Kamahl Santamaria: Review launched into TVNZ hiring processes

Source: 1News

A review has been launched into TVNZ's recruitment policies to ensure they are "fit for purpose and appropriately robust".

Kamahl Santamaria was a Breakfast presenter for 32 days.

It comes after Breakfast co-host Kamahl Santamaria resigned from the show on Saturday, one month after taking on the role. He was off-air for more than a week without explanation before his sudden departure.

Concerns have since been raised into the hiring process behind Santamaria's recruitment.

TVNZ hasn’t commented on reports that the resignation came after a complaint of inappropriate behaviour.

Former female colleagues at his previous workplace, Al Jazeera, have told 1News the presenter made inappropriate and uncomfortable comments.

READ MORE: Kamahl Santamaria: Govt wants recruitment assurances from TVNZ board

TVNZ CEO Simon Power addressed staff in an email on Tuesday afternoon over the events.

He followed this up with a public statement in which he said while he was unable to comment on “specific employment matters”, any staff member who “raises an issue concerning the behaviour of another team member” is taken “extremely seriously, treated confidentially, and investigated swiftly”.

“Our number one priority, regardless of other matters, is to support and care for any individual who raises an issue,” he said. “This is of the utmost importance.

“We do not tolerate any form of harassment or inappropriate behaviour in the workplace. We’re committed to providing a working environment that is inclusive and respectful.”

READ MORE: Kamahl Santamaria resignation: Breakfast hosts thank viewers

Power said: "Today I have confirmed TVNZ will be undertaking an external review into our recruitment policies, processes and practices to ensure they are fit for purpose and appropriately robust. It’s my view our general policy hasn’t been followed or applied consistently so needs to be reviewed."

He told staff broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had been informed of this move.

Senior employment lawyer Margaret Robins has been asked to review the state-owned broadcaster’s recruitment processes.

Any recommendations which emerge from the report once it is completed will be shared with staff at the broadcaster, he said.

TVNZ told 1News on Monday while it does carry out reference checks for prospective employees, it sometimes does not for internal candidates or previous employees.