TVNZ current affairs show Close Up has apologised over an item it copied from a United States network.

The piece, entitled Made in New Zealand, was virtually identical to an item on the American network ABC in January.

Herald Sideswipe columnist Ana Samways revealed the similarities in an article last week.

While the item was made in New Zealand, the idea certainly was not.

"A story we screened on Thursday night was inspired by a similar concept produced by our affiliate ABC America," Close Up host Mark Sainsbury said.

"Unfortunately, the story produced took the inspiration too far, a fact we were rightly picked up on.

"How it happened is a matter being thoroughly investigated, but we are disappointed that it happened, as we set high journalistic standards for ourselves.

"Let's be frank, we let you down, and for that we apologise."

Reporter Kate Lynch presented the story, which showed how many household items in the home of a typical Auckland family were made in New Zealand.

"She tracked down a willing Auckland family and nosed around their home looking at where all their household tat was made," Samways wrote last week.

"To further illustrate the point they sent the family away, hired a removal truck and loaded all the non-Kiwi-made household goods into it - leaving a sparse house.

"Most of the family's belongings were not made here and neither was this Close Up story."

Media commentator Brian Edwards told the Herald on Sunday the story was a frame-for frame, word-for-word duplicate. "At best, it's lazy journalism."

- Staff reporter