18 Apr 2013

NZOA faces questions on McElrea reappointment

12:22 pm on 18 April 2013

New Zealand On Air has come in for intense questioning at Parliament about the potential reappointment of a board member who is also the Prime Minister's electorate chair.

Stephen McElrea's term on the agency's board expired in December.

Mr McElrea was at the centre of controversy last year for questioning the New Zealand on Air (NZOA) chair and chief executive about the pre-election screening of a child poverty documentary.

At the NZOA's financial review before Parliament's commerce select committee on Thursday, Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove spent several minutes querying the potential reappointment.

The agency's chair, Miriam Dean, deflected many of the questions and said arrangements for handling conflicts of interest are completely in order.

Ms Dean said every board and staff member understands the importance of disclosing real or perceived conflict.

She said she has had no communication with Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss about him reappointing Stephen McElrea.

Rollover provisions in the Crown Entities Act mean Mr McElrea can stay on until that decision is made.