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Hobbs Appoints Her Own Spin Doctor

5 February

The appointment of Judy Callingham to NZ on Air is another blatant example of jobs for mates, says National Broadcasting spokesperson Katherine Rich.

"After Marian Hobb's disastrous start to her career, Callingham was hired to provide her with 'media advice' to avoid more embarassing gaffes. Not only did the taxpayer pay for this spin advice, but Hobbs has now rewarded her again with a three-year appointment to New Zealand on Air.

"Callingham and her husband Brian Edwards provided media advice for other lame duck ministers as well, and were paid $22,500 for their help with Labour's 1999 election campaign. Someone who has had roles in the most partisan capacity, including detailed work on Helen Clark's image, is now going to sit on what is supposed to be an impartial media body.

"Marian Hobbs has no shame. Following on from the recent Sunday Star Times article which detailed over 50 appointments of party people, it is spectacularly bad timing to release this latest appointment.

"Since being in government Marian Hobbs has methodically placed party-friendly people on each and every broadcasting related body. Is this what Helen Clark meant by new standards of openness and accountability in Government?"

Ends

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