Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Labour Party will ensure anyone who wishes to have an allegation of sexual assault or harassment at party events investigated can contact a lawyer, following reports of a third assault incident.
Metro News, a news site produced by New Zealand Broadcasting School students, reported yesterday that Labour's General Secretary Andrew Kirton was made aware on Wednesday of a case of alleged sexual harassment and a separate case of alleged sexual abuse in the Christchurch sector of Young Labour.
Allegations emerged on Monday on the Newsroom website that four 16-year-old Labour Party members were sexually assaulted and harassed by a 20-year-old man at a summer camp near Waihi hosted by the Labour Party in February.
On Tuesday Mr Kirton said a person had told him that day about being assaulted at an earlier event.
Asked today about the latest reported incident, from Christchurch, Ms Ardern said she saw the report yesterday.
"We have had three now come to light in a short period of time spanning in some cases a few years," Ms Ardern said.
"Our responsibility is to respond to it and make sure we make our environment a safe place," she said.
"What we're making sure we do now is make sure anyone who has any kind of allegation they wish to have investigated are able to make contact with the barrister that we've bought in," the Prime Minister said.
She said the issue was a "systemic problem in New Zealand and probably globally. We are not immune to that, but we must address it".
Labour is reviewing its policies on events and alcohol and has offered professional support to those affected by assault and harassment.