It's kind of ironic that my previous post was about the New Zealand prison system mostly locking up the working class and the poor - then we see a wealthy 'celebrity' walk away from a possible five-year stint behind bars.

Not only that, Tony Veitch's media mates have come out in his support - even providing the convicted partner basher with glowing testimonials.

One such glowing testimonial came from Bernadine Oliver-Kerby. She works at the Radio Network, Veitch's former employer.

She also has an on-air role at TVNZ - reading the news at the weekends. You would have thought she might of thought it inappropriate to come out in defence of a man who put his former partner in a wheelchair for several weeks.

Unbelievably, a TVNZ spokeswoman said the state broadcaster had no problem with staff providing testimonials for Veitch, saying it was not a conflict of interest for people such as newsreader Oliver-Kirby.

Another TVNZ presenter who provided a testimonial was weatherman Jim Hickey.

Hickey is on the board of the fundamentalist Family First - an organisation that has been actively campaigning aginst the anti-smacking legislation.

TVNZ, of course, apparently knew what Veitch had done before the story broke - and then remained mute on the subject for a day or so before Veitch returned to read the sports news for one last time.

Only then, when they realised the story was not going to go away, did TVNZ drop Veitch.

While all this was happening, TVNZ was running an extensive anti-domestic violence campaign.

Against this murky backdrop, Oliver-Kerby's decision to write a testimonial for 'Veitchy' was ill-advised at best and suggests that TVNZ - and the Radio Network - still have dubious moral and political ethics when it comes to the issue of domestic violence, especialy when it involves 'one of their own'.

TVNZ's flexible attitudes were also evident on last night's Close Up, where the mediocre Mark Sainsbury gave Veitch an easy ride.

Oh and let's not forget that another prominent Veitch supporter can be seen on TVNZ's Q+A - yes, it's Paul Holmes.

Women's Refuge chief executive Heather Henare got it right when she said some of the high-profile Veitch supporters should be embarrassed after he was convicted of a 'serious charge'.


  1. Tony's glowing endorsements from his 'celebrity' mates are effectively saying there are two levels of violence: Acceptable Violence (such as breaking your partners back, or murdering a tagger), and Unacceptable Violence (such as robbing a Dairy because you need to eat). Violence is Violence, but it seems if you're high profile and have the cash for a good legal/PR team, then Violence can be whatever you say it is.

    Veitch's response has largely been a PR exercise designed to minimize the damage to his reputation, destroy his ex-partners integrity, and ultimately cajole the public into accepting his inevitable return to television. What a model human being.

    TVNZ's handling of the affair reeks of opportunism. At no point did TVNZ think it might be inappropriate to employ a known wife basher while screening the 'its not ok' campaign. And it still thinks its ok to employ presenters who endorse his violence.

  2. Veitch has paid a huge price for his violence while under extreme duress.
    In my opinion that price is higher than a jail term.
    Also what value to the woman victim of a jail term.
    Compensation is of some value.

  3. Veitch has handled this badly. He should of just taken his punishment and kept his mouth shut- but he seems intent of portraying himself as 'victim'.
    He could of learnt from former TV3 news presenter Clint Brown.
    Brown got sacked for brawling outside a bar - he had been drinking.
    Brown also end up in court. I remember. But he stayed out of the media and kept a low profile.
    Now he's back on TV presenting mostly motor racing shows for Prime and Sky.

  4. So right. There are two standards of violence and breaking the law in general.
    If you are brown and/or Asian and not a celebrity there are no excuses at all for breaking the law or committing any kind of crime in New Zealand.
    If you are a little bit brown and a celebrity you might also be OK.

    Can not wait until the day the Pakehas will be a minority in New Zealand. This really is the country of the Wrong White Crowd.


Comments are moderated.