McRoberts, who reported from Christchurch, vented his frustrations ' />

Mike McRoberts has criticised his network's coverage of the Canterbury quake.

McRoberts, who reported from Christchurch, vented his frustrations on online chat site Twitter on Sunday.

He said TV3's ratings were the result of "a poor decision by 3 not to go with continuous coverage throughout the day".

His comments came soon after colleague Rachel Smalley - who presents the Nightline late-night news bulletin - wrote on Twitter congratulating her rival network's ratings.

"TVNZ's ratings are great ... I imagine they'll be delighted. Very good ratings indeed," she said.

McRoberts' boss, TV3 director of news Mark Jennings, yesterday told the Herald the news presenter had made the Twitter comments without full knowledge of the facts. "I think Twitter conversations can lead down some paths and it would probably be better if they didn't take place."

Mr Jennings said McRoberts was simply "showing a little frustration" over his disappointment with ratings.

In hindsight, the network probably should have had constant coverage, but a failing energy supply in Christchurch left the TV3 crew without power until about 2pm.

The power problem meant TV3 could not do a continuous broadcast from Christchurch. "We were able to have on-the-hour mini-bulletins but if we had the newsroom up and running, it would have been different."

Mr Jennings said McRoberts was not fully aware the TV3 base had no power. There were also faults with TVNZ's coverage of the quake.

"TVNZ just had the same stuff repeated, repeated, repeated."

He said TV3's Saturday night news bulletin was better than TVNZ's, but it didn't rate as highly because of its lack of a comprehensive lead-in.

"All you can do is make the best decision you can at the time."

WHAT THEY SAID

"What it reflects is a poor decision by 3 not to go with continuous coverage throughout the day. No lead-in."
- Mike McRoberts, TV3 newsreader, on Twitter, Sunday night.

"TVNZ's ratings are great ... I imagine they'll be delighted. Very good ratings indeed."
- Rachel Smalley, TV3 Nightline presenter, on Twitter, Sunday night.

"I think Twitter conversations can lead down some paths and it would probably be better if they didn't take place."
- Mark Jennings, TV3 director of news, Monday afternoon. TV3 newsreader