Former National Party leader Don Brash has called the coverage of Labour's alleged summer camp sexual assaults a "media beat-up".
Four 16-year-olds were allegedly harassed or assaulted by a 20-year-old man at Young Labour's summer camp in Waihi last month, according to Newsroom. The man allegedly put his hand down the pants of three of the four victims.
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"I am astonished at the media beat-up on this issue," he told The AM Show on Wednesday.
"Any sexual harassment is bad. But it was not rape."
Mr Brash fired shots at Radio New Zealand, arguing there were more important events to be covered than multiple alleged teen sexual assaults.
"It was the lead item on Radio New Zealand news most of yesterday," he argued.
"When Korea is going on, Russian nerve agents, Tillerson fired et cetera - is this the lead item on RNZ news all day? I would have thought not."
Under questioning from host Duncan Garner, Mr Brash admitted he had only listened to four bulletins yesterday. Mr Tillerson was fired overnight NZ time, after the bulletins went to air.
The AM Show host Amanda Gillies disagreed with Mr Brash, saying it deserved the media attention.
"It is, considering the climate we live in... particularly at the moment with 'Metoo'," she says.
"This is the Prime Minister's party. She spoke at this event. These young kids - they are school kids Don. They were provided with alcohol, they were sexually assaulted."
Wine writer Mary-Therese Kinsella told the show she also disagreed with Mr Brash's statements.
"I think the environment we have currently, I mean, if we're saying you put your hands down [someone's pants] - but it wasn't rape? Absolutely not," she says.
"Something is happening in North Korea, so it is ok for our young women to be sexually assaulted?"