Another allegation of sexual misconduct at a Labour Party function has emerged as the party battles criticism for the way it handled a case last month in which three 16-year-olds were indecently assaulted at a summer school by a drunken 20-year-old.

General secretary Andrew Kirton said he spoke to a woman today about an experience she had had several years ago.

He would not say whether it was also at the summer school for Young Labour.

"I am not giving much information out of respect for her."


The event was about policy and campaigning and she was a relatively young person.

He had offered her support to speak to professionals or to go to the police, "today, tomorrow, three months time to make sure she has that option".

He had also invited to take part in a review the party is setting up in the wake of the summer school assaults which reportedly occurred at a Saturday night party at which a young man put his hands down the trousers of several young people.

Kirton has said the 20-year old was remorseful the next morning and was asked to leave the camp.

He was not a member of the Labour Party and had been there with friends and helped to drive people to the event from February 16 to 18.

Kirton did not inform Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern about the allegations – she found out from a journalist – but in the case of the latest allegation, he has kept her office informed.

He said the party executive will be making decisions soon about a review of processes and procedures, including handling of alcohol at party events - and will keep the PM's office informed.

"We hope that we make those decision relatively quickly."

Labour Party general secretary Andrew Kirton says the latest complainant has been invited to participate in the review of party processes. Photo / Audrey Young
Labour Party general secretary Andrew Kirton says the latest complainant has been invited to participate in the review of party processes. Photo / Audrey Young

Ardern declined to comment on the latest case, referring all comment to Kirton.

She has said she was not bothered by the fact she had found out about the summer school assaults only this week, although has said parents should have been told.

She was concerned that the complainants had not been supported as early as they could have been – one of them contacted minister Megan Woods on March 4 concerned at the slow response from Labour and she immediately put Kirton in touch with them.

Ardern addressed the summer camp on February 16 before heading back to Auckland to meet Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop at a dinner hosted by Foreign Minister Winston Peters.

Ardern did not see any sign of misbehaviour while she was there.

"It shouldn't have happened, we should absolutely have made sure those people were looked after and that hasn't happened."


Kirton was told about the assault several days afterwards.

He did not tell the PM, nor the complainants' parents or police.

He said it was a victim-centred approach, which is one that victims groups approve.

But National leader Simon Bridges said Labour left itself open to accusations of a cover-up because of its failure to tell either parents or police.

The former Crown prosecutor said that the description of the incident would be termed indecent assault.

The police should have been told about it "and by not doing that, the Labour Party opens itself up to allegation of a cover-up here," Bridges told Newstalk ZB.


He also said that as a parent, he would have wanted to know so that his son or daughter was getting what they needed to get through it.

Act leader David Seymour said Labour should refer itself to the police on the basis that it is unlawful to supply minors with alcohol without parental consent.

"I would suggest that teenagers should be able to attend events organised by political parties without being exposed to alcohol," Seymour said.

"It beggars belief that the Labour Party - so strong on alcohol reform in opposition - has not referred this matter to Police. It must do so now."