ZB

Kamahl Santamaria resignation: Faafoi won't say if happy with TVNZ bosses

Author
Thomas Coughlan, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 31 May 2022, 11:30am
Outgoing Labour MP Kris Faafoi. (Photo / Mark Mitchell)
Outgoing Labour MP Kris Faafoi. (Photo / Mark Mitchell)

Kamahl Santamaria resignation: Faafoi won't say if happy with TVNZ bosses

Author
Thomas Coughlan, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 31 May 2022, 11:30am

Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi would not say whether he was satisfied with how TVNZ bosses had handled the situation following the resignation of Breakfast host Kamahl Santamaria.

"That is not for me to comment on, those issues are for TVNZ. We have sought an assurance that processes around recruitment are adhered to. It's important as a Government, as a public broadcaster that we have an assurance of that," Faafoi said.

TVNZ is a state-owned broadcaster, but operates independently from the Government.

On his way into Labour's Tuesday morning caucus meeting, Faafoi said he had sought assurances from TVNZ's board that the correct recruitment process was followed for Santamaria.

He said expected to have an update within days.

"We've got an administrative response so we'll be back with some information in the coming days," Faafoi said.

He said he expected the "administrative response" to get back in the "next two or three days".

"I don't want to put a time constraint on them. We've obviously asked for an assurance around the recruitment process. I think those things are important to make sure those processes are followed," Faafoi said.

The Herald has previously reported Santamaria's recruitment raised eyebrows with some at TVNZ.

Faafoi said the Government would not be getting into the operational detail of the allegations made against Santamaria.

He would not say whether or not he had any indication due process had not been followed.

Faafoi said he was given an update around Santamaria under the "no surprises" rule, which holds that agencies should inform Ministers ahead of time if there is a matter of "significance" that may shortly become a topic of public debate.

I've sought an assurance we were given a no surprises update. I'm not going to get into the detail of it. It's not for the minister of broadcasting to get involved in HR issues," Faafoi said.

"I'm not going to get into the details of it. It's not for the minister of broadcasting to get involved in HR issues," Faafoi said.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is currently in the United States and Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson is acting prime minister in her place.

He told TVNZ on Tuesday Morning the Government would be handling the issue with the Board of TVNZ.

"We have our relationship with the board of Television New Zealand and because obviously there have been a number of allegations that have been swirling around, [Broadcasting] minister Kris Faafoi sought an assurance from the board that in the case of this particular appointment that all of the right processes, the due diligence and so on, were followed," Robertson said.

However Robertson has confirmed the Government had received assurance from TVNZ that everybody involved in the Kamahl Santamaria saga was being supported.