'Brown women have to talk extra loud' - Meka Whaitiri speaks out

Labour MP Meka Whaitiri has spoken out after being accused of assaulting a staff member, saying the investigation has been "debilitating".

Ms Whaitiri was removed as a minister by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in September over what was referred to as a "staffing matter".

It's understood there were no witnesses to the incident, but there have been allegations it was physical.

Speaking to Hawke's Bay Today, Ms Whaitiri said she was disappointed with how the incident was managed.

"In this country, we have a hierarchy; white men, white women, brown men, brown women, and sometimes brown women have to talk extra loud to be heard," the MP said.

She said she wasn't trying to water down the claims, but there were parts of the investigation findings she disagreed with and her trial by media had been "debilitating".

"When your name is being trashed... by ill-informed, exaggerated, no-evidence statements by political broadcasters and commentators and I'm not allowed to say anything because I am co-operating with the investigation, I would never wish it on my worst enemy."

Ms Whaitiri remains an electorate MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti and co-chair of the Māori caucus, alongside Willie Jackson.

Police said in September they would not prosecute Ms Whaitiri after private prosecutor Graham McCready made a formal complaint.

Ms Whaitiri said she was working hard at making a return as a minister, saying she understood Ms Ardern had left the door open to her come back