Pregnant TVNZ presenters criticised for continuing work

by Nicola Middlemiss19 Jan 2016
Employers around New Zealand are being reminded of the potential discrimination pregnant employees may face – especially when in a public facing role – after two high-profile workers were criticised for not standing down.

TVNZ presenters Renee Wright and Jenny-May, both visibly pregnant, were at the centre of one unhappy viewer’s TV Guide complaint yesterday.

"I have no problem seeing pregnant women in normal situations or places, but to have them remain on TV in a state which I feel is embarrassing and an eyesore? It's time to replace them," wrote Lower Hutt resident John Rook.

Clarkson, who is expecting twins, was named specifically in the 69-year-old’s rant; “Who is responsible for allowing a sports reporter in a very pregnant state to remain on screen?" he demanded to know.

Despite the angry letter, a TVNZ spokesperson said the company has no reservations about putting pregnant presenters on air and would continue to support the women however they thought best.

"We're thrilled for Jenny-May. TVNZ is fully supportive of women working during pregnancy and supports their return to work. Like a lot of Kiwi women, Jenny-May is working during her pregnancy. She's not the first and she won't be the last member of our news team to do so.

"As well as her One News duties, she's currently filming segments which explore pregnancy for TV One's lifestyle series Whanau Living. Jenny-May's a talented and professional broadcaster. It's her choice to decide at what point she takes a break from her role and we'll support her decision 100 per cent."

The general public has also showed unwavering support for Clarkson and Wright who, under the Equal Employment Opportunities Act, are protected by law.

Out-of-touch Rook later apologized for his comments and said he regretted writing the letter.


  • by Scott E (Western Australia) 19/01/2016 5:35:29 PM

    It's time for John Rook to retire from watching television if he is unable to live in a world where women more often need to continue to work up to a designated time prior to the birth of their child(ren), and definitely should have the choice whether they continue to work or not up to that time. His comment is offensive not only to women, but society in general! We live in a much different world to the one Mr Rook grew up in, and if he can't adapt to those changes then he really should refrain from being involved, let alone make ridiculous comments which only show him to be a bigot!

Most Read