National to independently review culture of party

By Talisa Kupenga

National will conduct an independent review of the party and its culture despite asserting it has no culture issues. With Ex-National MP Jami-Lee Ross receiving mental health care the situation has put the spotlight on mental health issues and support services for MPs within parliament.

Party Leader Simon Bridges says "I'm going to make sure I talk to parliamentary services this week, to make sure women feel absolutely safe in the workplace that they can confidently come forward on all matters, and I also want to make sure that we are doing the same in the party."

This follows news Ex-National MP Jami-Lee Ross is receiving mental health care after allegations of harassment and bullying against him by multiple women, which he contests.

Bridges says "I don’t think that there is a cultural issue here that has been displayed here the reality is though that there are several women here affected by what has happened and I want to make sure we get it absolutely the best we can for the future."

The Prime Minister says empathy, compassion and privacy are important when handling mental health issues and that these values are reflected in tikanga Māori.

"...in parliament we haven't always modelled that. I think a lot of us would acknowledge we have a way to go but I know I at least have a responsibility of the way that I lead my team and I'm certainly trying to bring in those principles in the way that we work."

The findings of National's review were not expected to be made public.