Thursday, 17 October, 2019

Labour camp alleged sexual assault victim lays police complaint

Has Labour's general secretary Andrew Kirton been hung out to dry Kevin Stent Has Labour's general secretary Andrew Kirton been hung out to dry
Patty Aguilar | 16 March, 2018, 02:13

"We handled this very, very badly as a party", Ms Ardern said.

"As a result of the incidents at the Waihi Summer Camp we have taken the decision to immediately suspend all Young Labour events", Haworth said.

Allegations of sexual misconduct were brought to light yesterday, when Stuff.co.nz reported "it's alleged a 20-year-old man sexually assaulted four teenagers, all aged 16, including putting his hands down the trousers of at least three of them".

The Labour Party has relied on reviews for every real and imagined problem it faces, from housing to education to mental health, however using a review to duck responsibility for the Young Labour scandal is a new low.

Among those told of the abuse was Labour general secretary Andrew Kirton, seen as the architect of Ms Ardern's successful "Jacinda-mania" election campaign.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday told Morning Report it was her understanding there were consent forms, but they were more around their attendance.

Haworth said a "comprehensive external review will be undertaken by a respected independent person shortly working alongside the Sexual Abuse Prevention Network".

Anyone else who wished to raise issues about previous events could come forward to the review expert, barrister Maria Berryman, Mr Haworth said.

The party has confirmed list MP Liz Craig was at the camp at the time of the incident, but says she was sleeping. "We wanted them to have a say and be in charge of what happened next".

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"I don't think we were quite clear enough".

The investigation will be overseen by Detective Superintendent Chris Page.

February 10 - A 20-year-old man allegedly sexually harasses or assaults four 16-year-olds - two males and two females - during a camp event.

"Our focus as a party must be those young people, rather than focusing on the future of individual employees", Ms Ardern told reporters.

Andrew Kirton has been under pressure since the assaults were revealed.

Mr Kirton is denying the man is the son of a Labour Party Minister.

The centre-left party has been rocked by allegations that four teenagers were groped and sexually harassed at a Young Labour camp last month and officials did little to help them.

Did they follow the law in dealing with those allegations?

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