Labour camp review recommendations, but no holding to account, victim appalled

Labour Party President Nigel Haworth said a report on the Labour Youth Camp near Waihi in February had made a number of recommendations which would all be adopted – but I can’t find any details on anyone being held accountable for the use of alcohol by young people, the lack of supervision, and the slow and poor response by party officials.

Timeline (Newsroom and RNZ):

  • 9-11 February 2018: Labour Youth Waitawheta Camp near Waihi in February
  • 12 March: Sexual misconduct alleged at boozy Labour Party camp
    The Labour Party has been hit with claims that four young supporters were sexually assaulted at one of its annual ‘Summer School’ camps near Waihi last month.The four – two males and two females – are all 16 and were allegedly assaulted or harassed by a 20-year-old man during a wild party on the second night of the camp. Newsroom has been told the man was intoxicated and put his hand down the pants of at least three of the four young people.
  • 12 March: PM investigating reports of sexual assault at Labour event
    Labour’s general secretary Andrew Kirton didn’t notify the Prime Minister, the police or parents that four teenagers were allegedly sexually assaulted at its summer camp last month.
  • 13 March: Labour camp misconduct: Victim reached out to Megan Woods
    It has been revealed that Cabinet Minister Megan Woods was contacted by a victim raising concerns about incidents of sexual assault of teenagers at a Labour Party summer camp.
  • 14 March: Second Labour sexual assault incident alleged
    Another person has contacted the Labour Party saying they too were sexually assaulted at a Labour event several years ago. Labour has already apologised to four teenagers who were sexually harassed by a 20-year-old man at a Labour youth camp in Waihi last month.
  • 19 March: Details of Labour’s sexual assault review revealed
    The review into how Labour handled complaints of sexual assault is expected to take up to three months and every party member will be contacted.
  • 22 June: Andrew Kirton steps down as Labour Party general secretary
    The Labour Party’s general secretary, Andrew Kirton, has resigned to take up a senior position with Air New Zealand.
  • 5 July: Labour Party camp accused in court, name suppressed
    A 20-year-old man has appeared in court charged with indecent assaults at a Labour Party youth summer camp. He denied six charges of assaulting four victims believed to be aged 16 to 18. The man was arrested on 26 June.
  • 29 August: Review reported on

The report was “expected to take up to three months” but has been partially reported on five months later.

RNZ:  Labour to review policies after Young Labour camp incidents

The Labour Party says it will implement all the recommendations of a report into indecent assaults at a Young Labour camp in February.

Labour Party president Nigel Haworth said Labour had committed to putting in place all the recommendations and had established a process for that work to be completed.

The recommendations:

  • Develop a more tangible and effective relationship between Young Labour and the Labour Party
  • Review and/or develop policies on The party’s code of conduct – along with consideration as to whether that should apply to the Young Labour Party, or whether a modified or separate code should be developed
  • Review and/or develop policies on sexual harassment and sexual assault, alcohol, events and host responsibility, bullying and complaint procedure
  • Incorporate updated event registration and parental consent and risk disclosure information requirements and forms to ensure compliance with current best practice and all legislation relating to the care of minors when participating in party held events.
  • Ensure at least one Labour Party representative should also attend the entire event and be available throughout (solely or jointly with another nominated adult supervisor) to ensure compliance with safety and welfare expectations and the Young Labour Party should also nominate a welfare officer to attend all events
  • Introduce a new, over-arching alcohol policy, formulated in consultation with expert external advice
  • Introduce a new open complaints process to enable complaints to be received and responded to without delay and with the appropriate degree of specialist advice.

However, Mr Haworth said he would not be releasing the report.

One of the victims:

“As far as I’m concerned the failure to release the report to the media is absolutely disgraceful”

“I feel to a degree that there is conflict of interest in a sense – one of the most influential figures that was aware of the original complaint, which is the President of the party, is also the person that is in charge of implementing the recommendations of the review.

“Further to that, the fact that it hasn’t been released to the media shows an absolute lack of transparency, but a copy also hasn’t been released to the victims or the people that were interviewed for the review, which from my perspective as a victim is absolutely disgraceful.”

Jacinda Ardern…

…said she has yet to read the full report, however, it would not be made public because the events detailed in it were still before the court.

The review was undertaken for a reason and the party knows there were things it needed to do differently, Ms Ardern said.

I understand the need to not make the full report public due to matters still being ‘before the court’.

There seems to be no reason why victims should not be given the report, except that Labour may want to keep things from being revealed that could impact on the prosecution.

Perhaps Labour have given their report to the prosecution to help with the facts of the matter, but I can’t see any indication of this having been done.

I can see no indication of anyone apart from the alleged offender being held accountable.

Party secretary Andrew Kirton resigned in June and left the party in July.

Labour need to maker sure things like this don’t happen again in the future, so it is good to see recommendations on that.

But there appears to be no holding to account for those that allowed underage drinking at February’s camp, enabled alleged sexual assaults to happen, and then tried to deal with it alarmingly inadequately, and secretly.

Newsroom:  Victim slams Labour summer camp report

One of the victims from Labour’s youth summer camp scandal has slammed the party for its “absolutely appalling” handling of a review into what went wrong, saying nobody is being held accountable.

“Failing to release the report shows a blatant lack of accountability and from my perspective as a victim, is absolutely appalling.”

The report should have been released with the redaction of any information which could have identified people, they said.

The victims and witnesses involved in Austen’s inquiry were not given a copy of the final report either.

They also questioned the news that Haworth would lead the work on changing Labour’s procedures, given the failures of the party in handling the initial complaint.

