Maggie Barry rejects claims of bullying and harassment

National MP Maggie Barry has been investigated more than once this year over claims of bullying, it has been revealed.

Two staff members laid complaints about her, NZME reported on Saturday, but the North Shore MP has denied any wrongdoing.

Ms Barry told Newshub issues raised by former staff had been resolved mutually, and there was "no finding that bullying or harassment had occurred".

"I have wished the employees concerned well and so I am surprised to see they are being repeated in a partial, selective and incomplete way. I have had constructive and positive employee relationships and recently farewelled a much valued staff member of seven years from my office."

NZME says documents show Ms Barry faced allegations of swearing at staff; calling them "stupid"; using the term "nutter" to describe people with mental health issues; calling one local board member "a duplicitous piece of shite" and another a "waste of space"; and discussing employees' sex lives.

She has also been accused of making staff do work for the party, despite knowing it was against the rules.

Maggie Barry.
Maggie Barry. Photo credit: Newshub.

Ms Barry denied all the allegations when questioned by Parliamentary Service, despite recordings and message screenshots obtained by NZME suggesting otherwise. She said she is considering contacting the police over the recordings.

"I have never given consent to such recordings being made or released," she told NZME.

In other recordings released by NZME, Ms Barry calls The Project host Jesse Mulligan's conservation advocacy "pathetic", and voices her disgust at sitting next to an unnamed person.

As recently as October Ms Barry condemned former National MP Jami-Lee Ross' "unpleasant and bullying" behaviour, saying he had "no place in an otherwise united National caucus" and called him a "disloyal disgrace" and "flawed & isolated individual".

She told Newshub she backs the review the National Party has launched into its own culture, but wouldn't comment further.

"Apart from the comments above I cannot respond to anonymous and unsourced allegations nor can I talk about individual employment matters under the Privacy Act and employment law."

Parliament recently launched an independent external review into bullying and harassment of staff. 

"Bullying and harassment are unacceptable in any workplace, including at Parliament," said Speaker Trevor Mallard, who has been accused of inappropriate behaviour himself.

Newshub.

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