18 Mar 2018

Labour calls in lawyer for independent review

8:04 pm on 18 March 2018

A review of how the Labour Party handled complaints of sexual assault at its summer camp kicks off today.

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Andrew Kirton has been under pressure since the assaults were revealed. Photo: RNZ

Labour has called in an independent lawyer after four 16-year-olds reported being harassed by a 20-year-old man at a Young Labour camp last month.

Senior lawyer Maria Berryman is reviewing the party's policies and procedures for all its events.

Ms Berryman said she'll focus on the latest incident but will also consider any other historical complaints.

The exact scope and timeframe of the review is expected to be finalised in the next few days.

The move was met with skepticism by ACT Party leader David Seymour.

Mr Seymour said the review is a cycnical exercise more focused on deflection than inspection.

Police said they had begun an investigation into the allegations made to them and that the first step would be to assess information available to them to determine what is required from an investigation perspective.

Detective Superintendent Chris Page would lead the investigation and police are encouraging anyone with information to come forward.

"Our priority is to ensure that anyone who wishes to speak with us can feel comfortable in doing so, and to ensure that appropriate support services are available."

There was alcohol at the party despite the victims' ages. Newsroom reported a "mountain" of alcohol including rum, vodka, cider and a large array of RTDs was being consumed by many people including a 15-year-old boy.

At a media stand-up yesterday, the Labour's Party leadership apologised to the victims, their parents and the other young people there.

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