Newly-elected Labour Party president Claire Szabo appears to be confident she will be able to steer the party through its most pressing internal issues.

However, speaking to media soon after winning the presidency, she was cautious not be drawn into the specifics on the major challenges she faces.

The main one being Labour's internal culture, specifically in regards to how it handled allegations of sexual assault.

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The handling of that saga ultimately led to the resignation of the former Labour President Nigel Haworth.

And that issue has been looming over Labour's annual conference in Whanganui this weekend.

Yesterday, Ardern made direct reference to the sexual assault saga in her opening remarks.

She acknowledged Labour was "not a perfect organisation".

"I know ... that we must work harder at is making sure our place is one that is safe and positive for every single member to participate in."

She said Labour should be a party that puts "people first; politics second".

Asked about the issues, Szabo cited several reports into how the party handled the sexual assault allegations.

"When those arrive, we will be working through them very diligently and in a timely fashion; making sure we deal with the recommendations."


She did say the party was "in the process of learning" which is not unlike most organisations.

"I will be making sure that process is led, and executed well."

She said as an organisation, "things can always be improved" but when it comes to a big organisation, such as Labour, there were "particular challenges".

Meanwhile, she was coy on the issue of campaign financing reform and whether or not she would be keen on setting up a capital fund for the party.

Asked about the need for campaign funding reform, Szabo said she was "interested in reading up" on that issue.

She said was not specifically looking into creating a Labour Party foundation – similar to the ones run by NZ First and National.

Szabo said her main focus was on getting "fighting fit" ahead of next year's election.