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Prime Minister Clarifies Hawkesby Comments

MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday 22 June 1999

PRIME MINISTER CLARIFIES COMMENTS

Prime Minister Jenny Shipley today further clarified her comments about former TV3 and TVNZ news-reader John Hawkesby.

"In the course of discussing the practice of pay-outs to State employees leaving top positions, I referred to an alleged payment to John Hawkesby as an example," Mrs Shipley said.

"Mr Hawkesby claims that his news-reading contract was cancelled by TVNZ without cause, that he did not leave willingly, that he did not engineer his dismissal in order to collect any compensation and that he has a substantial claim for damages as a result. I understand TVNZ disputes that his contract was cancelled without cause and contests the amount of his claim.

"I accept that differs from what I said and apologise for any differences."

Mrs Shipley reaffirmed her hope that the dispute between Mr Hawkesby and TVNZ could be resolved quickly and in a manner which results in the public knowing the true circumstances which led to his departure and the amount of any compensation which is paid or awarded.

"TVNZ is an SOE and any exit payments should have the same coverage as TVNZ news gives other SOEs and Crown agencies," Mrs Shipley said.

ENDS

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