Santamaria resignation: TVNZ’s head of news Paul Yurisich on leave

Source: 1News

TVNZ’s Head of News and Current Affairs Paul Yurisich has gone on a period of leave while TVNZ reviews its recruitment processes.

TVNZ head of news Paul Yurisich

The move comes five days after the high-profile resignation of Breakfast co-host Kamahl Santamaria.

TVNZ hasn’t commented on reports that Santamaria’s resignation – just a month after taking on the role - came after a complaint of inappropriate behaviour.

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

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

Yurisich previously worked at Al Jazeera before joining TVNZ in 2020.

Kamahl Santamaria.

TVNZ launched a review into its recruitment policies on Tuesday, pledging to ensure they are "fit for purpose and appropriately robust".

Chief executive Simon Power said at the time: "It’s my view our general policy hasn’t been followed or applied consistently so needs to be reviewed."

He announced today that Yurisich is taking leave while the review is ongoing.

He has also apologised for TVNZ initially telling other media Santamaria was absent to a "family emergency", saying it was inappropriate.

It later said, when announcing his resignation, he was dealing with a personal matter.

Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi has been informed of developments in the situation over the past week and TVNZ’s board has been asked for an assurance the right processes were followed in Santamaria’s appointment.