After the PM’s office received the Electoral Commission’s advice from the the day before Radio Live’s PM Hour broadcast, an internal memo says:
So the Electoral Commission has replied, and basically said they can’t make a judgment on a radio show without seeing a transcript. But they have been pretty clear about putting the responsibility on the broadcaster, which is useful.
Key’s office knew they were skating close to the wind. They were willing to cut Radio Live loose under the Broadcasting Act. All that has saved Key and the National Party from from also breaking the law is inconsistency in the Electoral Act, a long-standing problem which Simon Power was supposed to have cleaned up.
Key was also personally involved in selecting the guests he wanted to interview.
Radio Live kept the show a close secret – they did not tell Willie and JT that their programme was going to be shunted aside until the week before “otherwise everybody will know about it.!”
These snippets come from a heavily redacted and restricted response to an OIA request to the PM’s office (2.5MB PDF download).
[lprent: updated with PDF and image of quoted e-mail]