Exclusive: National MP Maggie Barry hit with fresh bullying allegations

Maggie Barry has been hit with fresh allegations of bullying, including that she referred to department officials as her "hired help".

The North Shore MP spent the weekend denying she bullied two staff members, saying investigations found no evidence of bullying in her office.

Now another former staff member has spoken out with fresh allegations of a "toxic" workplace - although Ms Barry has again rejected those claims.

Speaking to Newshub anonymously, the source said Ms Barry would lash out at staff and that she was "totally intimidating".

"She would attack and belittle your work in front of other people."

They worked in her ministerial office, and said staff would break down in tears.

The staff member said Ms Barry would treat everyone below her station with "utter contempt" - including referring to officials in her ministerial departments as "hired help".

Exclusive: National MP Maggie Barry hit with fresh bullying allegations
Photo credit: Newshub.

The new allegations follow two separate investigations of bullying in Ms Barry's office since May 2018.

After the previous allegations, National Party leader Simon Bridges stood by his MP.

"I've talked to Maggie about these incidents," he told Newshub. "She denies them rigorously."

The anonymous staffer said Ms Barry's staff began to internalise criticism. They said "some took so much punishment they came to believe they deserved it".

"They took the criticism home with them," they added.

Ms Barry has also been accused of using parliamentary employees - paid for by taxpayers - for National Party work.

She denied that, but the staffer said Ms Barry's parliamentary press secretary spent "hours and hours" on her newsletter Maggie's eMessenger.

No formal complaints were laid, as the staffer said they were worried it might harm their chances of getting more work at Parliament.

However they claimed problems were raised with Ministerial Services, which Ms Barry has rejected.

"I can't comment on individual employment issues, but there were no investigations or formal employment complaints laid during my three years as Minister, nor were there issues raised with me by Ministerial Services," she told Newshub.

"The claims reported on recently were also vigorously denied and disputed and were thoroughly investigated by Parliamentary Services.  There was no finding that bullying or harassment had occurred.

"I am confident my office was a busy one with a good working environment."

Newshub.

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