11 Jul 2008

Veitch stripped of TV role for Olympics

8:06 pm on 11 July 2008

Sports broadcaster Tony Veitch will not present TVNZ's coverage of the Olympic Games in Beijing, after admitting that he assaulted his former partner.

The state broadcaster made the announcement on Friday.

Television New Zealand chief executive Rick Ellis says the company is still going through a process with Mr Veitch's legal team. The matter is unlikely to be sorted in time for him to attend the Games in China, which open on 8 August.

Mr Ellis says Mr Veitch's media accreditation has been pulled and he will not be on-air at all on TVNZ.

Police have begun a formal investigation after Mr Veitch publicly admitted earlier this week to assaulting his former partner in December 2006.

During his statement on Wednesday, Mr Veitch said he "lashed out" at Kristin Dunne-Powell after an argument at their Auckland home. He said his relationship had just broken up, he was working seven days a week and was on medication.

Mr Veitch said he and Ms Dunne-Powell had a confidentiality agreement, which included "payment for loss of income and distress I caused her."

He apologised not only to Ms Dunne-Powell and employers, but also to the New Zealand public.

Veitch suspended from radio role

On Thursday, Mr Veitch was suspended from his role as breakfast host on Radio Sport.

Bill Francis, head of the Radio Network, which owns Radio Sport, says given the nature of the allegations, Mr Veitch will be suspended while it conducts an investigation.

Mr Francis says violent behaviour is not condoned by the company.

Police investigation

Earlier, police said they would need either evidence or a complaint to open an investigation.

They have not yet received a formal assault complaint, but now say an officer had been assigned to look into the incident to determine what actions need to be undertaken.

Police will look at information in the public domain, but are not commenting on whether they will speak to Mr Veitch or Ms Dunne-Powell.