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PM Jacinda Ardern on TVNZ resignation and recruitment

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Thu, 28 Jul 2022, 11:55am

PM Jacinda Ardern on TVNZ resignation and recruitment

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Thu, 28 Jul 2022, 11:55am

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has responded to the resignation of TVNZ's news head Paul Yurisich and the report on the recruitment processes that led to the appointment of presenter Kamahl Santamaria, saying the Government had an expectation TVNZ would follow the processes needed in a modern workplace.

Yurisich has resigned as head of news and current affairs at TVNZ after a review into the recruitment processes used by TVNZ both in general and in the case of former Breakfast host Kamahl Santamaria was released.

Santamaria resigned in May after only a month as host, following allegations of inappropriate behaviour directed at multiple women - including at TVNZ. TVNZ CEO Simon Power said it stated the recruitment policy did not apply to the hiring of key presenters and so was not followed in Santamaria's case.

Asked if there was a case to be made for shoulder-tapping for some positions rather than standard recruitment processes, Ardern said all employers should be mindful of the staff already at a company who might want the same opportunity.

"What you have to keep in mind, regardless of the environment, is you have to be mindful of those already in the workplace, those who might also be aspiring to a particular role, and always make sure you've got enough rigour around your processes to ensure that whether it is politics, whether it is broadcasting, whatever, that you're looking after existing staff."

She said people should be able to see that the process being used was robust.

Asked if there had been a failure of a duty of care, Ardern said the Government had an expectation for TVNZ to follow processes needed in a modern workplace, but it was up to the broadcaster to put those into practice.

"What makes a big difference to people is their wellbeing in a place they spend the majority of their time."

Ardern also commented on Inland Revenue's attempts to track down bank details for about 160,000 people who are eligible for the new cost of living payments, which start from August 1.

It will give $350 paid out over three months to all those on incomes of less than $70,000 – an estimated 2.1 million people.

It will be paid out automatically but Inland Revenue has struggled to get bank account details for about 160,000 people.

Ardern said the payments would be particularly useful for households in which there were two earners on less than $70,000 - the payment does not take into account household income. Ardern said basing it on individual incomes meant it could start to be paid more quickly. She urged people who were eligible to check that Inland Revenue had their bank details.

It is a key plank of Labour's response to high inflation, along with temporary cuts to fuel excise duties which have now been extended to next January.