Paul Little on Labour’s interns


We’re used to the idea that some industries have so much trouble finding local workers they have to bring them in from overseas: fruit pickers, restaurant workers and the Party are among the most prominent.

Yep brings in foreign workers to campaign against others bringing in foreign workers!

The scheme was a Labour Party scheme run by Labour.

It hadn’t been outsourced to McDonald’s, although if it had, the kids would have got paid, been better fed and had better working conditions.


Labour’s justification seemed to be that when capitalists exploit people, it’s exploitation; when the workers’ friends exploit people, it’s experience.

They conned people to fly around the world at their own expense, thinking they were going to get some amazing campaign experiences and talks. Instead they were here to staff a call centre as even the Filipino ones costed too much for Labour.

The interns were undeniably “volunteers”, but the question remains: should Labour be using unpaid foreign workers to do its chores when there is no shortage of unemployed New Zealanders who know how a doorbell works and would appreciate a free feed and a bed?

The arrangement may not have been a breach of visa law; it may not have been a breach of employment law; it’s certainly a breach of Labour Party principles, from back when the party had principles.

It almost certainly was a breach of visa laws also.

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