Matt McCarten leaves Labour

Matt McCarten is leaving his Labour Party job to run a campaign to get the ‘missing million’ out to vote – he says it is a non-partisan project, but how can he be non-partisan?

McCarten was a controversial appointment as David Cunliffe’s chief of staff, and it was interesting to see Andrew Little retain his services when Little took over the leadership of Labour.  McCarten stepped down from that position in August 2016.

Newshub:  Labour’s chief of staff Matt McCarten stands down

Labour has confirmed its top adviser Matt McCarten will stand down as Andrew Little’s chief of staff. Labour says McCarten will head to Auckland to run a new regional office.

McCarten’s departure is a major blow to the party with the chief of staff role deemed absolutely critical in the political sphere – it is the leader’s strategist, gatekeeper and enforcer.

If that was a major blow what is McCarten stepping down altogether now?

McCarten is highly regarded for his political cunning and strategic skills and is one of country’s political maestros.

That’s debatable. McCarten’s political successes, especially when weighed against failures, are not substantial.

NZ Herald:  Matt McCarten set to move from Andrew Little’s chief of staff to Labour’s man in Auckland

Labour leader Andrew Little is to open a new Labour Party office in Auckland and re-deploy his chief of staff Matt McCarten as Labour prepares for battle in 2017.

​In the past McCarten, a former Alliance Party President, has been involved with the Maori Party and the Mana Party as an advisor.

Little said Labour’s new office in Auckland would open by the end of September and McCarten had offered to head it.

It was part of the planning for election year, including how to target the voter-rich Auckland.

“He wanted to do it. His strength is in the networks and setting up programmes and places for me to go to and getting stuff organised. And that is what I need.”

Little said he would be spending a lot of time in Auckland and needed a base there. It would be formally announced at a Labour function for Auckland businesses, interest groups and movers and shakers on Wednesday.

His new role is “to get the million people who didn’t vote last time to get out and vote.

He says he can’t do that with a Labour badge on, it has to be non-partisan.

How the hell can McCarten be non-partisan?

But he mentions aiming for improving a “progressive voice”, which doesn’t sound very non-partisan.

He says he will be working with unions on this. Unions tried a missing million drive in 2014, without much success.


  1. MaureenW

     /  June 11, 2017

    Yawn, Matt McCarten the game-changer for the Labour Party?
    I don’t know what game he changed, but I reckon National should have been contributing to his salary.

    • PDB

       /  June 11, 2017

      But…….”McCarten is highly regarded for his political cunning and strategic skills and is one of country’s political maestros”.

      2014 New Zealand election – Labour’s worst defeat in 92 years.

  2. Blazer

     /  June 11, 2017

    McCarten has been a flop in his role.Too many distractions.A few simple clear messages,required.

    • PDB

       /  June 11, 2017

      No doubt to appeal to their rather ‘simple’ support base?

  3. David

     /  June 11, 2017

    Is this from last year ?

    • McCarten said in Q+A this morning he was leaving his job as Labour’s Auckland campaign organiser to a new ‘non-partisan’ union affiliated get out the vote campaign.

      • Gezza

         /  June 11, 2017

        I’d give that up, if I was him. From the polls, too many of the potential votes have probably already got out.

      • PDB

         /  June 11, 2017

        ‘non-partisan’ & union don’t go together…….

  4. Ray

     /  June 11, 2017

    Apparently Labour winning the last two Auckland bye elections was thanks to his rat cunning!
    This is going to be bad for National, they should pay his wages to stay with Labour.

  5. “Progressive”, “non-partisan”…. hahahahahahaha the Left do like to subvert the language.

    Maybe the KFC rort will be brought out of the cupboard…..

  6. pdm

     /  June 11, 2017

    Rat leaving sinking ship comes immediately to mind.

  7. We will see in short time, an appeal to the younger generation to get out and change the face of national policies to achieve the sort of country they want to live in the future. The Greens line up is a pointer into this direction. The other leg of the beast will be to demonise the greyhairs who stuffed up the country. It amuses me that this is the sort of thinking that was used in the UK, NZ is different if we look at the figures (Private Debt is far too high as I have been saying for 2 years now). However the status quo is never suitable for youth. We were the same.

  8. John Schmidt

     /  June 11, 2017

    Asking unions about NZ youth is about as useful as asking Blazer how to run a successful and profitable business employing 100’s of staff..

    • Blazer

       /  June 11, 2017

      not your best…work…sniper.

    • Blazer

       /  June 12, 2017

      running a business employing hundreds of staff must be a breeze,what with boards,and delegation,an army of consultants,lawyers,accountants,PA,HR ,PR people at your beck and call the main decisions are …whats for lunch,where will I play golf this week and …whos the new….call girl to arrange a rendezvous with while the ‘wife’ is …a broad.

  9. Zedd

     /  June 11, 2017

    hey good idea sir

  1. Matt McCarten leaves Labour – NZ Conservative Coalition