Kristin Dunne-Powell's police statement detailed a number of violent assaults by Tony Veitch


The blow that broke Kristin Dunne-Powell's back also eventually outed Tony Veitch as a perpetrator of domestic violence.

Yet it continues to be painted by him as a single moment of madness.

Since 2009, when the broadcaster pleaded guilty to injuring Dunne-Powell, he has sought to minimise his behaviour, making out it was a one-off.

In an interview with TV3 on the day he pleaded guilty, John Campbell asked Veitch, "Had there been other incidents?" His swift response: "No."

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Then on Sunday, in an article for his employer NZME, Veitch described the January 2006 as "a grave misjudgment".

"Even though it was the only time that I have ever lashed out in my life, once was too much," he wrote. "I should have walked away, but instead I hurt someone and I can't ever make that go away."

Dunne-Powell's father, Steve Dunne, responded in a statement to Stuff on Sunday saying: "This was no one-off, as you still attempt to mislead the New Zealand public to believe.

Tony Veitch before he entered his guilty plea in 2009.

Tony Veitch before he entered his guilty plea in 2009.

"The other charges were never presented to the court, but they remain evidence of your systematic abusive pattern. In those files lies a very inconvenient truth for you."

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And in an interview with us for 60 Minutes on TV3 in 2009 Dunne-Powell herself was open about the fact her broken back was not the first time she'd been the victim of Veitch's anger.

"Absolutely it was a violent relationship," she told us. "I was in denial of being a battered woman."

Tony Veitch speaks to media.

Tony Veitch speaks to media.

As Dunne said, charges for the other incidents were never presented to the court - so it should be noted that Veitch has never had an opportunity in court to defend himself against the allegations.

But in the context of his continuing to claim it was a single episode, we've gone back to the statement Dunne-Powell made to detectives about the relationship, which began in 2002.

Here are some excerpts.

March/April 2003, Auckland:

An argument in the hallway of Dunne-Powell's house deteriorates into violence.

"He kicked me 2 or 3 times in the thigh on one of my legs. The kicks were all one after the other, fairly quickly.

"I remember Tony leaving the house straight after the last kick. I saw him walk out the front door at the end of the hallway."

January 2004, Mangawhai:

The couple have gone to the Northland town for a weekend away to discuss problems in their relationship when the discussion becomes heated.

"At some stage during the argument Tony kicked a hole in the wall near the balcony in his anger. He did it in front of me.

"I think it was a half wall. His foot went right into it and created a hole in the Gib board.

"When Tony assaulted me, I would ride a fine line for the few days afterward. Not wanting to say anything to set him off again. Not wanting to antagonise him. He was always so apologetic afterward and it seemed genuine."

June 2005, Rotorua:

During a night in Rotorua, Dunne-Powell decides to leave after becoming upset.

"I was standing facing a wall packing my bag when Tony suddenly grabbed me with both hands and threw me onto the bed.

"When he got home we talked for a bit about what went on. Somewhere between his apologies and what we were talking about, as to whose fault it all was, he got angry with me again."

July 2005, Auckland:

At home in Auckland, the pair have an argument in the lounge.

"Tony chased me, from the bottom lounge room, up into our bedroom and into the walk-in wardrobe.

"I wanted to get away from him. I dropped to the ground to crawl out and away but as I did he started kicking me hard three times.

"I was on all fours when the first kick landed on my right thigh. It was so painful, that I actually ended up flipping over somehow onto my bottom, so the next kicks were to my left leg."

November 2005, Auckland:

The morning after a party to celebrate Veitch's radio station's survey results, the pair argue about a woman who was at the bar.

"Then he hit me in the torso. He used his left hand.

"It was just one blow. He was saying words but I don't remember what they were. I was apologising to him so he would calm down."

December 2005, Auckland:

After spending the night at Veitch's house, Dunne-Powell is leaving in the morning when an argument about their relationship blows up.

"I don't know how I came to be on the ground but I remember being in a sort of crab-like position on my bottom. Tony was kicking me in the legs like he was trying to get me out the door. I don't remember how many kicks he gave me but the kicks were to both legs.

"On 26 December 2005 I went to the Boxing Day races at Ellerslie with friends...and a few others from Vodafone.

"I wore a long dress to cover the bruising on my legs."

January 2006, Auckland:

The pair have broken up but are having a discussion about getting back together when an argument develops after Veitch receives a text from another woman. It quickly becomes violent.

"I was backed against the wall for only seconds and instinctively slid my back down the wall and went to dive out from under Tony.

"As I got to the crouch position, I felt 2 or 3 kicks land in my right lower back and I heard a crack.

"I remember looking up at Tony who was crouched down beside me. He was saying, "Are you OK, are you OK?" I was saying, 'This is bad, this is bad'."

After this incident, x-rays confirmed Dunne-Powell's back was fractured. Their relationship was finally over for good in March 2006.


A police file released to media in 2009 under the Official Information Act included 358 documents detailing the further six assault allegations Veitch initially faced.

In 2009, Veitch pleaded guilty to injuring Dunne-Powell with reckless disregard for her safety and the six charges of male assaults female were dropped so the evidence was never tested in court.

The Crown and defence reached a plea bargain after weeks of negotiations. Sometimes certain charges are dropped in exchange for a guilty plea and an agreed summary of facts. This also means the victim doesn't have to go through a trial.

Veitch paid Dunne-Powell $150,000 in compensation before the court case.

Media published some of the details relating to the six dropped charges before Veitch's lawyers won a High Court injunction to block any further material from the released documents being published. Veitch subsequently stopped the court proceedings preventing publication of the police file.

Then in 2011 an Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) report found police should have not released files to media without consulting with Veitch and his lawyer over privacy issues first.

The IPCA ruling recommended police offer Veitch a public apology. It also said he should have a say in how the apology was worded.

In the report Veitch said if the six charges had not been dropped, he would have continued to defend them.

He also claimed police were "selective" in what was released to the media and withheld information about Dunne-Powell that would have been "potentially damaging" to her.

The IPCA found it was "unjustified and undesirable" for police to release the information regarding the six assault allegations that were dismissed by the court.

Veitch did not respond to requests for comment in relation to this story.

However, on Monday he referred to the IPCA report when asked for his response for an earlier story on the same topic.

"I just implore you to read the IPCA report from 2011 which outlines clearly the 'other' allegations were never challenged and in fact dropped by the defense," he said on Monday.

Veitch said the IPCA report into the matter found police illegally released "untested allegations" into the public domain in 2009. "Since that time the law has changed and the police, as part of the findings, were made to apologise to me for breaching ethical and legal standards."


• Women's refuge crisisline: 0800 733 843

• Lifeline (open 24/7): 0800 543 354

• Depression Helpline (open 24/7): 0800 111 757

• Samaritans (open 24/7): 0800 726 666

 - Stuff

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