John Campbell starts work on Monday and Radio New Zealand appears confident that staff tensions over his takeover of Checkpoint have been resolved.

Checkpoint runs from 5pm to 7pm on Radio New Zealand National.

Insiders said Radio New Zealand Checkpoint staff in Wellington have been rattled by the change to a new "Checkpoint with John Campbell" and the way it has been handled.

Tensions appear to relate to the shift to Auckland and the future of Wellington-based staff.


The new show is due to start sometime in November and be made out of Auckland studios, but it is expected Campbell is to be providing material before then.

The EPMU union representing journalists has been working with RNZ to ease tensions which is largely over the handling of the change and the future of existing staff, according to a source familiar with the situation.

RNZ Chief executive Paul Thompson said he was not aware of any problems.

He said RNZ head of content Carol Hirschfeld - a former colleague of Campbell in the early days of TV3 Campbell Live - was working with Campbell on the new format, which will include video streaming.

Campbell has a reputation for advocacy journalism. But Thompson said Checkpoint would continue as a news programme and would have the full backing and resources from the newsroom.

Former presenter Mary Wilson, has already finished on air, and is director of news programmes.

Checkpoint continues in its old format, presented by senior journalists until the Campbell show begins.

Hirschfeld confirmed there had been some issues last week and that the EPMU had been involved but they had been resolved.


She said union involvement was not unusual at RNZ.

One well placed source confirmed there had tension over RNZ handling of the change and the status and future deployment of Wellington staff and that RNZ was intent Checkpoint with John Campbell would not include Campbell's brand of advocacy journalism.