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Reserve Bank bans MediaWorks after leak

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/05/2016

MediaWorks staff have been banned from Reserve Bank media conferences after one of its journalists leaked March's cut to the Official Cash Rate in advance.

The central bank said the exclusion would remain in place until further notice.

A probe found a Newshub reporter gave the March 10 decision of a 25 basis point cut in the rate to people in the newsroom, and it was then passed on to an economics blogger before the embargo had lifted.

The blogger, Michael Reddell, said he got an email about 55 minutes before it was officially released and when the cut was confirmed he informed the bank.

Investigations by both MediaWorks and Deloittes confirmed the email trail.

The bank axed its media and analysts' lock-ups ahead of interest rate and policy announcements in the wake of the leak.

"The leak is a serious and disappointing breach of many years of trust," said Governor Graeme Wheeler.

MediaWorks will be excluded from the six-monthly financial stability report on May 11.

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