'I'm now aware that one of the victims has contacted police' - Labour's general secretary Andrew Kirton says summer camp assault victim has Party's full support

One of the victims of the alleged assault at a recent Young Labour Summer camp has gone to police, Labour Party general secretary Andrew Kirton said today. 

Allegations emerged this week that a 20-year-old man allegedly sexually assaulted four people aged 16-18 at a camp in the Coromandel Peninsula last month. 

Originally police has not been contacted about the alleged assaults, however Mr Kirton said one of the teenagers spoke to police yesterday. 

"I'm now aware that one of the victims has contacted police about this situation. I learnt that yesterday," Mr Kirton said on TVNZ 1's Breakfast this morning.

"That has our full support. I’ll do whatever it takes in terms of providing information."

When asked by co-host Jack Tame why someone else did not make a complaint to police earlier, Mr Kirton said they made a decision to be "victim-led". 

"We could have been clearer about that option from the start, we acknowledge that, but we also recognise with professionals in that field that actually that course of action for some people can cause further distress," Mr Kirton said. 

Another allegation at a different Labour Party event emerged yesterday. 

"I was contacted by an individual yesterday and I managed to speak to them yesterday afternoon where they shared their experience," Mr Kirton said. 

He said it was sexual assault, "what it's been described to me as", at an event that focused on policy and campaigning. 

Jacinda Ardern said it was unacceptable alcohol was accessible at a Labour Party camp where a group of 16-year-olds were allegedly assaulted. Source: Breakfast

"It happened within the last few years at a Labour event, I offered support to her and also support to take it to the police if that's the course of action she wanted to do, today, tomorrow or three month’s time, also offered the opportunity for her to participate in a review to help us make sure this doesn't happen again. We're going to keep in touch with her."

Mr Kirton did not know where the event was. 

He said he would not go into more detail on the event "for respect for this person".

"We're taking a bit of time to review the appropriate action is here."

He said they might get an external person to assist with the review process. 

Mr Kirk said he was "aware" there had been discussions relating to the second allegation, "but this is some years ago now".

Mr Kirkton said he would not be stepping down from his position. 

"I want to make sure we get this right, we learn from mistakes, we bring experts in and display best practise going forward, and that Labour is a safe place for not only young people, but for everybody."

He said no alcohol was provided at the summer camp, but it was not banned, "and it wasn't encouraged either". 

"Alcohol is one factor, but it's not the only factor to keep people safe."

The 20-year-old man at the centre of the allegations was not a party member, and was understood to not be related to any party members. 

Mr Kirton said they had been in touch with the alleged perpetrator to let him know he "wouldn't be welcome at future events" or wouldn’t be welcome to join the Labour Party, and offered support from an organisation that deals with people who engage in harmful sexual behaviour. 

Andrew Kirton said an external person may be brought in to review the alleged assaults. Source: Breakfast


Topics



Pet food company fined $90k over employee's ill-treatment of bobby calves

The owner of a pet food plant has been sentenced for allowing one of his employees to ill-treat bobby calves.

Alan Cleaver from Te Kauwhata has been sentenced in the Hamilton District Court to six months community detention and 180 hours community work.

His company, Down Cow Limited was fined $90,000 dollars.

Mr Cleaver has also been banned for five years from having anything to do with the ownership or care of farm animals.

Charges were laid against Mr Cleaver, the company and an employee following secret video taken by the animal rights group, Farmwatch in 2015.

The employee, Noel Erickson was originally sentenced in 2016 to home detention but this was reduced on appeal by two years in prison.

Noel Erickson's actions were exposed by TVNZ's Sunday programme and caused widespread anger and disgust. Source: 1 NEWS

www.rnz.co.nz

Calf. Source: 1 NEWS

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Fine weather for most of the country today, a few scattered clouds otherwise clear

TVNZ weather presenter Dan Corbett gives the latest update. Source: 1 NEWS


Judith Collins savages decision to compensate Housing NZ tenants evicted over meth contamination

Compensating Housing NZ tenants who were evicted for using methamphetamine or allowing its use in their homes is a “disgrace,” National’s Judith Collins has said.

Mrs Collins said it was unacceptable that taxpayer money was being used to compensate former tenants who were evicted because of their "criminal activity".

“People were evicted from their houses by Housing New Zealand based on the standards of the day which was all around the health testing for methamphetamine contamination,” Mrs Collins said.

“Government had to take the advice of experts which were Housing NZ, Ministry of Health, MBIE, all the people who are the experts on this.”

“To now compensate people, 800 people, who were evicted from homes because they were smoking methamphetamine or allowing their houses to be used for it is an absolute outrage.”

“They’re being compensated with taxpayer money because of their criminal activity and that is not at all acceptable.”

The Housing NZ board will not be sacked over the methamphetamine contamination “fiasco”, the housing minister said. Source: 1 NEWS

This morning, Housing Minister Phil Twyford said the meth contamination scandal was a failure of the previous government and National had already paid for it because “they are no longer ministers”.

“Housing NZ is committed to redressing the hardship these tenants faced. This will be done on a case by case basis and the organisation will look to reimburse costs tenants incurred, and make discretionary grants to cover expenses such as moving costs and furniture replacement,” he said.

READ MORE: Housing NZ board won't be sacked over meth contamination 'fiasco'

Mrs Collins stood by the policies of the ministers in the National government, saying they were acting on the best advice at the time.

“Housing NZ made their decisions based on the evidence at the time and I absolutely support the fact that the ministers had to do what they had to do based on that evidence.”

Certain tenants should not be let back in, including those who had sold P from their homes, Mrs Collins maintained.

“Some people should not be back in state houses because they were using their state houses for criminal activity, not just in some cases smoking methamphetamine or allowing their houses to be used for it, but actually for cooking it and selling it and these are now people who are apparently going to get compensation.”

Mrs Collins rejected the view that addiction was a health issue for those tenants who had manufactured the drug at Housing NZ properties.

“I don’t believe for a moment that using your house for methamphetamine consumption, cooking it up, and selling from it is something that is a health issue, that’s a criminal activity.”

National’s housing spokesperson savaged the decision to compensate Housing NZ tenants who were evicted for using P or allowing its use in their homes. Source: 1 NEWS