TVNZ said reporters Peter Williams and Dean Butler mistook the segment for a ‘light hearted parody’. Six other presenters read out tweets that were genuine.
'TVNZ is taking this matter very seriously and will be dealing with it appropriately, ’ Breakfast said.
Before her death Dawson spoke publicly about her struggle to cope with abuse levelled at her online.
The New Zealand-born former model was hospitalised in 2012 after she was bombarded with abusive messages from trolls on Twitter.
Mortified: Peter Williams misunderstood the segment and thought it was meant to be a 'light hearted parody'
TVNZ’s Williams read on air a fake tweet saying: ‘My mother always told me that people who talk slowly think slowly. You talk slowly, Peter Williams.’
Meanwhile, Butler’s fake message read: ‘Don't take this the wrong way but I hope someone punches you.’
Some of the real messages read out by fellow hosts included taunts about their ‘disgusting flabby arm skin’ and the fact they were ‘thick as a plank’.
Dawson’s friend and fellow TV personality Sally Ridge also appeared on the program on Tuesday and said she and Dawson were 'the most hated women in New Zealand.'
Touching tribute: Dawson's favourite basketball team the Sydney Kings will dedicate their game to her if they win on Sunday
Big fan: Dawson was a big fan of the Sydney Kings and would often attend their games
‘You just can't even comprehend what she would have gone through, ’ Ridge said.
Meanwhile, Dawson’s favourite basketball team the Sydney Kings plan to honour her this Sunday by wearing black arm bands during their game against the Perth Wildcats at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.
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