A faked picture of a Taranaki twister bearing down on New Plymouth has prompted a review of processes throughout New Zealand's newsrooms.
A woman has admitted using the Photoshop picture-editing program to superimpose a tornado sweeping ashore in the New Plymouth CBD, but says the picture was supposed only to be an in-house prank.
But to her surprise the image featured prominently on One News' Wednesday bulletin, and on 3News the same night.
The woman told the spareroom website she was baffled that neither television network had checked the authenticity of the image.
"It took two minutes to make and was so fudged it wasn't funny."
News of the fake put the wind up a number of news agencies, who have moved to review their procedures for images from the public.
Herald online deputy editor Paul Smith said the image appeared briefly on the website about 5pm on Wednesday, but was removed about an hour later.
"A member of the public emailed and suggested it was fake. We took another look at it and decided they were probably right."
The image had been sent to the website from a reader, he said.
TV3 spokesman Roger Beaumont said the picture had arrived at the station with "a number of legitimate pictures".
Though the station was still investigating, it was a timely reminder to be careful with contributions.
A review was also being carried out at TVNZ, spokeswoman Rachel Lorimer said. Though the network accepted material in good faith, it was aware that pictures and video footage could easily be faked.
Neither television station, nor the Herald online, paid for the image.
- additional reporting NZPA