9 Sep 2019

Sexual assault allegation: Speaker says Parliament safe environment

1:16 pm on 9 September 2019

Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard is assuring those visiting and working at Parliament it is a safe environment.

The Beehive, Wellington.

The Beehive, Wellington. Photo: 123rf

Mr Mallard was responding to allegations on the Spinoff website a Labour Party staffer committed a serious sexual assault on a 19-year-old volunteer early last year.

It is understood the staffer in question hasn't been seen on the Parliament precinct in recent months.

Mr Mallard said it was his job to make sure Parliament was safe and that was easier if complaints were formalised.

"I can't go into any individual cases at all, and I won't, but I will say that I'm satisfied that the buildings in this case, which has had a lot of discussion, the buildings are currently safe,'' he said.

Neither Mr Mallard nor Parliament's general manager had received any complaints related to the allegations, he said.

"My job as Speaker is to ensure there are safe working conditions for people who are working here and it's safe for visitors. Clearly that is a lot easier if there are complaints if anyone is feeling unsafe, if they could formalise that, that would be useful.''

"Anyone who is working on the precinct who is feeling unsafe, they should approach the general manager or their immediate supervisor and let them know of that and the reasons behind it, that means that it is easier for action to be taken," Mr Mallard said.