22 October 1998
You will be aware that yesterday at 2.15 pm Reserve Bank Governor Don Brash gave an on-the-record speech. At about 1.00 pm, as per my usual practice, I faxed the speech and a press statement to the main news media outlets, with a clearly indicated 2.15 pm embargo.
Then shortly after 1.00 pm accurate rumours began to appear in the markets nationally and internationally about the contents of the speech, and the currency began moving on the back of those rumours.
I can only conclude that a member of the news media supplied this information to a person or persons outside the media.
This is the second time this has happened, and it cannot be permitted to happen again.
Therefore in future the Reserve Bank will not release anything under embargo.
When Dr Brash, or other Reserve Bank employees, give an on-the-record speech the text will be faxed to the media when the embargo lifts, which will be at the time that the delivery of the speech is scheduled to begin. Real-time media only (the wire services and radio) will be invited to a mini-lockup at the Reserve Bank, so they can file at the moment the embargo lifts.
The same rules will apply to the release of Reserve Bank publications.
Having to make this decision is very disappointing, as I know it will make reporting Reserve Bank announcements more difficult. However, the Reserve Bank cannot permit some members of the media to use their privileged position to engage in, or assist in, what, in effect, is insider trading.
Corporate Affairs Manager
Telephone 04 471 3671, home 04 479 5457
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