'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

share

Source:

1 NEWS

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. 

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

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. 

"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."

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

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. 

loading error

refresh