Man arrested over Labour Party camp assault

Man arrested over Labour Party camp assault

Police have arrested a man over allegations relating to a Labour Party summer camp at Waihi.

The 20-year-old will appear in Auckland District Court on four charges of indecent assault on 5 July.

It's alleged a 20-year-old man harassed four 16 to 18-year-olds at Young Labour's summer camp in Waihi in February.

The allegations are that the man put his hand down the pants of three of the four victims.

Newsroom was told the man was removed from the camp the next morning.

About a third of those at the camp were under the age of 18, but there was reportedly "a large variety of alcohol available on Saturday night", and the alleged perpetrator was intoxicated.

In a statement, Labour Party President Nigel Haworth said the party backs the decision to lay charges. Mr Haworth said an internal investigation into the incident is ongoing.

"The Party's internal report, prepared by Maria Austen, is focused on the Party's policies and procedures around the summer camp, if they were properly applied, and how we should correct any deficiencies."

"Maria Austen's investigation is ongoing and separate from the police actions today. We will report back on her findings once we have received and considered them."

Four days ago Labour's general secretary Andrew Kirton resigned, taking a job at Air NZ.

Mr Kirton says the length of time between events is irrelevant because there is no link. "My resignation is totally irrelevant to today's story and the entire issue because there is no link."

Labour's acting leader Kelvin Davis also said the timing is "entirely coincidental."

Mr Kirton was made aware of the assault allegations in the days following the incident, but didn't inform the police or the teenagers' parents.

In March, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the "major mistake" on his part was his delay in "putting support around those young people".

Mr Davis said he's pleased an arrest has been made. 

"Yeah, absolutely. Now it's before the courts... that process has to play out."