Little said he had not finalised who would staff the Auckland office, though he had been looking at setting it up for some time.
But the move there by McCarten was “voluntary, willingly and with agreement, not in high dudgeon”.
Asked if he had anyone in line to take over as his chief of staff, after McCarten shifted north, Little said: “That’s part of the detail that is to be finalised”.
McCarten’s skill are in campaigning not staff management, so this move makes sense. He will be the de facto campaign manager in Auckland for Labour.
His move to Auckland will leave Little searching for both a new chief of staff and a new chief press secretary after Sarah Stuart quit the latter role in May.
I recall when McCarten was appointed, Labour heralded it as a game changer. His replacement will be their sixth Chief of Staff in opposition and Stuart’s replacement will be their seventh Chief Press Secretary.