TVNZ says a confrontation between reality television producer Julie Christie and news head Bill Ralston over its coverage of the Marc Ellis drug case is a "storm in a teacup".

Ms Christie verbally abused Mr Ralston on Friday and told him TVNZ would be better off without him after a television crew pursued her and Ellis around the TVNZ building last week.

The footage was shown a few days later, on Friday night, in a news item after Ellis pleaded guilty to possessing the drug Ecstasy.

Ellis is one of the stars of Game of Two Halves, which is produced by Ms Christie's company, Touchdown.

Yesterday TVNZ chief executive Ian Fraser described the altercation as a "hiccup" and said it was time for TVNZ and Touchdown to move back to the "very good relationship" they had.

"It's a storm in a teacup. Julie has had a tantrum and made a number of threats. She's entitled to do that.

"I would think that by the end of the weekend she would have calmed down sufficiently to see that the story was a legitimate story and she doesn't buy any special treatment from TVNZ news because she happens to be a producer who supplies us with some of our most valuable programmes."

Ms Christie told the Herald on Sunday she was furious at the way she had been confronted and especially that footage shot on Monday, before Ellis' court appearance, was used on Friday, as if it had been shot that day.

The incident was "another character assassination by the TVNZ newsroom".

After seeing the news item she had gone into Judy Bailey's makeup room, where she had a "personal conversation about TVNZ" with the news anchor.

Ms Christie then left the building and, seeing Mr Ralston, directed a personal insult at him and told him TVNZ would be better off without him.

Ms Christie, who was understood to have threatened legal action, said she had complained to TVNZ management and expected a response from them today.

TVNZ management were expected to discuss the issue today.

Mr Fraser, who was at home with the flu, did not know about a meeting but believed it would be appropriate.

He said TVNZ would not be "gagged by the threat of legal action".

Mr Fraser hoped Game of Two Halves would continue to play on TV One when its contract expired at the end of next year and he did not believe Ms Christie's "tantrum"would have an impact long-term.

"Julie Christie is someone we highly value and her television company regularly produces the goods for us so, of course, we want to be in a productive relationship rather than this sort of nonsense."