12 Jun 2019

Trevor Mallard on rape comment, Parliament code of coduct

6:03 pm on 12 June 2019

The Speaker of the House has refused to comment on why he publicly said a rape had occurred at Parliament last month, after being contacted by one of the people involved.

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Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Trevor Mallard and the head of Parliamentary Services appeared at select committee this morning.

The Debbie Francis review of Parliament as a workplace found bullying, abuse of power and even sexual assault had occurred.

After Mr Mallard told RNZ in late May he believed a rape had taken place, a female staffer came forward with a complaint, and a male employee was stood down while an employment investigation took place.

Mr Mallard was asked by National MP Melissa Lee whether he regretted that statement.

"One of the people who feels my comments reflected on him ... has asked me not to make any further comment.

"Now, I haven't agreed to that. It's something I'm contemplating and until I've contemplated it, I'm not going to make any further comments."

He refused to say anything further, including whether the employment investigation was still ongoing.

Work to implement the Francis recommendations was under way, Mr Mallard told MPs.

"As a starter, I've asked [Deputy Speaker] Anne Tolley and she's accepted the role of leading a group to develop a New Zealand Parliament Code of Conduct."

He said that was likely to include other members, staff members and a representative from the media.

It was his expectation the Code of Conduct would apply to everyone working on the Parliamentary precinct.

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