A number of women working with former Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) boss Roger Sutton made informal approaches about sexual harassment before the complaint that led to his resignation.

A source close to the investigation has revealed the women had informal discussions about Sutton's behaviour.

However, the State Services Commission indicated last night the complaints were not passed on to it. It insisted only one complaint had been raised with it.

"No other complaints were made to SSC directly or transferred from Cera," a spokesman said.


Last week State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie said the SSC had received only one complaint about Sutton's conduct and "acted on it immediately". "No further complaints have been received.

"I have stated previously that, if any state servant feels they have been subjected to inappropriate conduct in the workplace, they should report it to their manager or human resources team.

"SSC also has substantive guidance available on our website and we are reminding agencies of their obligations in this regard."

Sutton resigned last week after a woman filed a formal complaint alleging she had been sexually harassed by her former boss. That complaint was upheld by the SSC.

The woman, who is bound by a confidentiality clause, said she was driven to take a stand because of what she says was similar treatment of other women at the organisation. Sutton held a press conference last week where he apologised to the complainant.

"I may also have offended other women through my actions and I'm very sorry to them as well," he said.

After the press conference State Services Minister Paula Bennett said she was "not happy" with how the result of the investigation was handled.

"I have raised this with the State Services Commissioner and lessons have been taken on board to ensure there is no repeat," said Bennett.


Earlier last week it was also alleged Sutton made lewd comments about the wife of Prime Minister John Key, Bronagh.

He denied that claim during an interview with More FM DJ Simon Barnett.