'Running for the hills': Hosking hits out as PM cancels regular ZB interview slot

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 8 Mar 2021, 10:25AM

'Running for the hills': Hosking hits out as PM cancels regular ZB interview slot

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 8 Mar 2021, 10:25AM

The Prime Minister has cancelled her regular weekly interview slot with Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB.

Instead, Jacinda Ardern and other ministers will now appear on the country's top-performing commercial radio show "as and when issues arise".

A statement from the Prime Minister's office to Newstalk ZB said:

"The Prime Minister's schedule of media appearances has been reviewed and while it hasn't reduced overall, it has changed.

"The Prime Minister will no longer do a weekly slot specifically on the ZB morning show.

"However she, and all her Ministers, will continue to appear on the show as and when issues arise."

Hosking said Ardern was "running for the hills" and that the Government was "just over being held to account".

"She no longer wants to be on this programme each week. The somewhat tragic conclusion that is drawn is the question she gets, the demand for a level of accountability to a little bit tough," Hosking told listeners this morning.

"They are just over being held to account," he said.

"Without being too unkind to other some of the other players in this market, the reality is the Prime Minister enjoys a more cordial and more compliant relationship with them. The questions are more softball, she favours a more benign pitch where the delivery can be dispatched to the boundary more readily with no obvious chance of an appeal," he said.

"To be honest, I'm pleased. The management here, not quite as much. They argue accountability is important, and they're right. But what I argue is the Prime Minister is a lightweight at answering tough questions. The number of times she's fronted on this programme with no knowledge around the questions I'm asking is frightening," he said.

National leader Judith Collins weighed in on the change, labelling the move a "shame".

"Shame the PM doesn't have time for Newstalk ZB on Monday morning. All those tough questions," she wrote on Twitter.

The Prime Minister's office has been contacted for further comment.