Television channel TVNZ kept quiet about a paedophile cameraman who was hired by kids' TV show What Now, the New Zealand Herald revealed.
Nikola Marinovich was hired as a freelance cameraman for the popular children's TV show, despite having served jail time for abusing children.
In September 2020, the former cheerleading coach was jailed for three-and-a-half years for possessing, making and distributing child exploitation images after working for What Now in 2018 and 2019.
Although TVNZ knew the paedophile had worked for the taxpayer-funded show, it failed to pass on the information for more than 12 months, according to the Herald.
The national television channel only admitted they knew Marinovich's criminal background after they were approached by the Herald in June last year.
The freelance cameraman was hired for What Now by Whitebait Media - a production company owned by children's entertainer Jason Gunn and his wife, Janine Morrell-Gunn.
He did not undergo a background check before being employed, and the production company has since apologised.
"We were shocked and upset to learn of his arrest and prior convictions. We did not carry our police vetting prior to the contractor's engagement," Morrell-Gunn told Newshub in June 2020.
"In hindsight, this was a failure on our part and one we are deeply sorry for. We now require police vetting of all staff, contractors and freelancers to ensure this never happens again."