Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: So far from trivial

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  • LegBreak,

    My wife (out of the country & oblivious to this - I doubt the story has legs in Oz)

    And that, unless he serves a lengthy prison term, is exactly where he will end up.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    then what would be the point of allowing a case to go ahead without a formal complaint, not just in this case but in any case?

    If the case can be built and demonstrated with evidence that's publicly available, then where's the problem? A complaint isn't necessary to pull news reports and the like, and that would be the only other evidence in this case.
    Not all cases require private records. Many don't. There are also court orders available to compel release of records, but the courts are loathe to interfere with medical records because the doctor-patient privilege is such a precious concept.

    that law becomes pointless without the medical evidence being able to be accessed. to me there's a public interest argument in a case like this, where the violence is so severe.

    Is there? Really? The public might be interested, but is it really "public interest"? The man is scum, to be sure, but how is it in the public interest to override the confidentiality of the medical records of his former partner, who signed a confidentiality agreement, presumably having received adequate legal advice? I'd say the public interest is very much more in favour of preservation of contract and preservation of medical privacy. Overturning those institutions is a big step.

    that doesn't mean that those records have to become public documents - surely the rules around suppression can be used to protect the privacy of the victim?

    Oh, sure, the court can order that they be filed under seal, but they still have to be turned over to the police in the first place. That's a breach of her privacy, since she hasn't consented. Obviously when there's no way a victim can consent the police can make an easy case to get a court order for access to records, and I suspect that there's a hole in medical ethics to allow doctors to advise the police of a potential case. Absent consent, though, and absent a court order that I can see being very difficult to obtain in this case, her records should remain closed.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    Ane when, oh when, will such such stories not be sorted into the Entertainment section of the paper/web site/Google news..?

    In general, when the "celebrity" topic is missing dogs, or stolen car, and even marital problems or hookups.... I'm 100% with you....

    But serious assault is NOT for the entertainment pages.

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 889 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    serious assault is NOT for the entertainment pages

    Glad we agree Fletcher B...

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Tui's branding is such that I don't expect anything more from them on that front. They're selling to the same crowd as Veitch appealed to, they're not going to do anything unexpected like "She Fell Down the Stairs/Yeah Right", or "I'm not making any excuses for what I've done/Yeah Right".

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Woof. Here's a comments thread to raise your blood pressure.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Thom James,

    Woof. Here's a comments thread to raise your blood pressure.

    Oh wow. Did I read Owen McShane's comment right? Because I swear he's saying that Ms Dunne-Powell has to accept responsibility as much as Veitch...

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Did I read Owen McShane's comment right?

    I think you did - I'm so glad Danyl got to it before me - he's so much more eloquent with the put downs.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • David Cormack,

    he's so much more eloquent with the put downs.

    I'm not sure eloquence is noted/appreciated by those on KB

    Suburbia, Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 218 posts Report Reply

  • anjum rahman,

    matthew, really appreciating your comments, cos they are helping me to clarify my understanding of the issues here.

    The public might be interested, but is it really "public interest"?

    the public interest would be to convict those who commit assault. the reason why action can be taken without a complaint for domestic violence is around issues of intimidation of the victim, isn't it? basically, she can say that it's not her fault the case is going ahead which may protect her from some further aggravation. it may also be for a wider public interest though - crimes like this should not go unpunished because the victim is too afraid of the consequences of making a complaint.

    i'd accept that if there is sufficient evidence in the public domain, then the medical records should be private. but if there isn't, then i would think there might be an exception. quite happy with the requirement of a court order as you mention.

    re the lawyers, i take you're point that they aren't allowed to go to the police. can i ask another question though: was the agreement with the confidentiality clause illegal (in that it's an agreement to cover up the crime)? if so, have the lawyers breached their code of ethics by being a part of the process in setting it up?

    hamilton • Since Nov 2006 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    It seems clearly in the "public interest" that a man who admits to such a serious assault be seen to suffer the full legal consequences.
    No prosecution just makes it seem like a high-profile offender- who publicly confesses- gets away with GBH. It doesn't only scream of double standards; it's not just. Justice has to be seen to be done. That involves prosecution of the offender, and some inquiry into who knew, when, and whether they helped to "cover up".

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2108 posts Report Reply

  • Charles Mabbett,


    I think the Dompost decided to take a punt even though they only used unnamed sources. The journalist Bernadette Courtenay must have been very confident of her sources that the story was true. A publication can mount a defence that it is not defamation if it is the truth.

    After the story was published (and it was a real doozy of a scoop - let's face it - it would be hard for any editor to decide not to run it), TVNZ revealed that Veitch was considering legal action but his lawyers might have advised that the defamation case wasn't going to fly hence the public relations managed 'apology'. That's my reading of it.

