Labour Summer School allegations

Newsroom reports:

The Labour Party has been hit with claims that four young supporters were sexually assaulted at one of its annual ‘Summer School’ camps near Waihi last month.

The four – two males and two females – are all 16 and were allegedly assaulted or harassed by a 20-year old man during a wild party on the second night of the camp.

Newsroom has been told the man was intoxicated and put his hand down the pants of at least three of the four young people.

That’s a real shame that one bad egg misbehaved at the camp, especially with such young people attending. Youth political events are normally lots of fun, but it goes without saying that the reported behaviour is inappropriate and illegal.

Labour Summer Schools are open to supporters of all ages including those under 18 and this year’s camp in the Karangahake Gorge ran from late afternoon on Friday, February 9 to Sunday, February 11.

More than 50 people attended the camp and about a third of those were 18 or under.

The Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, spoke at the event but was not present at the time of the incident.

So this is very recent, not historic.

Newsroom understands that the man involved was removed from the camp on the Sunday morning, the same day those attending heard a talk on feminism by Angie Warren-Clark – a Labour list MP and manager of the Tauranga Women’s Refuge.

If he was removed after complaints, that seems a reasonable course of action.

According to witnesses, a large variety of alcohol was available on Saturday night and many people, including a 15-year-old boy, were drinking.

The “mountain” of alcohol included rum, vodka, cider and a large array of RTDs.

Under the most recent changes to alcohol law, this would appear to be illegal. It is now an offence to supply alcohol to someone under 18. The Police could well take an interest in this. The Act says that you need the express consent of a parent AND you must supply the alcohol in a responsible manner.

Newsroom has seen videos of drunken scenes and at least one man stripped to the waist dancing on a table.

Videos and photographs appeared on social media as the party raged into the early hours of the morning.

Nothing wrong with young people drinking and having fun and even dancing half naked. But they should be aged at least 18. If a third were aged under 18, there should have been steps taken to ensure they were not drinking.

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