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Gerry Brownlee says comment to supporters won't whip up distrust of media

National's deputy Gerry Brownlee says he does not think he whipped up distrust in media by his supporters, despite sending an email last night calling the media "favourable" to Labour. 

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National's deputy said he did not think it would whip up distrust in media by his supporters. Source: 1 NEWS

"With endless wall to wall coverage, the deep resources of Government, and a favourable media, it is hard for anyone not to see Labour have the cards stacked in their favour," Mr Brownlee wrote in a campaign email asking National supporters for financial help ahead of the election. 

When asked today about the comment, Mr Brownlee said he was not undermining media, but instead "just stating a fact".

"When you have a situation like (the Covid-19 pandemic), and we experienced this with Christchurch (earthquake), the Government does get more air time than the Opposition does because it's the Government that has to do things."

"The Prime Minister is on the airwaves everyday at 1pm."

"Are you saying in a crisis the media are not going to be favourably reporting what the Government are doing?" he asked. 

Mr Brownlee said the did not think that it would create distrust by his supporters with media. 

"Some of the things that we have tried to point out, particularly the deficiencies at the border... compared to the reality at the border, I think there are questions that need to be asked that has ended up with us in this current lockdown situation." 

National leader Judith Collins said she did not think Mr Brownlee was undermining media. 

"I think every New Zealander at the moment realises that we have a really difficult issue to deal with, obviously the border protections that were not as protective as were we all told," Ms Collins said. 

"I think people would really love to have more information about how we can move through the very difficult time at the moment."

It came after it was uncovered testing of frontline staff was not being done weekly. More than 60 per cent of staff had never been tested. 

Last week, Mr Brownlee made comments at a press conference implying the Government knew more than they were letting on in the run up to placing Auckland in Alert Level 3 and the rest of the country in Level 2 for two weeks.

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However, the National leader said her deputy was reflecting anxiety in the community after the re-emergence of the virus. Source: Breakfast

"I just think it was interesting that the messaging around a further outbreak of Covid-19 began a couple of weeks ago, about 10 days ago, on top of that there was the issue of the masks we were encouraged to start purchasing and have them available in the emergency kit," Mr Brownlee said at the time. 

Today, Mr Brownee said he was "not apologising for asking questions, that's my job, I'm in Opposition". 

"I've said I'm sorry people have taken it as some kind of conspiracy accusation, it was never meant to be like that."