Pete George on Labour’s Campaign for Change


The ‘Auckland Party’ has now been named by Labour Party general secretary Andrew Kirton as responsible along with Matt McCarten for the intern scheme.

Kirton has also said that “it started off as a Labour Party project”. So Kirton, and one would expect Labour’s leader Andrew Little, would have known more about the scheme than they have admitted.

When the Labour intern story broke it was obvious that Little and Kirton were not being open about what they knew about the scheme.

Little has said he had heard about the scheme as an idea at the start of the year, has admitted finding out it was running as an unapproved scheme in May, and he says he stepped in when they started getting complaints around Monday last week (but there are variations in that story too).

Matt McCarten quickly became the scapegoat. He was employed (by Parliamentary Services) to work for Andrew Little in Auckland, and no campaign work was allowed. However it is clear that McCarten has spent some time (months) working on the intern scheme aimed at campaigning for Labour.

It is clear that this was in no way independent of Labour or non-partisan. It was run by the Auckland division of the Labour Party. Now it may well be true the Head Office was not fully in the loop, but that is an internal issue for Labour. It does not change that this was a Labour Party campaign.

In two other posts, Peter George details how the interns were working for Labour Party candidates and MPs. To quote one intern:

  • Authored campaign strategy to increase Pacifica turnout for Auckland’s 19 electorates
  • Pinpointed four “flippable” Auckland electorates
  • Worked directly with North Shore MPs to craft specifically-altered campaign strategy to increase religious Labour votes in the heaving National Party-leaning electorate

How much more evidence do you need that this is and was a campaign for Labour, and hence all expenses and donations associated with it must be treated as Labour Party expenses and donations. Our electoral laws will be a mockery if the Labour Party can claim that anything done by the Auckland Labour Party doesn’t count.

The 10 working day deadline for revealing the mystery donor has already passed.

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