PM gives ‘timeline’ of sex assault claims

“Monday was the first time I had ever seen a complainant state that they had taken a complaint of serious sexual assault to the Labour Party as part of that process.”

She was referring to details of a serious alleged sexual assault on a 19-year-old in early 2018, published on Monday by The Spinoff. The alleged victim said the offender’s level of influence left her constantly frightened.

The Prime Minister’s comments followed the resignation of Labour Party President Nigel Haworth on Wednesday, following “correspondence” that morning between the two.

“This morning I was provided some of the correspondence from complainants written to the party several months ago,” Ardern said in a statement Wednesday.

“It confirms that the allegations made were extremely serious, that the process caused complainants additional distress, and that ultimately, in my view, the party was never equipped to appropriately deal with the issue.”