23 Apr 2012

NZ journalist still detained in Zimbabwe - MFAT

10:18 pm on 23 April 2012

A New Zealand journalist is still detained in Zimbabwe despite reports of his release, New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says.

Photojournalist Robin Hammond was arrested along with a Zimbabwean charity worker over the weekend in the border town of Beitbridge, 580km south of Harare.

Zimbabwean police say the pair have been charged with violating legislation on protected areas and immigration.

Zimbabwean journalist Columbus Mavhunga had said police told him Mr Hammond has been released, ordered to pay a fine of $200 and deported to South Africa.

Mr Hammond has been described as a committed and ambitious student by the professor who taught him.

Professor Anne Noble, of Massey University, says the journalist has a distinguished career covering human rights issues in Africa and has won several awards for his reporting.