Bridges: Police should've been told of allegations at Labour camp

Elias Hubbard
March 13, 2018

Ms Ardern - who was blindsided when asked about the allegations during a press conference on Monday - on Tuesday admitted the Labour Party was slow to offer follow-up support to the teens through the Sexual Abuse Help Wellington service.

Mr. Kirton, the Labour general secretary, said there would be "an external review of our policies and procedures including those involving alcohol".

The Labour Party has apologised to four teenagers who it says were sexually harassed or assaulted at one of its summer school camps near Waihi last month.

Those affected had not been offered counselling until nearly a month after the event.

The Labour Party is now investigating how the camp got out of control.

"They contacted Young Labour last night".

Footage obtained by Newsroom shows Young Labour supporters drinking and partying at the February summer camp now plagued by sexual assault allegations.

Support had been offered to them the day and week after the incident, but a complaint was later made to a cabinet minister about a lack of follow-up by Young Labour, he told Radio NZ.

Kirton said the decision to take this "victim-led approach" was based on the Labour Party's and Young Labour's internal processes for dealing with these sorts of incidents. It was not based on advice from experts.

She denied it was a problem that she had only found out about the alleged assault on Monday. It was up to the victims to tell police or parents.

Kirton said it was "irrelevant" whether he was concerned there might be more complaints to come of this nature.

Mr Kirton says he's now working with the person who made the complaint, and has encouraged them to go to the police if they want to.

Mrs. Collins, previously a lawyer, said that "a culture of not dealing with sexual assaults seriously and as the criminal acts that they are has fostered a culture that makes it very hard for victims to come forward".

"Because it's just happened we're looking at how we respond to that and I might have some more to say about that soon".

He also said that, as a parent, he would have wanted to know so that his son or daughter was getting what they needed to get through it.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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