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Peters' 'good riddance' comment about some MediaWorks staff is not Government's position - Ardern

The Prime Minister says Winston Peters was expressing his personal opinion, after he bid "good riddance" to some MediaWorks employees after news of the company's sale of television channel, Three. 

On Saturday, Mr Peters told the NZ First annual conference in Christchurch that he was "sorry for some of them, because they deserve to stay, but for some of them, good riddance". 

The sale will include Three's headquarters on Flower Street, in Auckland's Eden Terrace.

Today when asked if she stood by her deputy's comments, Jacinda Ardern said Mr Peters' view was not the Government's position. 

"Everyone in this room knows that the deputy Prime Minister has long had a robust relationship with the media. In some cases that has been two-way. 

"He has expressed his personal view, and even when you're in Government individuals will be entitled to express their personal view.

"If you're asking me for mine, it's that this is an extremely uncertain time for a large number of people and I have great sympathy for that. But, ultimately this is still a commercial decision."

Earlier today, Winston Peters told media that the comment "good riddance" was only "for the odd" MediaWorks employee.

"I feel as much sorry for them, but more so for their husbands and wives and the mortgage they need to pay and those things.

"That said, I can remember them pillaring me for five months before the 2008 election, and as my staff members were crying about where they go Monday, and what they would tell their wives and husbands and their jobs and their mortgages, the couldn't give a tinker's damn."

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The deputy Prime Minister said “good riddance” to some of the MediaWorks employees facing job uncertainty.


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