A second woman who worked closely with former Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority boss Roger Sutton corroborated the sexual harassment allegations and gave evidence to an inquiry which led to his high-profile resignation.

The woman did not make a formal complaint against Mr Sutton.

However, she gave evidence on the record to the seven-week State Services Commission (SSC) investigation which backed up the complainant's story and formed part of the overall complaint.

"It wasn't just one person's word," an insider said.


Read more about Roger Sutton's resignation:
• Bosses warned over office conduct
Dita De Boni: Sweetie's bad but there's worse sexism in the workplace

Last night, the woman who backed up the complainant's story declined to comment.

"I've been instructed by the SSC not to give any comments on this matter and to send all queries back to SSC at this time," she said.

In response to questions over her own concerns of Mr Sutton's comments and actions towards her personally, she replied: "I can't comment on that. Sorry."

The complaint was upheld but State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie said this week that the it did not warrant his sacking.

When Mr Sutton announced his resignation on Monday he said: "Hugs, jokes ... I do do those things, and I've hurt somebody with that behaviour and I'm very, very sorry about that.

"But I am who I am. I have called women 'honey' and 'sweetie', and that is wrong. That's a sexist thing to do, and I'm really sorry."

His journalist wife Jo Malcolm said the investigation process had been "hideous", and her husband's "hugs and jokes have been misinterpreted".

Prime Minister John Key has stated the sexual harassment case against Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority boss Roger Sutton is an Employment matter.

The complainant has chosen not to break a confidentiality agreement believed to have been signed by all parties and SSC has told all parties not to speak to the media.

A spokesman for the SCC said it was "disappointing if these undertakings have been breached".

The complainant has also declined to speak since Mr Sutton's press conference on Monday.

"She has refused to speak to any media," a former colleague of the complainant said last night.

"It's obvious the situation has taken a huge toll on her."

A friend of the complainant told NZME. News Service that the complainant was frustrated and angry that Mr Sutton had spoken so widely in the media while she had maintained her side of the confidentiality agreement.

"For him [Sutton] to go out there and get all of the public sympathy, and to let them think this is all just political correctness gone mad, is galling to say the least," the friend said.

Claim of inappropriate comment about PM's wife denied

Earlier today Mr Sutton has denied a claim that he spoke inappropriately about Prime Minister John Key's wife Bronagh.

The Press reported it had seen details of the report provided by a Cera employee as part of the State Services Commission investigation into the allegations he made a sexually suggestive comment about Mrs Key in the presence of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet chief executive Andrew Kibblewhite.

Today, Mr Sutton told More FM it was "ludicrous and ridiculous" that he would make a comment like that.

And I've talked about that with...Andrew Kibblewhite...and he says I made no such statement."

Mr Sutton told the radio station at no time during his time as the Cera chief executive had he ever picked up that his behaviour was upsetting for some staff members.

"When I was hit with these allegations I was very upset, but I accept that I have behaved in a way that may have upset some women and I deeply regret that I didn't find out about it earlier."

He wanted the complainant to carry on "with dignity".

"They can hold their head up high and I just want to move on.

"I really want it to be left behind by the media because it's got ugly."