Judith Collins praises response to sexual advance on teen at Young Nats event

Judith Collins has taken a jab at Labour over its handling of the Youth Labour camp sexual harassment incident earlier this year. 

The National MP's comments come after a 17-year-old girl was allegedly forced to kiss a man after the pair had attended the New Zealand Young Nationals (Young Nats) Christmas drinks last Tuesday at the Brew on Quay bar in Auckland's CBD. 

Police told Newshub they are investigating a complaint made on the night of November 20 in Auckland Central.

"If it's gone to police, that's a good place for it, and that's what the Labour Party should have done in the first place: taken it to police," said Ms Collins in Wellington on Tuesday.

She was referring to Labour's handling of the February incident when four teenagers said they were sexually harassed at a Labour Youth summer school in Waihi. It led to an internal investigation of the party's policies and procedures. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was criticised for not being made aware of the allegations for a month, despite the party's head office being made aware shortly after it took place.

Ms Ardern said on Tuesday that individual cases are for parties to handle. But she alluded to the need for parties to take responsibility for what happens under their name. 

"I think, actually, as work places and environments, we all have a duty of care, and if there's anything we've seen out of the international movements around this, we do all have a responsibility in each of our work places and organisations."

National leader Simon Bridges says the incident last week was "regrettable", but believes it was "handled and dealt with appropriately". 

"It seems clear to me it has and that they followed very strongly a health and safety plan and did the right things - both at the Young Nats event and then post it," he said in Wellington on Tuesday. 

A man claiming to be a wealthy political donor allegedly approached the young woman at the bar and asked her and her friends to join him at his apartment nearby, a report by Newsroom says. 

There, the man allegedly grabbed the young woman's face and tried to kiss her. When she tried to pull away from the man, he pulled her back by the wrists, the report says, before she fled the apartment block and hid in a fast food outlet's toilet. 

National MPs Andrew Bayly and Simeon Brown confirmed they were at the Young Nats event. Mr Brown said he left the event at around 8pm. 

Mr Bridges brushed off concerns about cultural issues within Young Nats, saying nothing untoward happened at the event. 

"After, when it came to the party's attention, it was handled very responsibly," he said. 

"It was made clear to the complainant what her options were, and indeed she was encouraged to go to the police, which is what's happened, and we entirely support that decision."

The Young Nats man involved in the incident has been suspended by the National Party, the Newsroom report says. 

The Young Nats has been a large New Zealand youth political movement since it was founded over 70 years ago.