The hysteria that's surrounded the Young Labour summer camp in Waihi last month has raised many issues, ranging from the kneejerk reaction of those calling for the head of Labour's general secretary Andrew Kirton to police who clearly aren't keen on pursuing the sexual groping allegations against a drunken 20-year-old yobbo.

The nub of the argument is that Kirton was remiss in not telling the parents of the kids who'd been offended against about what had gone on at the boozy camp.

The four were emailed and asked what they wanted done about it by Young Labour but just two replied, and just one of them wanted to pursue it while the other wanted to let matters lie.

None of them initially wanted their parents involved.


One young lad though, who no doubt after talking to his parents, has now decided to lay a complaint with the police.

He was the one who alerted Cabinet Minister Megan Woods about it who spurred the party into action.

Those of us who've raised kids through their teens would certainly want to be told.

But even if Kirton wanted to, the law prevents him from doing it if the kids tell him not to.

In fact kids aged 16 have more rights that you may realise, like where they live, when to leave school, to get married, to get a firearms licence, to have an abortion without their parents knowing or even to get a passport without asking mum or dad, to name just a few of their many rights.

Whether they're old or mature enough to have such responsibility is for the lawmakers to decide.

There have also been the rabid claims that this was a cover-up by Labour.

Put yourself in the position of being the boss of any political party, a business or any other organisation for that matter and something like this happens.

Surely your first reaction would be to sort it out internally, to put the processes in place to ensure that it doesn't happen again.

The last thing you'd do is run to the media to lay your head on the chopping block and that's called preservation, not cover-up.

It's certainly not a defence of Labour's handling of this, far from it, many mistakes were made - the free flow of alcohol is the most obvious.

But what of the kids involved in the rave at Waihi, will they be traumatised for life by the actions of the drunken party goer, who wasn't there in any official capacity but as a guest?

I have the personal experience of being molested by a close family friend as a teenager.

My lack of trauma is as a result of talking to and being counselled by my mum which is what these youngsters would be well advised to do.

As far as Labour goes, the party's over, no more youth summer camps run by the whipper snappers - pity considering the general lack of interest from the young in politics.