Allegations of abusive text messages and bullying behaviour by New Zealand First MP Andrew Williams are part of a campaign by political rivals as the party gains in the polls, Mr Williams' parliamentary colleague Richard Prosser says.
Mr Williams has rejected allegations he bullied two female staff out of their jobs, although he has confirmed an intervention by the Parliamentary Service's personnel department.
The former North Shore mayor was responding to a report that an executive assistant who worked for him in Parliament and an employee at NZ First's Albany office had received payouts after being bullied by him.
Mr Williams, who was embroiled in controversy while mayor for sending abusive late-night texts to Prime Minister John Key and for urinating in public after a drinking session in Takapuna, told the Herald the report was "factually incorrect".
But he indicated there had been issues requiring the involvement of the Parliamentary Services human resources division.
"The entire matter in both instances was handled by [the] Parliamentary Service's HR Dept who should be asked before any more incorrect and defamatory comments are made concerning me," he said in an email to the Herald.
"I will not be making any further comments as this is an HR matter."
A party source told the Herald the allegations were fed to a number of media outlets last week, indicating a campaign against the party.