Labour turned up the heat on Prime Minister John Key last night over his handling of complaints against former minister Richard Worth, issuing a statement said to be from a Labour woman activist detailing "vulgar" attentions to her.

Dr Worth resigned as Internal Affairs Minister this week after a complaint about him of a sexual nature was made by another woman to the police and Mr Key.

The statement was tabled in Parliament after Labour leader Phil Goff faced questions about his handling of the woman's complaint, which he took privately to Mr Key last month.

The complainant is an Indian woman in Auckland, married with two children.

She is a Labour Party activist and Mr Goff says he told Mr Key that at the time.

She alleges that Dr Worth offered her a job as his ethnic adviser and as a board member - on the Lottery Grants Board, Mr Goff says - and that she received about 40 text messages and 60 phone calls from him.

"Several of the phone calls made by Dr Worth to me were vulgar, sexually explicit, and I believe were made when he was drunk," the statement says.

She said he started ending his texts with "xxx".

"I did not realise what this meant at first, and had to ask my husband what they meant."

While she was visiting her family overseas, she had received texts and phone calls from him that made her feel uncomfortable.

These included "asking me to buy a transparent garment for myself and whether I wanted a welcome banner at the airport when I returned".

The woman said that on one occasion, "he asked me if I prayed for something to happen to my husband so we could be together".

The woman's statement said she met Dr Worth during the election campaign last year.

The texts and phone calls were received between November 26 last year and February 23 this year.

Mr Key said yesterday that his chief of staff, Wayne Eagleson, had looked into the complaint. Dr Worth had categorically denied the claims, and had said he was willing to sign an affidavit to that effect and would take defamation action against Mr Goff if he spoke about it publicly.

Mr Key said that if he had had evidence that the claims were true, "I would have sacked Richard Worth immediately".

Mr Goff is claiming that Mr Key's office was slap-dash in its investigation and simply accepted Dr Worth's denials.

But Mr Goff was questioned yesterday about his handling of the matter. He did not approach Mr Key until early May, some time after he had found out about the matter.

Asked why he waited so long to raise it, Mr Goff said he had several conversations with the woman and her husband and the matter had been embarrassing for them.

"It took the woman and her family some time to determine how best to deal with the matter that was obviously troubling to them."

His main concern had been to protect the privacy of the woman and that was why he took the matter to Mr Key privately.

Mr Goff had said there was email evidence of Dr Worth's communications, but yesterday said he was wrong and there were only texts.