When you host a daily talk radio programme, you often end up talking about domestic violence and its terrible toll. With New Zealand’s appalling record as the worst in the world, it crops up more often than not.
We do not shy from it, and our wonderful listeners call in to voice their sadness and frustration; and there is always a text, an email, a call or two that mentions Tony Veitch. Perhaps this is to remind us that not even our so-called “glamorous” industry (perception is everything) is immune.
Willie Jackson and I both believe strongly in redemption, so when those calls come in we acknowledge them, and talk cautiously about how it is possible for people who have done terrible things, to be truly sorry, and to change.
Tony Veitch has shown this week that he is not truly sorry.
That he could write at length about the effect his attack on Kristin Dunne-Powell has had on his life, without once mentioning her, is shocking. In Tony’s “unreserved apology” she is reduced to the faceless; he calls her “someone.”
Read the article and count by contrast the number of times he says “me” “I” and “my” (actually you don’t have to – Delaney Mes has done it for you in a great piece at thespinoff.co.nz. The total is 100.)
Well to me, Kristin Dunne-Powell is not faceless, nor nameless. I met her socially a number of times with Tony while they were together, and liked her very much. I was impressed by her drive, and her obvious talent and achievements as a marketing executive. She was (is) bright, and great company. I remember being sad to hear they’d broken up. And then shocked by the way Tony talked about her once they had.
For Kristin’s sake I’m not going to lay that out chapter and verse – she can probably guess for herself. Kristin, you were none of the things he said, and anyway, it was the venom with which they were delivered which mattered more. It made me feel sick, and with exquisite irony, The Herald’s editorial on the weekend said it perfectly:
“More often, silence will be hiding the hearer’s utter disgust.”
The last time I spoke to Tony was at his engagement party, before the story of his violence towards Kristin broke. The next time I saw Kristin was in the footage from court, where she read her shattering victim impact statement with such bravery.
Her father Steve Dunne’s statement yesterday was a brave move too. Understandably he struggled with the choice he had – to stay silent and avoid further public attention for his family, or to defend his beloved daughter and point out that Tony’s “apology” was in fact, no apology at all to the only person who really matters.
I’m glad he chose the latter.
Alison Mau and Willie Jackson, 12-3pm on RadioLIVE