12 Jul 2008

Veitch employers knew of assault last year

9:00 pm on 12 July 2008

Sports broadcaster Tony Veitch's employers, The Radio Network and TVNZ, have admitted knowing some details of the assault against his former partner since last year.

Earlier this week, Mr Veitch admitted he assaulted Kristin Dunne-Powell after an argument at their Auckland home in December 2006 and publicly apologised for his actions.

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

Police have begun a formal investigation into the incident and will look at information in the public domain.

On Saturday, The Radio Network's general manager of talk programming, Bill Francis, said he and another executive were notified of Mr Vetich's personal conflict following his return from the Rugby World Cup in 2007.

Mr Francis said he knew of a "fracas" between Mr Veitch and Ms Dunne-Powell and that the broadcaster had paid compensation to her.

Mr Veitch has been suspended from his breakfast show on Radio Sport, while the company conducts an investigation.

Television New Zealand chief executive Rick Ellis said on Saturday that Mr Veitch sought advice from senior executives in December 2007 regarding the incident with Ms Dunne-Powell.

Mr Ellis said they were unaware of the details of the attack, but did know a bit later of a financial settlement.

On Friday, the state broadcaster announced that Mr Veitch would not present its coverage of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Mr Ellis said the company was still going through a process with Mr Veitch's legal team and the matter was unlikely to be sorted out in time for him to attend the Games in China, which open on 8 August.

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