Two more women have come forward alleging former TVNZ Breakfast host Kamahl Santamaria behaved inappropriately with them online.
One woman, who worked with him at TV3 at the start of his career, said Santamaria messaged out of the blue several years ago saying he used to watch her in the newsroom.
Another woman, currently working in the media in New Zealand, said he sent her messages from a private Instagram account used to follow mostly women, including many Kiwi journalists.
They came forward to speak on condition of anonymity after the Herald reported claims from a former Al Jazeera colleague that Santamaria was accused of sending multiple women inappropriate messages in his previous role at Al Jazeera.
The colleague alleged multiple complaints against Santamaria were made to Al Jazeera's human resources department and senior management over several years.
On Tuesday, TVNZ chief executive Simon Power said in an email to staff, obtained by the Herald, that a senior lawyer had been asked to review recruitment policies, processes and practices to ensure they were fit for purpose and appropriately robust.
The woman who worked with Santamaria when he was a young reporter at TV3 in the late 1990s said he approached her on LinkedIn about five years ago with a message he had since deleted.
"I remember it said 'I used to watch you walk across the newsroom floor,'" she said.
"It went on to say something else, which I can't remember the exact wording of, to the effect of I thought you were .... really hot or gorgeous or something like that."
The message ended with an emoji with heart-shaped eyes, she said.
"I was a little bit taken aback. It just seemed kind of out of character from the person I had worked with, and had liked a lot."
The message made her feel uncomfortable, she said.
"I guess I took it as a pretty strong indication to engage in flirtatious dialogue with him, which I didn't reply to."
His behaviour was not in keeping with the man she had worked with more than two decades earlier.
"I remember him being really sweet and nice and I liked him. I thought he was a nice guy.
"It just seemed really incongruous to get that message from him, I was really surprised actually."
The second woman to speak to the Herald on Tuesday, who currently works for NZME, said Santamaria recently followed her from a private Instagram he maintains alongside a public profile, then sent her several messages.
He also liked several of her old photos. The conduct made feel her uncomfortable, she said.
She investigated Santamaria's private profile and found of the 155 accounts he followed, 143 were women, including many working in the media in New Zealand and his female TVNZ colleagues.
Santamaria was hired by TVNZ in April to replace departing Breakfast host John Campbell but resigned suddenly after just a month on air.
Stuff then reported his resignation came following a complaint from at least one female colleague.
Santamaria has yet to publicly address the allegations and has gone to ground amid a media firestorm over the circumstances of his hiring and his resignation. The Herald has made multiple attempts to contact him over several days to address the allegations.
TVNZ staff are understood to be upset, believing Santamaria was hired without proper diligence or consultation.
Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi said he had sought assurances from the TVNZ board that proper processes were followed when hiring the ex-Breakfast host.
The Herald asked TVNZ if it was aware of any alleged complaints against Santamaria during his time at Al Jazeera.
A spokeswoman responded: "In any recruitment process – if we were aware of allegations of that nature against a candidate they would not be considered for a position at TVNZ."
TVNZ was approached for comment again on Tuesday about the new claims. A spokeswoman supplied a statement from chief executive Simon Power confirming the independent review but again refusing to comment on specific allegations.
"It's my view our general policy hasn't been followed or applied consistently so needs to be reviewed," he said.
Employment lawyer Margaret Robins is conducting the review, Power said.
"While I can't comment on specific employment matters, we do not tolerate any form of harassment or inappropriate behaviour in the workplace.
"If a team member raises an issue concerning the behaviour of another staff member it's taken extremely seriously, treated confidentially, and investigated swiftly."