The woman who has accused a former Labour staffer of sexually assaulting her is rubbishing claims that she didn't tell the chair of Labour's investigating panel about the allegation.

The ex-staffer, who was employed by Parliamentary Service, resigned from his job last week but continues to maintain that he has done nothing wrong.

Yesterday Simon Mitchell, who chaired the investigating panel and is a member of the party's ruling New Zealand Council, broke his silence about what he was told during the investigating process.

Mitchell said his computer had been forensically analysed and he had not received any documents from the woman about her sexual assault allegation, nor did the woman verbally tell him of such a complaint.


But the woman and other complainants have pushed back, releasing a statement from a representative saying that they are "hugely disappointed" that Mitchell had gone public with what they called untrue statements.

The woman has three emails from March 9 to May 21 this year showing that she told Mitchell and the panel about the sexual assault claim, the statement said.

The statement included a screenshot of the March email, sent on the morning before she gave verbal testimony to the panel, that appeared to show an attached document titled "Too [sic] print Sexual assault" and a second document with a timeline.

The woman repeated her view that she also detailed the allegation in her verbal testimony to the panel, which the panel has disputed.

"The complainant is struggling to understand why Mr Mitchell would make these statements when he sat through her giving testimony of the sexual assault."

The statement said that the woman sent two follow-up emails - on April 26 and May 21 - where she drew the panel's attention to the seriousness of the complaints, including the allegation of "rape".

"These emails have been provided to Labour Party lawyers Kensington Swan, who have been requested to provide the emails to the reviewers conducting the independent review of the internal investigation," the statement said.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said that the contrary view of the complainants has been
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said that the contrary view of the complainants has been "incredibly" concerning and frustrating. Photo / Mark Mitchell

That review was announced yesterday by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and will be conducted alongside the review, by Maria Dew QC, into the substance of the complaints.


The panel chaired by Mitchell looked into seven formal complaints against the former Labour staffer and decided in July that no disciplinary action was necessary.

But the complainants said the process was unfair and ignored the sexual assault claim, prompting Ardern to bring in Dew to review the complaints.

The panel and Nigel Haworth, who resigned as party president last week, have maintained that they were never directly told about a sexual assault complaint, and Ardern has said that the contrary view of the complainants has been "incredibly" concerning and frustrating.

While not naming Mitchell, Ardern criticised him for going public, saying yesterday that it "serves no one", least of all the complainants.

The woman complainant has also previously told The Spinoff that she sent another email in June to the panel, which The Spinoff reported contained a clear reference to the sexual assault allegation.

"The complainant is not the only person who made allegations of a sexual nature during the internal investigation," the statement said.

Mitchell said the March email did not have any attachments, and the woman's verbal testimony to the panel did not include any details about her sexual assault.

He said the woman did not mention anything about her sexual assault claim in a meeting he had with her on May 29.

He said the email and documents that the woman sent to him on June 11, including one that she referred to as her testimony, did not contain any reference to her sexual assault.

After reading about the woman's claims that the panel had been told about a sexual assault complaint, Mitchell said he had his computer forensically examined to confirm that none of the woman's emails mentioned a sexual assault complaint.

The two other members of the panel, Tracey McLellan and Honey Heemi, have not spoken publicly but Haworth has said that they also maintain they were not told about the sexual assault complaint.

Ardern said the independent review would look into the complaints that the panel were told about, but it would focus on documents rather than putting the complainants through the trouble of engaging in two processes.

National Party deputy leader Paula Bennett said the review would not put Ardern's staff nor Finance Minister Grant Robertson under any scrutiny, who she said were told about the sexual assault complaint months ago.