The Herald on Sunday learned that Hide was approached by a staff member who expressed concerns about comments made by Garrett. The comments were to another staff member inside the party office, and about her elsewhere in the Parliamentary complex.Now on the one hand sounds like Hide gets a bare pass mark for quick action (particulary in comparison with John Key re his erstwhile Minister of Whatever Richard Worth Was Minister Of).
Those comments allegedly included one made when the MP saw the woman filling a drink bottle at a water cooler. The comment described an oral sex act.
Hide said he had not heard of that comment but confirmed that Garrett had made "off-colour remarks". He had not sought details of the incidents as it was not his role to act as "judge and jury".
Instead, he spoke to Garrett "about the need to maintain high standards at all times".
Hide said the matter could be escalated to the Parliamentary Service - which employs the staff member - if there was a formal complaint. He had met with the staff member to assure her any complaint she made would be handled properly.
Hide said Garrett was "a guy who has come from a rough, tough background".
"I explained to him we set high standards in our Parliament across all parties.
"It is a learning experience in becoming an MP. I said it is good he can learn quickly - because he has to."
However I'm not too chuffed about the implication that this kind of thing should/would be alright in other workplaces; that somehow Parliament works to some higher standard that an ordinary person (i.e. not a saint) would struggle to meet.
Actually it's not that hard to avoid sexually harassing people. The first step is to see others as human beings first, not just characters in your sexual fantasies. If someone seems uncomfortable (or tells you they are) with sexual innuendo then stop doing it around them. You can pretty safely assume that bjectifying a co-worker is not going to be cool with them. See, not that hard really, is it?