Politicians agree Parliament's culture must change

Author
Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Wed, 22 May 2019, 10:55AM
Stuart Nash and Mark Mitchell say that the current behaviour is unacceptable. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Politicians agree Parliament's culture must change

Author
Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Wed, 22 May 2019, 10:55AM

MPs from both sides of the Houses are in agreement that bullying is not on.

A review has uncovered systemic bullying and harassment within Parliament between MPs, staff and members of the public.

More than a thousand people took an online survey, and she interviewed more than 200 in confidence.

It includes 14 allegations of sexual assault, many related to one person.

Labour MP Stuart Nash told Mike Hosking stress is no excuse whatsoever for bullying.

"One of the stories that has come out of the report is a staffer had a stapler thrown at her. That sort of behaviour is totally unacceptable."

He hopes that Speaker Trevor Mallard and party leaders come down hard on their MPs and staffers. 

National MP Mark Mitchell says you have to hold people to account.

"You've got to have strong, very robust processes, that people and employees have confidence in, that they can engage, they can be treated fairly, and there will be a positive outcome at the end of it."

One major union says the report comes as no surprise.

E tu spokesman Paul Tolich says it's a culture that's developed over many years.

"This is an opportunity to clear the air and make some reforms."

He says MPs should be named and shamed through the Privileges Committee.

"MPs being accountable to their fellow MPs and for them to be called out is going to be important."

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