Radio New Zealand has sent much loved Checkpoint host John Campbell off in style - with a half-hour tribute to his time with the station broadcast on the show.

Tonight's drive-time video broadcast and radio show - the final episode Campbell would present for the company - was his 650th programme.

Campbell was departing RNZ to join TVNZ - where he would be working on a current affairs show.

A co-host on the show tonight opened the last section of the show with a tribute to her colleague.


"John hasn't just been a presenter," she said.

"He's been a mentor to young reporters across the newsroom, a journalist, a storyteller, a friend, and a valued member of the RNZ newsroom."

"So John ... the next half hour is about you, and your work."

Highlights from Campbell's time on the show included a fiery interview with the former Minister of Education Hekia Parata about seclusion rooms and emotional coverage of children living at Auckland's Te Puea Marae.

Lighter moments show Campbell sharing laughs with interviewees and his colleagues.

Snippets of tributes to the journalist shared by the public were followed by a rendition of Cat Stevens 1971 hit Wild World.

RNZ producer Alex Perrottet and reporter Matthew Hutching were captured performing the song in one of the station's studios.

Perrottet, on vocals, crooned: "Ooooh, JC baby you were marvellous".


Campbell himself then wrapped up the programme, paying tribute to his colleagues and sending well wishes to those who would come after him.

Alex Perrottet would immediately take over presenting duties before Lisa Owen, who was to be a full time replacement, would step in shortly after.

"Checkpoint will be in beautiful hands," Campbell said.

"It's been my immense good fortune to host - I can't thank you enough."

"It's been a pleasure and a privilege and I'll miss you all."

Campbell leaves RNZ after three years hosting Checkpoint, which airs from 5pm to 6.30pm.