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National: Labour MP alleges rampant bullying culture in Parliament

8:22 am on Friday 12 August 2022

By Christina Huang

Allegations of a rampant bullying culture within Parliament have been raised by Labour MP, Dr Gaurav Sharma.

In an opinion piece published in the New Zealand Herald on Thursday, the representative for Hamilton West claimed there is widespread bullying at Parliament by MPs, his own party whips, and the prime minister’s office.

Sharma says the Parliamentary Service, which aims to provide support services to MPs, instead further victimises anyone attempting to make a complaint.

He says the service results in weeks to months of delays, resulting in a culture where party whips can harass MPs to keep them in line.

He further alleged that press releases indicating the culture had improved in recent years were merely a PR exercise rather than indicative of genuine change.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has disputed allegations from Sharma, saying she has not seen any bullying within the Labour caucus.

“While we dispute the allegations he has made, Gaurav is a valued member of the team, and we want to make sure he is getting the support he needs.”

Public interest journalism funded through NZ On Air.