Derek Leonard Round MNZM (23 February 1935 – 16 May 2012) was a New Zealand journalist and Vietnam War correspondent.

Derek Round

Derek Round MNZM (cropped).jpg
Round in 2010
Born(1935-02-23)23 February 1935
Died16 May 2012(2012-05-16) (aged 77)
Whanganui, New Zealand
Occupation(s)Journalist, war correspondent


Round's media career started in mid 1950s when he was working as an editor for Canta, the Canterbury University student newspaper. He graduated from Canterbury University as a law graduate but had worked in journalism at the Parker-Hulme murder trial in 1975 as a 19-year-old legal intern, and continued in that career. In 1960 he started as the bureau chief for Reuters, the international news agency, in Singapore and Hong Kong. From 1973 to 1977 he worked as an Asia correspondent for the New Zealand Press Association (NZPA) in Singapore and Hong Kong. Later on he started working at the parliamentary press gallery as a political editor, also at NZPA. His roles also included London bureau chief and editor, which he worked as for five years, from 1984 and on.[1]

In 1976 Rounds accompanied New Zealand Prime Minister Rob Muldoon on a visit to China.[citation needed]

Round was one of the few journalists selected to attend the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.[citation needed]

Round was one of the most distinguished journalists in New Zealand and he gained a reputation for being a successful "gung-ho" reporter from his work in war zones.[2] In the 2010 Queen's Birthday Honours, Round was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to journalism.[3]

It has also been claimed that Round worked as a spy for the SIS after the Soviet Union contacted him. This was told by Martin Round who is Derek's cousin.[4]

His published works include the book "Barbed Wire Between Us" (July 15, 2002, Random House New Zealand, 189 pages).[5]


Round was murdered in the living room of his own home in Whanganui. His body was found on the morning of 17 May 2012. Police described his death as violent, reporting as follows: "Although I can't go into details at this stage the results would indicate a horrific attack on Derek, which took place in the living room of his home", detective Senior Sergeant Dave Kirby of Whanguanui CIB said. Inquiries are continuing.[6] Later it was announced that Derek died due to several violent blows to the head.

In May 2012, Whanganui man Michael Umanui Werahiko, 31, was arrested and charged with Round's murder. As of November 2012, he was being held in custody after failing to win bail.[7] His trial was set to take place in Whanganui, in July 2013.[8] Werahiko was subsequently found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum period of imprisonment of 15 years. Werahiko appealed, but both appeals (against the duration and minimum duration of his term) were thrown out in the Court of Appeal in 2015.[9]


  1. ^[bare URL]
  2. ^ "Derek Round: 'Gung-ho' journo and a gentleman". 26 May 2012.
  3. ^ "Queen's Birthday honours list 2010". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 7 June 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  4. ^[bare URL]
  5. ^ "Derek Round: 'Gung-ho' journo and a gentleman". 26 May 2012.
  6. ^ Former journalist killed in attack NZ Herald, 18 May 2012
  7. ^ "Journalist murder-accused to reappear". 3 News NZ. 5 November 2012.
  8. ^ "July trial for Derek Round murder-accused". 3 News NZ. 25 March 2013.
  9. ^ "Convicted murderer Michael Umanui Werahiko's appeals thrown out". 25 May 2015.