    I'd be interested in hearing from others how they saw the events unfold this week.

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    And what anjum said!

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2108 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I'm not sure eloquence is noted/appreciated by those on KB

    I appreciate it :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    She chose not to, and I think we should respect her choice.

    What, like the way when a Mongrel Mob member beats the shit out of someone, we shouldn't be at all concerned about the victim "deciding not to complain to the police"?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    indeed. 'cunt' is a dirty word for a beautiful thing.

    veitch is just a dirty word

    Thoroughly seconded. If description is needed, I think "pathetic" and "disgusting" will do quite nicely.

    Are there things we don't know that might count as mitigating circumstances?

    What possible mitigating circumstance could there be for knocking someone to the ground and kicking them until their back broke? I think the fact that the best "explanation" Veitch came up with was "I was really tired and shit" demonstrates quite clearly that there is (and cannot be) any mitigation of what he did.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    The Tui billboard is up already in Auckland, according to Stuff.

    "Here's a hundred grand - keep it quiet. Yeah right".

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Radio Sport might want to update their website. Veitch's profile:


    Unfortunate use of cliche there ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1329 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    That Tui billboard is like some of the sick “she asked for it” comments on the newspaper sites. Says a lot about our national character, and I'm finding it sobering to realise how many proud celebrators of thugby culture are still among us.

    Vicious sustained beating is a crime against society as well as the person it is directed at. The police are obliged to pursue this on behalf of all of us despite the probable lack of evidence without testimony about who caused the injuries. I take Russell's point that if the details published were wrong, Veitch would have sued someone by now.

    That performance yesterday seemed mainly aimed at influencing what his employers do next, given the very deliberate wording that he used (after spending a couple of days with lawyers working out what to do next). No doubt the earlier hush agreement was similarly careful to avoid acknowledging a crime. Women’s Refuge made the point that he never said what he has learned from the experience - so it’s hard to know whether he will act out again, despite his apology.

    Even if there is little chance of justice against colluding parties, they might pay attention to their wallets. TVNZ and TRN appear to have made some rather cynical commercial decisions between when they first knew of this and now. I hope major advertisers now make it clear how they feel about having their brands associated with this smug creep every night and every morning.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan Maze,

    About 2 years ago Veitch, in discussing Venus and Serena Williams with someone on air one morning, commented something like "it makes you realise where apes come from". There was a small outcry at the time but nothing like with Holmes and his "cheeky darkie" comment. As I remember it it was a big news week and the story got swamped by something much bigger. I was appalled at how easily he had got off so I sought out his broadcast apology on the Radio Sport audio archive. His brisk "apology" was made at 6 or 7am at the start of his show and was along the lines of: "In bantering remarks talking with (? Dean Lonergan I think it was) I made some remarks that may have caused offense..." etc. It was lame gutless and he didn't sound remotely remorseful, I have greatly disliked him ever since.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2007 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    "it makes you realise where apes come from"


    I'm not sure how I missed that one on the first go-round. Jaysus.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Smart,

    a fascinating essay about the changing face of evangelical Christianity in America, ......... I'd love to have such an authoritative eye as Pew's on our own Christian movements.

    Can I suggest that if you want an authoritative view of conservative Utopian thought ( including religion) that you read "Black Mass" by John Gray published by Penguin ISBN 978-0-14102-598-8. He provides a fascinating insight into "religious politics" and "thought".

    It is not surprising if you read the book why a switch from Democrat to Republican is taking place should it be seen the Democrats will gain power.

    He discusses the fact that politics of the right and left may be less focused on traditional values. The neo conservatives came from the Trotskyite left thinkers (Utopians) to where they are today. He starts the book by saying that "Modern Politics is a chapter in the history of religion". A must read for all students of the subject.

    Sorry to try to move away from Mr Vietch but someone had to so many opinions!!!

    Since Nov 2006 • 71 posts Report Reply

  • uroskin,

    I like the diagnosis of "Caveman Dressed in Workshop Syndrome" Mr Veitch 'suffers' from.

    Waiheke Island • Since Feb 2007 • 178 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    How does that conversation go, anyway?

    Here's some money. Shut up or I'll give you another hiding?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Thom James,

    That performance yesterday seemed mainly aimed at influencing what his employers do next, given the very deliberate wording that he used (after spending a couple of days with lawyers working out what to do next).

    There surely can't be any question about what his employers do next. Clint Brown was sacked for an offence that, while despicable, was nowhere near as abhorrent as this. To keep Veitch on would be to condone domestic violence. His dismissal is a matter of when not if. Can't see how he could keep living in the goldfish bowl that is NZ after this.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 63 posts Report Reply

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