20 May 2012

Horrific attack on journalist - police

7:30 am on 20 May 2012

Whanganui police say a post-mortem has confirmed a veteran journalist killed in his home died in an horrific attack.

Derek Round, 77, was found dead in the lounge of his Campbell Street property at 8.30am on Thursday.

Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Kirby would give no more details but says about 40 staff are working on the homicide inquiry, which is progressing well.

He says the police would like to hear from anyone who may have seen Mr Round's blue Jaguar on Wednesday night through to Thursday morning.

Forensic examination of the scene is likely to continue until Monday, while an examination of Mr Round's car may finish on Sunday.

Past colleagues are paying tribute, among them former New Zealand Press Association general manager Graeme Jenkins.

He says Mr Round, a quiet man, was a steady performer as a journalist. He managed to get into China when it was closed off from the rest of the world.

"At that stage his reports back to NZPA were picked up by international agencies around the world," Mr Jenkins said.

He described the death as a shock and a tragic way for a life to end.

Former NZPA journalist Max Lambert worked with Mr Round from the late 1950s.

"At his best he was an excellent reporter, an excellent writer who carried himself very well.

"I admired him for standing up to (former Prime Minister) Rob Muldoon a couple of times," he said.