The Project announces host Kanoa Lloyd's maternity leave cover, Paddy Gower shocked to learn it's not him

The Project has announced Newshub journalist Laura Tupou will be covering for host Kanoa Lloyd when she goes on maternity leave. 

Co-host Jesse Mulligan shared the news during Monday night's show - shocking guest host Patrick Gower in the process. 

"I'm very pleased to announce that when our beautiful, talented Kanoa Lloyd goes on maternity leave, I can announce tonight that she will be replaced by Laura Tupou," Mulligan says. 

The announcement was met with cheers and excitement from the audience and host Jeremy Corbett, but there was one person in the studio who wasn't so happy. 

"Woah, woah, woah," Gower interjects.

"This is a pretty unusual way to find out when I applied," he jokes. 

Tupou then breaks it to Gower that there was no application process. 

"There was no application process actually, I just asked," she says.

"Even more hurtful!" Corbett exclaims. 

Lloyd announced in March she and husband Mikee Carpinter were expecting their first child together.

In an Instagram post celebrating the impending arrival, shared after the show, Lloyd wrote: "I feel very lucky to be able to say that I’m becoming a māma this year, and that this cool guy gets to be a cool dad!" 

"Nau mai haere mai lil bubba," she captioned the snaps of her cradling her bump with Carpinter by her side.

Mulligan said Lloyds maternity cover Tupou is a "wonderful, talented, experienced journalist" who he is looking forward to having on the show. Tupou has been a TV reporter at Newshub since 2018.