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After the abrupt resignation of Breakfast host Kamahl Santamaria, multiple women have accused him of sending inappropriate messages. Video / TVNZ
The head of news and current affairs at TVNZ is on leave during an investigation into the hiring of former Breakfast host Kamahl Santamaria.
Paul Yurisich has been in the spotlight for the past week after Santamaria quit abruptly after just 32 days on the air.
It is understood that Yurisich recruited Santamaria from Al Jazeera, where the pair also worked together.
TVNZ chief executive Simon Power, in an email to staff obtained by the Herald on Tuesday, said a senior lawyer has been asked to review recruitment policies, processes and practices to ensure they are fit for purpose and appropriately robust.
Power said it was his view that their recruitment policy has not been followed consistently and needs to be reviewed. Power said he shared this view with Broadcasting and Media Minister Kris Faafoi on Tuesday.
He said once the review is complete he will share any of the recommendations with TVNZ staff.
It is understood that staff at the state broadcaster are unhappy with the relative lack of consultation before Santamaria was made Breakfast co-host last month.
Yurisich joined TVNZ as the head of news and current affairs in late 2020. He had been a senior producer with TVNZ before departing for Al Jazeera English in the mid-2000s.
TVNZ said he "has since built an impressive resume" with senior roles held at both Al Jazeera in Doha and Bloomberg Media Hong Kong when they announced his appointment in September 2020.