Radio host Martin Devlin taken off air after throwing punch at junior colleague

Newstalk ZB sportscaster Martin Devlin.
Newstalk ZB sportscaster Martin Devlin. Photo credit: Photosport

Newstalk ZB host Martin Devlin has been taken off air, after throwing a punch at a junior member of staff.

Devlin, 57, hasn't been on air since May 10, after throwing a punch at a fellow journalist.

The unnamed journalist wanted to break a news story on The Devlin Radio Show, but refused to tell the host what it was. An angry Devlin then tried - unsuccessfully - to punch his colleague.

Devlin has issued an apology for his behaviour.

"An incident happened at work last week," he says.

"I lost my rag at a radio colleague and have rightly been away from the studios, while NZME has undertaken a process to investigate and determine what happened, and ensure the safety of its people.

"I took a swing at my colleague during a discussion that became heated. While I never had any intention to connect, that's not the point.

"My behaviour was wholly unacceptable, I am deeply, deeply sorry, and have apologised to him and my other colleagues who witnessed it."

Devlin is expected back on air Saturday.

That investigation also forced Devlin to confront other unsavoury incidents on his work record, including "unwelcome" messages to female colleagues.

"That I felt the messages were innocent is completely irrelevant," he admits. "It's how the recipients felt that's paramount and I apologise profusely for making my colleague feel uncomfortable."

Devlin claims he has suffered depression since his father died in 2007.

"This incident has been a circuit-breaker for me, forcing me to confront and acknowledge every dumb and disorderly thing I have done. Yes, it's a long, long list.

"Sitting on the car bonnet, exploding at criticism from listeners who have texted in, insulting and lashing out on-air at media colleagues, swinging at someone at work...

"I can, hand on heart, say that I genuinely believe that nothing like this will ever happen again. I begin therapy on Monday to deal with my anger."

NZME has affirmed its commitment to a safe workplace.

"At all times, providing a workplace that is healthy, safe and inclusive remains our ultimate duty of care to all of our people, and we have robust processes and policies in place to support this," it says.

"Our commitment is that when we deal with issues and concerns, the wellbeing of our people is a responsibility we take incredibly seriously."