Outgoing Labour minister Ginny Andersen says she is not a bully and she has no recollection of raising her voice at two young volunteers whose mother has laid a complaint against her.
But the former police minister said she wants to sincerely apologise if her words have “caused any hurt”, she told Three’s AM Show this morning.
The mother claims Andersen yelled at her daughter and son on election night and said they should have done more door-knocking during the campaign.
Former police minister Ginny Andersen, here seen with Labour leader Chris Hipkin, denies yelling at volunteers on election night. Photo / Mark Mitchell
“The only person in the Labour Party who can be blamed for losing the Hutt South electorate is me,” Andersen said.
While she thought her campaign could have door-knocked more, “I do not recall yelling and no other person [recalled me] yelling.”
In a letter of complaint, which was leaked to media outlets yesterday, the mother alleges poor behaviour over a period of three years, but particularly on election night this year, when Andersen lost her seat of Hutt South to rival Chris Bishop.
The letter said that the “biggest issue” took place on election night when Andersen allegedly “yelled” at the woman’s daughter and son and said they should have done more door-knocking during the campaign.
The complaint detailed other issues over a period of three years including being called “useless” after getting addresses mixed up while delivering something for Christmas.
“I’m aware a complaint has been made about comments I’ve made in the past,” Andersen said.
“I’m really sorry if my comments caused hurt.
“I’m committed to fully engage in the Labour Party process to resolve the matter.”
Labour’s general secretary Rob Salmond confirmed the party had received “a complaint from a member regarding comments made to them by Ginny Andersen”.
Andersen said she did not raise her voice in general and repeated that she had no memory of yelling.
She said she prided herself on being professional and treating people respectfully, which she says she always does.
Andersen said she had known the volunteer and their family for years and wanted to sit down and put things right in person.
She said she had received the complaint yesterday, as she believed party leader Chris Hipkins had too. She had since spoken to him.
She had also reached out to the volunteer’s family.
Asked about her relationship with her staff, Andersen said she’d “never had an incident where I believe I’ve raised my voice with a staff member” and nor had she been to mediation with any staff.
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