'It can happen anywhere' - Jacinda Ardern vows to take wider look at justice in wake of sex assault allegations

Asked today to again address sexual assault allegations within the Labour Party that have dogged her for the past week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she is taking a wider look at how victims can find justice.

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The Prime Minister talked to TVNZ1’s Breakfast about the alleged sexual assault within the Labour Party. Source: Breakfast

"I've been doing a little bit of thinking about this because if this can happen to the Labour Party, it can happen anywhere," she told TVNZ1's Breakfast.

"We are a party who've prided ourselves on inclusivity and working on gender violence issues and this has happened here. So, if that's the case, I've got a wider job to do as Prime Minister to try and find an avenue that resolves this, not just for us, but for everyone."

The Labour Party has been criticised for its mishandling of the case - which Ms Ardern has admitted should have been dealt with better.

But she added in her view it should never be up to the Labour Party, or any other political party, to investigate such serious allegations and reiterated that it should be dealt with by police.

"Of course, it's been very, very difficult, but it's not for me to take an approach that's just about the politics or the political environment," Ms Ardern said when asked if this has been the worst political week of her life. "I've tried to set out a path forward that actually puts the complainants back at the centre of this issue, and that hasn't happened."

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Jacinda Ardern said she went to the party five-weeks-ago when she saw speculation in the media. Source: 1 NEWS

She said what she's set out, with the QC inquiry process in particular, was to bring the focus back to those who should have been the focus.

Ms Ardern's credibility has been questioned over the allegations, but when asked by host Hadyn Jones if she had been open and honest about what she knew, she said: "Yes I can".

Adding, "but equally, as you've pointed out, we need to get back to best practice here, and we need to own that the reason we're having this discussion openly is because the Labour Party failed and we have to accept that.

"But now, after eight days of traversing the issue, there been contested allegations between those, atcually now is the time that we put this back into a place where complainants are able to go to a QC."

Ms Ardern said people also want answers on the Labour Party's handling, which was why the Government called on a third-party reviewer who will sit independently, look over all of the summary of facts and evidence that the Labour Party had, then conclude what the party did about the process and what was done incorrectly around the process.

"I am happy to release as much as we can in line with keeping with people's privacy," Ms Ardern said of the report. 

"I want to put it in a place where actually we start following what is best practice with these serious allegations."

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National’s deputy leader told Breakfast the Government should have handled the case differently from the start. Source: Breakfast