Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: So far from trivial

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  • Sacha,

    And a surprisingly good description of events in of all places the Herald's gossip column:
    http://blogs.nzherald.co.nz/blog/spy-rachel-glucina/2008/7/10/when-apologies-just-arent-enough/?c_id=1501119

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16281 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Ian, Rachel - justice is not just for the victim. It is for society as a whole.

    It is wrong to allow an unofficial justice system for people with deep pockets.

    It's easy to offer restoration when you can afford to drop $100K. Rich people have to suffer in jail the same way that poor people do.

    Anyway, I don't see that there is any contradiction between hoping for Veitch's redemption and rehabilitation, and wishing him to be punished. Both things can happen. Likewise, if the victim suffers more from the publicity, that is Veitch's responsibility..

    The victim's interests and the interest of the public don't, as the public is interested in the double-page spread in Women's Day

    That's not an argument, that's just a play on the ambiguity of the word "interest". It isn't news that the public interest - what serves the good of the public - is very often not the same as what the public is interested in - what lots of people are entertained by.

    Incidentally, I found one email address on the Tui website: hq@tui.co.nz . Perhaps it would be nice to drop them a line.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2919 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    and I think of the 19th and 20th century lynchings of African-Americans.

    noted, but there's historical use of a term, and current use of a term.
    gay old time being a prime example of the former, or the later, depending on what you wish to describe.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Whispers here are that the Dompost haven’t finished yet. Not by a long shot.

    Out of fairness to RB, I won’t post it here, but I have on the Sportsfreak forum.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    gay old time

    You mean like this?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16281 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    the reason why action can be taken without a complaint for domestic violence is around issues of intimidation of the victim, isn't it?

    Yes, and that's perfectly understandable. The police can act without a complaint, though for minor matters they often won't because of the difficulties of evidence and so forth. But for a case to succeed requires evidence, which this case lacks.

    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.

    Even if Dunne-Powell's medical records were made available under court order, and I'll say again that I think a court would probably be somewhat hesitant to make the records available, what does that prove? That she was in hospital at such-and-such a point in time with so-and-so injuries. There are no witnesses, other than the two parties to the assault, and it's for damned sure that Tony Veitch won't be testifying in his own trial. She might, and if she does then it'll be a slam-dunk, but if not the police are pushing runny brown stuff up a steep incline with a sharp stick. Noting also that the courts would be unlikely to uphold the validity of the privacy agreement if she did testify, because of the public policy implications.
    If a victim goes to the police, there's consent for their medical records relating to the incident to be examined. If they're dead, the autopsy is a procedure of gathering evidence and is automatically admissible. If they died before becoming a complainant then it's easily justified to a judge that their medical records for the time in question are of evidential value and should be made available. Similarly if they're in a coma. But what we have here is none of those situations.

    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?

    If there's no illegal benefit involved, I think it would be tending on the white side of grey. If Dunne-Powell got ACC compensation for things other than her treatment, then that would be fraud as someone else has observed. But simply agreeing not to tell people that you got assaulted isn't criminal. There's no legal compulsion to go to the police, so not telling isn't breaking a legal duty.

    So, on that basis, no the lawyers are totally in the clear. They haven't been party to an agreement that breaks the law. Maybe if the agreement said things like "Dunne-Powell is to claim all compensation available from ACC, so as not to arouse suspicion," as that would be a contract to obtain fraudulent benefit, but without knowing the terms and whether or not she did get payment from ACC it's impossible to know.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3889 posts Report Reply

  • anjum rahman,

    Frankly, if I were the partner of a media figure, I suspect I would rather take the money and privacy than the court case. Name suppression doesn't prevent gossip. A court case is hugely stressful. Who wants to spend days, weeks of your life preparing and in court and reliving a "victim" role, rather than moving on?

    which means that we should be thinking about societal attitudes and practices and the justice system. by accepting what this particular victim has done means that no meaningful changes are made to ensure that seeking is justice is no longer such a traumatic process.

    hamilton • Since Nov 2006 • 129 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Um... is there any difference at all between the historic & current ussage of the term "lynch mob"?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

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

    Indeed: that was a put-down equal to the challenge of addressing the colossal stupidity of the original comment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18521 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    Likewise, if the victim suffers more from the publicity, that is Veitch's responsibility..

    it may well be, but she is the victim so how about her rights
    tight to privacy etc etc

    but guess what she is now a public figure as a result, and has lost some of her privacy.

    hasn't she been through enough?
    and maybe she took the payout know if it went public she would forever be known as the woman tony veitch beat up.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 468 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Sue, rights have to be balanced. Otherwise every time a celeb commits a crime that harms someone else in an interesting way, we'll have to hush it up, and that's not right either.

    IF this had gone to court in the first place, her name could have been suppressed, and it would never have been known to the general public or been able to escape a tight circle of gossipers into the press. The only reason this is an issue now is because of Veitch's actions in trying to hush it up.

    As to what should happen now, the cat's out of the bag - I can't see that she'll be pursued by the (scumbag) elements of the media any less no matter what happens.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2919 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Whispers here are that the Dompost haven’t finished yet. Not by a long shot.

    Yes. I heard there's more tomorrow.

    Out of fairness to RB, I won’t post it here, but I have on the Sportsfreak forum.

    Ta. And hmmmm.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18521 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    So, Russell, any ideas what you'll discuss on next week's Media7?

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 544 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Sue, rights have to be balanced. Otherwise every time a celeb commits a crime that harms someone else in an interesting way, we'll have to hush it up, and that's not right either.

    That's why I brought up the rugby player case. A lot of people were screaming about All Black special privileges, but in that case, I could accept that an experience (and not notably soft) judge had heard the facts in court, received a request for name suppression from the victim, and granted it.

