Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Inquiry over impaled TVNZ reporter

Phil Vine. Photo / Supplied
Phil Vine. Photo / Supplied

The Department of Labour is investigating how a TVNZ reporter's chair collapsed, driving a 10cm piece of wood into his back.

Fair Go reporter Phil Vine had to be lifted from the fourth floor of TVNZ's central Auckland building by firefighters after the wooden outdoor chair he was sitting on gave way beneath him.

He was sitting outside the company's cafeteria at the time, and ended up with a large piece of wood lodged in his back.

Vine was lifted into a basket attached to a fire engine and then lowered to a waiting ambulance. He was taken to Auckland Hospital in a serious condition and remained there yesterday receiving treatment.

TVNZ spokeswoman Georgie Hills said Vine, who has been a journalist for more than 20 years, was recovering well. He did not wish to speak about his ordeal yesterday and his partner requested privacy.

Ms Hills said no further comment would be made, in accordance with Vine's request.

"The wellbeing of the staff member is TVNZ's chief concern," she said.

The incident had been referred to the Department of Labour. "The chair in question was purchased from a specialist outdoor furniture supplier and is no more than two years old."

As a precaution, TVNZ had removed all wooden outdoor chairs from its Auckland building while an investigation was conducted, Ms Hills said.

A spokeswoman from the department would not be drawn on the specifics of their investigation.

"We cannot comment on what may have caused the accident or injuries sustained," she said.

"The department has contacted TVNZ and is making initial inquiries to identify what follow-up action is appropriate."

Vine has been a television journalist for about 10 years. Before his role on Fair Go he worked for BBC World and ITV, reporting from various places around the world including Afghanistan, East Timor and Nicaragua.

He is a multiple Qantas Award winner and was behind the unmasking of former Christchurch deputy mayor and GP Morgan Fahey - who was jailed for raping and sexually assaulting his patients.

- NZ Herald

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