A 21-year-old man on trial this week over multiple allegations of sexual assault at the Labour Party summer camp has reached a plea deal with the case's prosecutors.
The accused faced five counts of indecent assault, which related to four people - two men and two women.
But today, in a sudden turn of events, he pleaded guilty to two amended charges of assault under the Summary Offences Act 1981.
The assault charges were in relation to the two men, while the remaining charges over the allegations against the two women were dismissed.
The accused's lawyer Emma Priest called it "drunken antics at a party" and said she would be seeking a discharge without conviction and permanent name suppression for her client.
An interim order suppressing his name will continue until final disposition of the case in November.
The trial was expected to conclude at the end of the week.
The accused had been on trial in the Auckland District Court over events which occurred at the young Labour event near Waihi in February 2018.
After being arrested in June 2018 he was initially charged with six counts of indecent assault, however, some of the allegations against him were dropped in September last year.
He was accused of having grabbed and squeezed a man's testicles, touched another man's genitals twice, kissed a woman on her neck and face and groped a second woman's breast and bottom.
During the trial the court heard there was heavy drinking at the camp.
There was "excessive amounts of alcohol", one of the victims said, while people were "not drinking for enjoyment but drinking to get absolutely hammered".
He said the night, which began with a quiz, "was just a glorified piss-up".
The jury was also shown cellphone videos of the party, which displayed raucous festivities.
One video had the caption: "The Labour Party is cooler and likes alcohol more than you think."
Priest had told the jury her client was "a young man at a party caught up in a political storm".
Judge Russell Collins thanked the jury for participating in an "important part of our democracy" and said the case had somewhat highlighted New Zealand society's use or abuse of alcohol.
Priest said in a statement to the Herald after today's plea deal that "the Crown have quite properly withdrawn the allegations of sexual offending".
"He has pleaded guilty to two minor assaults which he's always been prepared to take responsibility for. As I have said from the outset, my client is not a sexual offender and appropriately the Crown have now recognised that.
"We are grateful that what happened that night has been seen for what it really was, drunken antics at a party."
Priest said the pressure on her client during the case has been enormous.
"He is looking forward to putting this all behind him and getting back to his studies."
Maria Austen, a Wellington lawyer, conducted an external review of Labour Party procedures after the allegations were made.
Austen's report included several recommendations, however, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said the report will not be publicly released while the court proceedings were ongoing.
Ardern spoke to those at the camp the day before the allegations.
Labour Party president Nigel Haworth has said the party would implement all the recommendations of the Austen report.
"The Labour Party backs the decision of the police to lay charges against an individual relating to allegations of indecent assault at the Young Labour summer camp earlier this year," Haworth said after the accused's arrest.