Toni Street has poured cold water on the suggestion her Seven Sharp co-host Mike Hosking will be a biased leaders debate adjudicator, saying the role simply doesn't allow for "any form of opinion".
Speaking on The Hits radio station today, Street said she thought it highly unlikely TVNZ would replace Hosking as adjudicator so close to the first leaders debate, which screens on TVNZ 1 at 7pm tomorrow.
Hosking has been a controversial choice as adjudicator for the debate between Bill English and Jacinda Ardern, and a petition asking for him to be removed, signed by 76,000 people, will be presented at the TVNZ Auckland building today.
However, Street said she didn't think the concerns were valid.
"People might feel like Mike is biased in his opinions one way or the other, even if you feel that way, I don't feel like it applies to the election debates," Street said.
"The reality is you're an adjudicator, you steer the traffic, there is no time for you to give any form of opinion whatsoever, and I feel like we saw it in 2014, it worked, and I can't see why it won't work again."
Speaking on Hosking's mood amid the public backlash, Street said he has managed to shield himself from being affected by public opinion over the years.
"He has been very very upbeat this week, he's used to this, he's a polarising person," Street said.
"I would imagine it's been talked about in his household, how could it not, but I think he's hardened to it and he shelters himself from it on purpose.
"And look, you don't have to agree with what he says but I think we've got to keep it focused on will he do a fair job in this particular role and I think he will."