Veitch partner gave ACC all the details

By Stuart Dye, David Eames

The former partner of Tony Veitch documented her injuries - and how she received them - in a compensation claim more than two years ago.

The Accident Compensation Corporation reviewed Kristin Dunne-Powell's claim for a payout after she told police the radio and television sports broadcaster assaulted her and her injuries were not the result of an accident.

It is not known how much compensation she got after the alleged assault in 2006, but she spent months away from her job as general manager of marketing at Vodafone and was later forced to quit work.

An ACC spokesman said yesterday that the organisation had investigated Ms Dunne-Powell's claim and discovered it was "quite clear there was no reason to look further".

"We did have accurate information. There was no dishonesty."

It is understood that the information matches the allegations that Veitch kicked Ms Dunne-Powell so hard he broke her back.

It is six weeks today since it was first alleged that Veitch had assaulted his former partner and paid for her silence. Two days later, it was alleged that he had kicked her so hard he broke her back.

Veitch publicly confessed to "lashing out" and resigned from his roles at TVNZ and Radio Sport.

Three detectives were assigned to investigate after Ms Dunne-Powell laid a formal complaint.

Police yesterday defended the 42-day stretch without charges being brought or the case being dropped.

"We cannot discuss operational intricacies," said spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty.

"There's nothing unusual in police taking their time to investigate."

Detectives have questioned broadcaster Paul Holmes over his confessional interview with Veitch, published in the Herald on Sunday.

In his column, Holmes wrote: "We are speaking very quietly now. Between our voices there are long pauses. Veitch talks about that night, about how he drove Kristin to the hospital."

Holmes may also be of interest as someone with evidence; in his column a week after the Veitch interview he wrote: "I believe I know something of what happened that awful night two-and-a-half years ago."

Holmes yesterday refused tocomment.

Last night should have been a defining moment in Veitch's career. The 34-year-old was to front TVNZ's Olympics coverage. Instead, he was at his Herne Bay home while a last-minute replacement filled the anchor's chair in Beijing.

The state broadcaster is still reviewing the way managers handled Veitch's confession of a "fracas" between him and Ms Dunne-Powell.

The TVNZ board saw a draft review by managers and law firm Russell McVeagh last week. The final report is due at the end of the month.

Broadcasting Minister Trevor Mallard will be sent a summary of the report findings once the board had seen them.

Meanwhile, auditions are being held to find a replacement for Veitch at TVNZ and Radio Sport.

- Eloise Gibson

- NZ Herald

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