“The person in charge of implementing the recommendations is the person that hasn’t been trusted in the first place to provide support and resolve the issue…I don’t see accountability there.”

The victim believed alcohol should be banned entirely from events which had significant numbers of people under the age of 18, rather than allowing adults to drink while in attendance.

Labour have failed again to address concerns of at least one victim.

 

 

Leave a comment

34 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  August 30, 2018

    Why would the victim ne appalled?

    No faith in the NZ justice system..I guess.

    Reply
    • David

       /  August 30, 2018

      Well for a start they could have been totally mis represented in the report, it could have left out key detail that the victim felt needed to be in there, someone could have bare faced lied rendering the report inaccurate.
      Its really really odd to have a report done and not give a copy to the key participants before its finalized. Ardern should step in and make sure the victims have a copy so she can be satisfied its not a white wash given she apparently was kept in the dark about the assault by the president, other officials and 2 cabinet ministers…sure.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  August 30, 2018

        why does a victim need to wait for a report?
        A victim should complain to the Police without delay if they are criminally distressed.

        Reply
      • These are children who were sexually assaulted by an adult while in the care of a political party

        It was deeply cynical and corrupt to attempt tge initial cover up, just as it is likewise now

        If I managed to get a say in National 2020 campaign I’ll be using this aspect. The lack of accountability is because of an entitlement culture. The secrecy that shrouds anything and everything is unprecedented.

        Reply
    • No faith in the Labour Party I guess.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  August 30, 2018

        the Police is not the Labour Party…15 mins of fame,I guess.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  August 30, 2018

          I hope that the ‘victim’ wasn’t drinking as heavily as everyone else seemed to be.

          It’s more by good luck than good management that nothing worse happened.Young people, unlimited free alcohol, no older people present….what did the organisers THINK would happen ?

          Reply
  2. Nookin

     /  August 30, 2018

    Interesting difference in the ways that the Russell McVeagh report into the culture of a private business and the report into the governing political party of NZ have been handled. Reading the reccommendations of the supressed report into the labour camp, one wonders if they got one single thing right. No wonder they want as little detail released as possible.

    Reply
  3. Gerrit

     /  August 30, 2018

    Blazer running a lot of interference in this play…guilt?

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  August 30, 2018

      this is a non story ,but the anti Col faction grimly hang on to it…just like the Little defamation suit…when they think they have a scandal and are…usually disappointed.

      Reply
      • Gerrit

         /  August 30, 2018

        For a non story it is still being carried by the MSM.

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12116244

        So if this a non story…why be so defensive about it?

        Still has legs due to the court case where all will be reviewed.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  August 30, 2018

          Big law firms culture of abusing young interns is a bigger,far worse story by any…measure.

          Reply
          • High Flying Duck

             /  August 30, 2018

            And they are (SLOWLY) being brought to account for their behaviour.
            I recall a bright eyed politician talking about telling no lies and introducing a new era of openness and transparency in Government.
            I wonder where she’s gone?

            Reply
      • David

         /  August 30, 2018

        Blazer I am somewhat surprised especially after the way you went after the law firm that 4 young persons being supplied booze and then sexually assaulted and the Labour party sweeping it under the carpet would have you outraged.
        I would have thought this is beyond political affiliations and in this era of #metoo that sunlight would be the best disinfectant.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  August 30, 2018

          They didn’t have to drink it, and nor the law interns who did so of their own free will, did things they later regretted and complained about being victims.

          The organisers of the Labour camp were crassly irresponsible….were they never that age themselves ? It’s been a long time since I was, but I could well imagine that if there had been free and unlimited booze and teenagers left to get on with it, the same thing would have happened.

          Reply
        • Blazer

           /  August 30, 2018

          people misbehave irrespective of their political…leanings.

          Reply
        • duperez

           /  August 30, 2018

          Allegedly sexually assaulted.

          I think it likely that had it nothing to do with a political party people would have let things work out with the legal aspects and processes. The political dimension gave it a perspective that was never ever going to be let go.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  August 30, 2018

            Yes and no, the fact that it was a major political party’s camp, attended by the PM, makes it worse than if it was the local soccer club having a weekend away.

            People don’t expect this at a political party event. Especially when the PM had been there.

            If they allowed underage drinkers to drink at all, let alone themselves silly, they were breaking the law.

            Reply
  4. Gerrit

     /  August 30, 2018

    Blazer is going to be busy,

    Another nothing to see here, move right along issue?

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12116469

    Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  August 30, 2018

      I’m sure it will be systemic. There will be confidential report which will be fully implemented, but under no circumstances will blame be apportioned, as that is an elitist construct.

      Reply
    • Blazer

       /  August 30, 2018

      nothing to see…yet.

      Reply
  5. High Flying Duck

     /  August 30, 2018

    Allegation is of a “physical altercation with a staff member by Meka”. The office has a very high staff turnover.
    Stay tuned.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 30, 2018

      From the article:

      “Former Prime Minister Helen Clark has said heads would have rolled if the Labour Party’s youth camp sex scandal had occurred under her watch.

      Speaking to Stuff after her Q&A session at the Property Council of New Zealand conference in Rotorua on Thursday, Clark said she was unsure whether she would have sanctioned the release of the internal report into the party’s youth camp set up, with Labour instead releasing a number of recommendations.

      She was clear on one thing however. “I would have handled it differently from the start,” she said. Under her watch, “people didn’t keep their jobs”.”

      Reply
  6. Tipene

     /  August 30, 2018

    The full report is most likely already in the hands of at least one media organisation.

    Even Gutterstop isn’t going to stop this one leaking………………

    Reply
  1. Labour camp review recommendations, but no holding to account, victim appalled — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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