A man accused of indecent assaults at a Labour Party summer camp will keep his identity hidden from the public to preserve his fair trial rights, a judge has ruled.

The 20-year-old was arrested in June and charged with six counts of indecent assault against four complainants.

The charges followed a police investigation into allegations from a Labour Party summer camp at Waihi on the Coromandel Peninsula in February.

The allegations of indecent assaults against four young people surfaced in March.


Today, the accused appeared before Judge Russell Collins in the Auckland District Court seeking to extend his interim name suppression.

The man's lawyer Emma Priest argued her client should keep his name suppression until determination of the charges, and may seek permanent suppression if there were valid grounds to do so.

Police did not oppose the application, however, the Herald and two other media organisations did.

Judge Collins granted interim name suppression until either verdict or other determination and bailed the man to appear in court again later this year.

"I am satisfied, and have been satisfied quite quickly, there would be a real risk to fair trial rights," he said.

The judge continued there had been an "extremely high-level of media coverage" with many people talking in the press "without thinking that a prosecution may ultimately result".

"Many people have commented publicly with the only inference to be taken from the comments is that the defendant must be guilty.

"His presumption of innocence is paramount," Judge Collins said.


"It will take strong directions from a judge [to a jury] at the commencement of his trial to preserve fair trial rights."

The case will be formally handed from police to the Crown Solicitor at Auckland's office at the next court appearance.

The accused pleaded not guilty at his first appearance.

The alleged assaults occurred at an evening event, where reports emerged later detailed claims of heavy and underage drinking.

The day prior, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had spoken to the group.

Labour's hierarchy failed to tell Ardern about the scandal, while complaints followed about the handling of its aftermath and the failure to refer the issue to police at the time.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Labour Party president Nigel Haworth talk to media about the case. Photo / Greg Bowker
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Labour Party president Nigel Haworth talk to media about the case. Photo / Greg Bowker

Maria Austen, a Wellington lawyer, conducted an external review of Labour Party procedures after the allegations were made.

Austen's report included several recommendations, however, last week the Prime Minister said it would not be publicly released while court proceedings were ongoing.

"As the party has said, it was important that we look into issues around alcohol use, harassment, make sure that we've got the right policies and protections in place," Ardern told reporters in Tauranga last month.

"The reason the report hasn't been released is it did relate to an event that is now before the court so it just wouldn't be appropriate for that to have been released.

"I think actually what's important is that we take on board what the report has told us about what we need to do, so I'm looking forward to seeing that in full. I've seen the highlights of the recommendations. But we undertook it for a reason, we know we need to do things differently."

Labour Party president Nigel Haworth said the party would implement all the recommendations of the Austen report.


He said after the accused's arrest: "The Labour Party backs the decision of the police to lay charges against an individual relating to allegations of indecent assault at the Young Labour summer camp earlier this year."