Several media organisations have withdrawn from the annual EY business journalism awards after an entry about one of the consultancy firm's clients was removed.
The entry by journalist Karyn Scherer at NBR was an investigation published last year into alleged accounting irregularities at photocopier and printing company Fuji Xerox.
Following Scherer's coverage, Japanese parent company Fujifilm last month released an independent report which found "inappropriate accounting" in operations in New Zealand and Australia between 2011 and 2016
Fuji Xerox was one of EY's audit clients.
EY withdrew the entry from this year's awards, resulting in independent judge and journalist Rebecca Macfie's resignation from the judging panel.
NBR today announced it would be withdrawing from the EY Business Journalism Awards entirely.
The Herald has also decided to withdraw its entries from the awards.
"It is important that journalism awards are independent and the removal of Karyn Scherer's entry without adequate explanation calls into question the process at this year's EY awards. The situation is regrettable but the New Zealand Herald feels it has little choice but to withdraw its own journalists' entries," said Herald Business Editor Hamish Fletcher.
Following NZME's withdrawal, Fairfax has also decided to withdraw from the awards.
NBR Editor Duncan Bridgeman said:
"It's a sad outcome because EY's original idea to sponsor the awards was so well-intentioned. Unfortunately, the integrity of the programme has been compromised by this disqualification and a big question mark now hangs over the future of these awards."
EY has been approached for comment.