe with Carol Hirschfeld, who headed news at Radio New Zealand. The pretense had been the meeting was accidental. In fact it was pre-planned.

Hirschfeld had misled her RNZ bosses about the meeting, who had subsequently misled a select committee. She was dismissed from Radio New Zealand and hired at Stuff.

Hirschfeld clearly made a mistake, and paid for it  Curran, apologised,the Government supported herand Hirschfeld was thrown to the wolves.

RNZ chairman Jim Mather

After the latest debacle the CTO appointment has been taken over by the state services Commission – which I where it always belonged all along, not with Curran’s office.

Why Ardern chose to retain Curran as minister of small but sensitive portfolio.

Labour is setting up a structure to more public media. journalists and media love the idea of more public cash. Labour relies on Maori support, and Radio New Zealand is to get closer with Maori TV.  Former Maori TV CEO Jim Mather – was appointed chairman of RNZ.

What is the crossover between Curran ‘s role as the minister of broadcasting, and Ardern’s role as minister for arts, culture and heritage. The PM’s portfolio drifts into media 

The public need to know that the survival of the minister (against the odds) is due to a wider Labour strategy.

We need a clean slate with Labour’s failed media strategy, and an explanation on why the Prime Minister is not prepared to provide one.

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