    That was the system behaving reasonably. Quite different from going outside the justice system altogether.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18521 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    Reasonable fear of assault isn't a mitigating circumstance, it's a defence.

    I pleasd use of common English, not legalese, in my response.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    rights have to be balanced. Otherwise every time a celeb commits a crime that harms someone else in an interesting way, we'll have to hush it up, and that's not right either.
    victims rights need to be considered as well.

    if this went to court
    going through the court system as a victim of a violent crime is like bean beaten up all over again, i know women who describe it as worse than the inital attack.

    and she might have got name suppression, but equally she might not have.
    and worse what if the case was lost

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 468 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    gay old time

    You mean like this?

    who know's what the hollywood theme tune writer had in his head when he constructed that tune,
    who know's why Veitch an apparently sane man in an extremely high profile position thought it would be a good idea to cripple his girlfriend,
    what stable, calm and reasonable person does that?
    Seeing as how Veitch doesn't have a history of thug behaviour (ie not from the streets, didn't hang with a gang, parents weren't in prision, doesn't have a criminal record for violent burglary (that we know of)) I'm going to have to guess it was something to do with mental illness, temporary or something deeper, and last I checked the general consensus on the liberal boards like this one was we were attempting to be understanding of such conditions and look to cure rather than punish. That and sympathy and support for the victim of the assault of course.
    otherwise we're all just redneck no brains swayed by the slightest wiff of scandal.
    It's shocking yes, but really the most shocking thing is this guy is a public figure and we're all being pulled into a mob mentality because the media decides to jump on it, and all before we have clear and verified information on what the hell actually happened.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    TVNZ statement published at 2.06pm today:

    TVNZ has received numerous requests from media for answers to questions concerning Tony Veitch.

    Some of these questions are completely appropriate and TVNZ has every intention of responding to legitimate enquiries as soon as this is possible.

    Chief Executive Rick Ellis says TVNZ wants to be as open as it can be with New Zealanders but is also committed to conducting its employee relations in a fair and responsible way.

    "As I have explained, there are complex employment and privacy aspects to this situation that restrict what can be said publicly. I would ask for the public's patience while we go through our processes in a proper way."

    I can see the point there. Employment law, especially when you're trying to get rid of someone, is all about procedure.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18521 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Craig,

    Although this really is a nasty episode, and Veitch should be held responsible both by the police and his employers, I'm almost equally bothered by the behaviour of the media. I'm sure they would argue that it's in the public interest but do they really have to practically drool with excitement while delivering the news? It verges on the pornographic sometimes. No wonder the poor woman didn't want to go public, no wonder the woman who was allegedly pack raped by the English rugby team didn't make a formal complaint - they knew what would happen. I think the media needs to take a good hard look at itself when it becomes apparent that victims of potentially high-profile crimes are not coming forward. People usually seem to point the finger at the justice system and claim that celebs get off lightly when they commit a crime when it seems to me that it's the media and the consumers of that media that probably have the greatest influence on whether they get away with it or not.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    Um... is there any difference at all between the historic & current ussage of the term "lynch mob"?

    Danielle's using it in a specific fashion. "Lynch mob" is a far broader context than the subset of lynch mobs killing black Americans.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Helen Keivom,

    the public relations managed 'apology'

    Veitch needs to get a new PR company to write his statements. Or maybe not.

    - He "let" her come to his house for dinner.

    - The money was for the "loss of income and distress". Excuse me but several broken bones resulting from a vicious assault and a subsequent breakdown qualify as a bit more than distress.

    - He "regrets" (three times) that he "lashed out" but no sign of "shame" and "domestic violence".

    "I had no wish to breach that confidentiality.."
    "I have no desire to put Kristin through.."

    - It was his victim who wanted it hushed up and he's only being supportive. He's in fact a gentleman.

    In the long period after the event took place we remained in contact with each other.

    - Presumably this was during the six long months it took her to recover from her injuries. Maybe he sent her the usual flowers and chocolate too.

    counselling which enabled me to form the relationship I now have with my wife, Zoe..She has been completely supportive and I am grateful beyond words for that support and for her love.

    He could have at least given the woman a chair, rather than make her stand mutely behind him.

    Should be interesting to see if he's welcomed back into the old boys' network after a few more PR machinations. Yechh.

    Since Nov 2006 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    is there any difference at all between the historic & current ussage of the term "lynch mob"?

    similar but without the racial and family picnic overtones probably, and the gory details of castration and tongue removal (which I have noticed danielle has slipped into conversation before hand), and possibly without the actual hanging, so yeah, quite a bit of difference

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    I think the media needs to take a good hard look at itself

    The media generally publishes what it thinks will sell. People got all upset about celebrity gossip and photography when Princess Di died, but I didn't notice any of the magazines publishing that crap going out of business.

    no wonder the woman who was allegedly pack raped by the English rugby team didn't make a formal complaint - they knew what would happen.

    You need only look at PA to find examples of people chewing her out for failing to do so. It's hardly "all the medias fault."

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    IF this had gone to court in the first place, her name could have been suppressed, and it would never have been known to the general public or been able to escape a tight circle of gossipers into the press. The only reason this is an issue now is because of Veitch's actions in trying to hush it up.

    Quite.

    She would have received name suppression if she had requested it.

    I'm less interested in punishment per se than in the principle that you can't have your own private justice system.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18521 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    really well said jacqui, and better than i have.


    and look i know one law for the rich one law for everyone else sucks.

    but lets consider that being the victim of the rich or the high profile has it's own extra set of hurdles

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 468 posts Report Reply

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