National MP Erica Stanford believes Cabinet minister Kiri Allan has more questions to answer after further allegations emerged about her treatment of staff.
A public servant with years of experience has told Stuff Allan "yelled and screamed" at her during a phone call and was so loud staff in the office could hear her. Allan has "strongly" rejected the accusations.
Those allegations came after the Department of Conservation confirmed a staffer seconded to Allan's office chose to leave amid concerns about working relationships there more than a year ago.
Allan, who had been away this week on mental health leave, returned to Parliament on Thursday and said she'd never had any allegations raised about her management of staff.
She said she's seen "no evidence" any heads of the departments ever raised concerns about working relationships in her office.
Allan said she didn't believe she was a tough boss but "a fair bit of fun" and "pretty passionate".
She had never shouted at staff, she said.
"I am definitely not a Wellington politician. That is something I am not. I am from the regions," she told reporters.
"We do things a little bit differently. But I think I am fair, I think I have clear expectations and when those aren't met, I am clear about those as well."
Asked by AM host Ryan Bridge what he made of the allegations, Public Service Minister Andrew Little - a former Labour leader - noted Allan hadn't been the subject of any formal complaints.
"There hasn't been the opportunity to investigate what has happened and, although there are new allegations coming out now, it's hard to know where the truth lies," Little said. "Senior public servants - they know what the process is if they've got staff who they don't think are being properly treated in a minister's office."
Little added the situation was unusual, given the usual process was for such allegations to be reported to the Public Service Commission and the Prime Minister's office.
"It appears, from what everybody is saying - including the Prime Minister - that that simply hasn't happened. That's surprising in this situation," Little told AM on Friday.
"The first conversation I've had with the Public Service Commission about it was yesterday when they came to my office following the recently published allegations, and I asked them, 'Has there been anything? Has there been anything short of a formal complaint?' And they said they've had nothing referred to them."
Little said the Public Service Commission was in regular contact with the chief executives of all Government departments.
He would expect chief executives concerned about conduct in a minister's office "to take that up with the Public Service Commission", he said. "But there is no record of that.
"I think the other thing to slightly put in context - there are 20-odd ministers in Cabinet, three or four outside of Cabinet [who have] all got their offices, all got staff. There wouldn't be, with that many ministers and the staff they've got, a situation where absolutely every working relationship is absolutely perfect."
National MP Erica Stanford believed the allegations - if substantiated - were "absolutely not acceptable".
"That is well over the line," Stanford said, appearing alongside Little.
"What I will say is that Kiri will have to answer to those [allegations] and no doubt she will later today. But, more importantly, the person who will have to answer questions is [Prime Minister] Chris Hipkins."
Hipkins, currently in China for a trade delegation, was standing by Allan and said he had confidence in all of his ministers.
"I am not going to comment on rumours... I understand that my office was alerted to the Official Information Act request that was released to the National Party a couple of weeks ago," he said. "I wasn't aware of the specifics of that request until it was raised a couple of days ago."