Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says he expects a diplomat who avoided prosecution for sexual assault in Wellington to face the consequences of his actions in his home country.

The minister said this afternoon that Government took "all appropriate steps" to have the diplomat stand trial in New Zealand.

The man, aged in his 30s, claimed diplomatic immunity after he was charged with burglary. He was arrested by police on May 9 after he followed a 21-year-old woman to her home in Brooklyn, Wellington.

Police told the Herald on Sunday they had sufficient evidence to also charge him with assault with intent to rape, but had let him go as he was not able to be prosecuted under New Zealand law.


Mr McCully said he expected all diplomats in this country to abide by its laws.

"On this occasion a foreign diplomat has been accused of a very serious crime. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade formally requested that his right to diplomatic immunity be waived.

"This request was declined and the individual returned to his home country where an investigation is being carried out by the relevant authorities."

Mr McCully said the Secretary of Foreign Affairs would call in the country's Head of Mission to "convey directly the New Zealand Government's interest in the actions taken by their authorities".

The minister dismissed a suggestion by Labour that the issue was being "swept under the carpet", and said the ministry was monitoring the investigation closely.

The Labour Party also called for the diplomat's home country to be identified, but Crown Law had advised Government that naming the man or his home country would breach a court suppression order.