Leading NZ broadcaster Genevieve Westcott dies aged 64

Leading New Zealand journalist and presenter Genevieve Westcott has died aged 64.

The "gutsy" Canadian-born current affairs broadcaster presented the news, reported for 60 Minutes and 20/20 and won multiple awards for journalistic excellence.

Westcott was known best for her tough interviewing and reporting style, according to her Captive Audience speaker page.

She launched her career as a financial reporter for Western Canada's largest newspaper Vancouver Sun, and at 23, was the youngest editorial page writer they ever hired.

Westcott and cameraman husband Ross Kenward joined TV3 when the channel first launched In 1989.

She anchored TV3's A Current Affair and The Westcott File, hosted Newstalk ZB radio programmes, and reported for TVNZ's Eyewitness News.

Westcott reported on the child sex trade in Thailand, gang warfare in New Zealand and death squads murdering homeless children in Brazil.

Journalist and former colleague Amanda Millar says Westcott "ripped apart journalism in New Zealand."

"She came in like a revolutionary and took people by storm."

Millar said Westcott was the "queen of doorstop", a term for when you don't let someone leave until you ask all the important questions.

Westcott won 13 national and international awards for journalistic excellence in the recent 21 years.

Later in her career, she worked for Massey University and then returned to TV3 in 2014 to guest front The Paul Henry Show.

Her husband died that same year.

Westcott died early on Friday morning.