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Jacinda Ardern 'extraordinarily disappointed' Bauer rejected wage subsidy ahead of closure

Major media publisher Bauer NZ is shutting its doors, but the Prime Minister says she doesn't think it's because of the coronavirus outbreak.

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Jacinda Ardern says the Government actively offered support to the magazine publisher, but were turned down. Source: 1 NEWS

In New Zealand, the international Bauer Media Group publishes titles such as Woman's Day, New Zealand Woman's Weekly, NZ Listener, Metro and many others including a digital network.

Under the Alert Level 4 lockdown, it hasn't been able to publish its magazines, which CEO Brendon Hill told staff "put our business in an untenable position".

Bauer has told its 237 staff funding will be provided to enable everyone to be paid their full redundancy and leave entitlements.

However, Jacinda Ardern rejects Bauer's claim that the shutdown was because of the coronavirus outbreak and Government restrictions.

"They didn't want to use the Government support to keep their doors open. In my view, they should've taken it up and they should've kept going," she told media today.

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The publishing powerhouse is blaming the coronavirus for the collapse, but there’s been backlash from the Prime Minister. Source: 1 NEWS

Ms Ardern says she's "extraordinarily disappointed" in the closure, adding that the Government "actively sought to assist Bauer during this time".

"We asked if they could take up the wage subsidy, they refused. In my view this appears to have been a decision that has been made at the same time as Covid-19, but not because of it," Ms Ardern says.

"The wage subsidy could and should have made a difference...and we were very keen that Bauer take it up. 

"We would've liked to see them do that too, keep their doors open, keep operating, keep an online offering and move past Covid-19 afterwards."