TVNZ has apologised to the family of a crash victim for a report that claimed he was a convicted criminal.
Police asked the broadcaster to apologise after a report on One News' 6pm bulletin yesterday which said Dylan Kingi, 28, had been jailed for aggravated robbery and had problems with alcohol and drugs.
Mr Kingi was killed when the car he was driving crashed in Gisborne on Saturday, also claiming the lives of passengers Peter Bunyan, 27, and Holly Gunn, 25.
Detective Sergeant Kevin Ford of Gisborne police said Mr Kingi had never been to jail and the information, which related to a South Island man by the same name, appeared to have come from a Google search.
He said the family was appalled by the error and he asked TV One to set the matter straight.
TVNZ spokesperson Megan Richards said the company was deeply sorry for the error and had been in touch with the family.
Its chief executive had personally apologised and an apology aired on the 6pm news today, Newstalk ZB reported.
Gisborne police were also critical of a report on the front page of the Dominion Post newspaper yesterday that featured a photograph captioned as being Mr Bunyan, when it was actually of a good friend.
A correction appeared in the newspaper today.
"All it would have taken in both cases was a quick telephone call to police," Mr Ford said.
But police have also been criticised for not front-footing the issue.
On a Facebook group for media professionals, one journalist wrote police had not "come to the party on this story".
"You can't just put out a press release and then not make a spokesperson available, which is what happened for us at least."