The Prime Minister has warned his ministers not to make personal attacks on journalists after his Justice Minister Judith Collins raised questions about the conduct of One News' political reporter Katie Bradford.
Ms Collins raised questions about the conduct of a Press Gallery journalist in an apparent effort to divert attention away from criticism of her behaviour as a minister.
In a series of tweets Ms Collins asked whether TV3 would report her disclosure about a journalist who approached her - when she was police minister - about a member of the journalist's family.
The journalist was later named as One News' political reporter Katie Bradford.
In a statement Katie Bradford said she had an informal conversation with Ms Collins about her former partner, who was considering applying to join the police.
But Ms Bradford said she never asked the minister to intervene and in the end her then partner never formally applied to join the police.
TVNZ's head of news and current affairs, John Gillespie, said he had spoken to the Minister on Sunday, who had confirmed Ms Bradford never asked for help.
On Twitter, Ms Collins later issued an apology for raising the matter.
The Labour Party denounced Ms Collins, and senior Labour MP Grant Robertson said he was not impressed by her attack.
Mr Robertson said he wasglad Ms Collins had apologised but she needed to stop blaming others.
Ms Collins appeared to have become increasingly frustrated by repeated questions about her relationship with export company Oravida, which is owned by a close friend and has her husband David Wong-Tung as a director.
Papers released under the Official Information Act showed that five days before the dinner, the Minister's office sought a briefing from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
But two days later, it said it was a private dinner and nothing from the Ministry was required.
Ms Collins has since insisted no official business was discussed.
The documents also showed the Minister's visit to Oravida's Shanghai offices was part of the official itinerary before she left.
It's also been revealed that Oravida donated $30,000 to the National Party, two months after Ms Collins visited their offices in China last October.
The information is contained in the Electoral Commission's annual information on party donations.
But Ms Collins said there was is no link between her dinner with Oravida in China last year and a political donation from the company two months later.
Ms Collins said Labour Party suggestions that there was a link between the dinner in China and the donation were appalling and she had no idea about the donation until she read it in the Electoral Commission information on Friday.
Oravida had previously donated $50,000 to the party.