|Employer||Nine Network, TVNZ, Radio Sport|
|Parent(s)||Sue and Graham Veitch|
In July 2008 allegations became public that he had seriously assaulted a former partner in 2006. He resigned from his radio and television positions and in April 2009 admitted and was convicted of recklessly injuring his former partner.
It was reported on 14 June 2009 that Veitch and his wife Zoe Halford had separated, in part due to the stresses of the previous 12 months.
Veitch was born in New Zealand but moved to Australia as a teenager and got his start in broadcasting with Nine Network. He returned to New Zealand at 24 to take up a job as a reporter for TVNZ's Holmes show under Paul Holmes.
Veitch was mentioned by broadcast journalism academic Yvonne Densem as being a role model for young men considering journalism: "Martin Devlin and Tony Veitch were certainly considered role models. They're quirky, they're unpredictable, they dress casually, they talk sport, they're cool, they stand with one hand in their pocket you know they don't sit ramrod straight in front of a camera."
In early 2005 Veitch was suspended by TVNZ for about a week after appearing in a horse racing advertisement without asking permission from TVNZ. The same year he appeared in the Auckland City All Stars soccer match for tsunami relief.
Prior to 7 July 2008 Veitch was a highly visible New Zealand sports broadcaster who hosted a Radio Sport breakfast show and the ONE News 6pm sports news until July 2008. He was also involved with other TVNZ programmes such as A Game of Two Halves and Veitch's View.
Prior to his April 2009 court appearance Veitch made a short comeback, appearing as a guest panelist on Deaker on Sport.
In 2002 he won the SPARC adidas Award for Television Reporting and "the judges said that TVNZ’s Tony Veitch was a great talent in contemporary television reporting with a portfolio that showed the range of his considering reporting ability."  In 2006 he won NZ Radio Awards Best sports presenter: Best Presenter or Talk Show and was a finalist in Best news: Best News Story Team Coverage (with Peter Everatt). In 2007 he won a New Zealand TV Guide Best on the Box Award for Best Sport Presenter, an accolade given to him again in 2009, after he resigned.
Accusations of violence
On 7 July 2008, Fairfax Media publications The Press and the Dominion Post reported that in early 2006 Veitch seriously assaulted his former partner Kristin Dunne-Powell. The papers alleged that the injuries kept Dunne-Powell away from work for several months and that she had developed a breakdown that subsequently forced her to quit a managerial position at Vodafone New Zealand. The papers also said Veitch allegedly paid Dunne-Powell NZ$100,000 not to reveal the assault publicly, and to explain the injuries as a result of falling down stairs. In the following days it was alleged that the assault broke Dunne-Powell's back in four places and that she needed to temporarily use a wheelchair.
Resignation from media work
The day after the assault allegations were made public, Veitch turned up to work on Radio Sport, although Andrew Saville presented the sports news on ONE News. TVNZ released a media statement saying "Sports Presenter Tony Veitch has agreed to step down from his role with TVNZ while media allegations are considered by the broadcaster." It reported that "head of news and current affairs Anthony Flannery said that Mr Veitch would step down while a review was conducted into the allegations made against him by some media organisations." He added that due to the nature of the allegations—in particular the privacy of others, he could not make comment further.
On 9 July, Veitch held a press conference where he said he "broke, I lashed out". He said that although he had no excuses, he had been working seven days a week and was at a low point. He was not on either of his programs that day.
On 10 July, TVNZ CEO Rick Ellis released a statement that ONE News’ Lisa Owen described as "bland". It said "Television New Zealand has a review process underway regarding disclosures by sports presenter Tony Veitch. We are giving the situation our most serious consideration, and Tony's personal statement today will be taken into account by the review process," he said. "Violence is a major issue in New Zealand and the profile of our on air presenters is important to the public and to our organisation." Ellis said TVNZ had had a number of conversations with Veitch and his legal representatives, and the review process was being run by the Heads of Television, Human Resources and News and Current Affairs.
Veitch issued a media statement on 17 July 2008 announcing his resignation from both TVNZ and Radio Sport. He was quoted as saying that "TVNZ has been my life, I have loved my job. There have been a lot of statements made that are untrue which make it untenable now for me to continue in my current roles with TVNZ and the Radio Network."
Veitch was charged with six counts of assaulting Kristin Dunne-Powell and one of injuring her with reckless disregard, between 2002 and 2006. He was released on bail. On 16 April 2009 he appeared in Auckland District Court and entered a guilty plea to the most serious charge, of injuring with reckless disregard. The Crown did not present evidence regarding the other six charges, and they were dismissed. Dunne-Powell's victim impact statement read to the Auckland District Court evidenced that Veitch's kicks to her back, whilst she was lying on the ground caused her spine to fracture in two places, and that Dunne-Powell was forced to use a wheelchair and crutches for several weeks, as a result of Veitch's violent actions towards her.
Veitch was sentenced to nine months supervision, 300 hours community service and a $10,000 fine with the possibility of having to attend a Stop Violence programme should this be deemed necessary by parole officials.
Since the sentencing, questions have come to light over the accuracy of some of the character testimonials submitted during the sentencing phase of the case. It has been alleged that Veitch amended character references or procured some testimonials from prominent New Zealanders by saying that their testimonials would be used for a passport or job application. These testimonials were used by the judge in setting Veitch's sentence. In particular, Dame Susan Devoy and Dave Currie have said that testimonials written by them to support a passport application were edited and submitted on this unrelated matter. The Crown will take no action on the matter.
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- Gay, Edward (2008-07-17). "Veitch resigns from TVNZ and TRN". NZ Herald. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- "Veitch pleads guilty - crime - national". Stuff.co.nz. 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
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- Savage, Jared (18 April 2009). "Sport stars misled over letters for Veitch". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
- "No action over altered Veitch testimonials". Stuff.co.nz. 25 April 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
- "Tony Veitch safe after search". 3 News. 18 April 2009.
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