Funding of Labour’s intern scheme

Labour still have questions to answer about why they have deceived and not been upfront about the degree of their involvement in the intern scheme fiasco.

Andrew Little and general secretary Andrew Kirton seem to have tried to play down the degree of party involvement but the whole thing has had Labour written all over it.

Newshub has obtained documents showing funding plans – Union money behind Labour’s botched intern scheme

Newshub has obtained internal documents outlining Labour’s ambitious plans to put foreign students to work on its campaign.

The plan shows the party needed to find $270,000 in funding to pull it off and was banking on unions to fund a lot of it.

The budgeting was based on 100 students staying for an average of eight weeks.

Yesterday Matt McCarten stated “The programme was extremely popular and quickly became oversubscribed. The scale of the programme is now greater than I can manage, and I am aware of issues that this has caused.”

It was reported there were about 85 interns, less than that budgeted for.

The documents show First and Unite unions agreed to contribute $100,000, “white collar unions” – likely the likes of the PSA – committed to $50,000, while Union Trust put up a start-up loan of $25,000.

Would this have been declared in Labour’s donation returns?

The plan was to get E tū and “other appropriate unions” on board too.

The Council of Trade Unions was also to be involved in management of the project, and while Labour has been distancing itself from the project, the documents explicitly states: “The programme and certification is the responsibility of Labour.”

It was clearly a Labour plan.

A less expensive plan was also outlined, in which half of the students would be billeted.

The cost of that came in at $148,000 plus operational costs. It would have required less of a fundraising drive, but still relied on union funding.

The scheme was already under way, there must have been some funds raised and used.

On Thursday, Labour leader Andrew Little fronted up about the party’s intern scheme which got “wildly out of control”.

So it must have been poorly managed.

“I have to say it is embarrassing for the party, of course it is,” he conceded.

“I am disappointed that they’ve been let down, but right now the priority is to fix that up, look after them, make sure they’re okay and work out what do from there.”

One priority is for Little to be up front about Labour’s involvement, and his knowledge of it. And Andrew Kirton.

For such a large and elaborate scheme with Labour labels everywhere the party leadership and party management must have been well aware of it. They surely must have approved it.

Some questions that deserve answers:

Have any Labour people worked on the intern scheme while being paid by Parliamentary Services?

Has Labour breached the Electoral Act by not having authorisation statements on the scheme’s Facebook page and Twitter account? Both seem to have now been pulled, but they had no sign authorisation statements.

One question that has been answered emphatically is McCarten’s campaign skills. Appalling.

Update: Andrew Kirton is being interviewed on RNZ.

He said he first knew about the project in April. Espiner is challenging him on that.

Kirton says he hasn’t seen the document until it was just published by Newshub.

Kirton is in evasion overdrive, trying to dump everything on McCarten.

Kirton says that “it was Matt’s programme that he took over when he left the party”.  So it was already a Labour party project.

He keeps diverting to ‘as soon as we were aware of the problems we stepped in to sort things out”.

Asked if the spending was going to be counted in their election  spending he said the hadn’t thought about that. Remarkable.

Kirton’s responses in that interview need a lot more scrutiny.

Intern schemes using international activists are common.

Trying to pretend a scheme has nothing to do with Labour is crazy.

McCarten, Kirton and Little all have to take responsibility for this mess.

Leave a comment

53 Comments

  1. Missy

     /  June 23, 2017

    Snap! I just posted a link to this in Media Watch! 🙂

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  June 23, 2017

      snap,crackle…flop….minor story,inflated to distract.

      Reply
      • Nothing minor about this blazer. I expect nothing less than rank hypocrisy from Lab faux carers – them that switch to haters at the drop of a well-rounded vowel.

        Reply
      • PDB

         /  June 23, 2017

        I suppose lying, hypocrisy and deflection is so common in the Labour party it is a minor story…..

        Reply
    • Gezza

       /  June 23, 2017

      I must say, it really is kind of both the National Party and the Labour Party to finally give us a couple of fairly decent-sized evolving scandals at home to chew each others’ ears over.

      Was starting to feel quite guilty battling the important things out vicariously over some other country’s horrendous politicians.

      Reply
  2. Every cent of this needs to be included in their election expenses. It’s so utterly disingenuous to describe it as anything but a major politically motivated electoral campaigning.

    They can justify any means if the end is governance by the one true church the broad one – the Labour movement.

    In as much as this entire situation is ironic, bringing in foreigners to do their dirty work is off my Irony Richter scale. Shades of Latter Day Saints. Have they all been given red bikes I wonder?

    Reply
    • Missy

       /  June 23, 2017

      Not sure they (latter day saints) use red bikes trav, last I recall back home it was black ones! 😉

      Here they just use public transport, I can still spot them half a mile away without my glasses! once a Hamilton girl always a Hamilton girl. 😀

      Reply
      • Commandeered off the LDS and painted brand red M. 🤗🤗🤗🤗

        Reply
        • Missy

           /  June 23, 2017

          hahahaha…… 🙂

          possibly.

          i think the LDS are getting lazy, they tend to use public transport more – even in NZ, saw them all the time on the bus in Welly.

          Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  June 23, 2017

    And these people want to run the country (and everyone else’s life)!!???

    Reply
  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  June 23, 2017

    While the American Lefties are obsessing about the Russians hacking their elections they are sending their students here to hack ours.

    Pack of hypocritical scumbags.

    Reply
    • lurcher1948

       /  June 23, 2017

      Get over it,you will like having Andy as PM and a great new future for NZ

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  June 23, 2017

        Are you channelling Red Radio, Lurch?

        Reply
        • lurcher1948

           /  June 23, 2017

          Why are right wingers so bitter,allways so them and us…

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  June 23, 2017

            they grow up…entitled ,one eyed,absorbing an..’upstairs/downstairs…born to rule’…mindset.

            Reply
          • Gezza

             /  June 23, 2017

            Cuts both ways Lurchy, from my observations. Best to just soar above it all like a pukeko, like me, and do one’s best not to indulge in it on one side or the other too much. Equal opportunity critic, me. Best thing.
            Sir Gerald.

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  June 23, 2017

            I never took you for such a sensitive little flower, Lurch. But watch out for pukeko droppings. Sir Gerald soars like a B52.

            Reply
    • Gezza

       /  June 23, 2017

      Don’t hold back Al. Tell us how you really feel !
      (Can’t help feeling I’ve borrowed that from somewhere)

      Reply
  5. David

     /  June 23, 2017

    Its hard to get ones head around this, its like a stage written farce. The media seem to think Barclay is a bigger story so no surprises there but this will dog Labour right the way through to election day.

    Reply
    • Missy

       /  June 23, 2017

      especially if it is shown that there was immigration fraud with regards to the visas.

      and now with the information regarding union funding, and that Labour were administering the project.

      it isn’t going to go away in a hurry.

      Reply
      • Missy

         /  June 23, 2017

        sorry, not administration, Labour had responsibility for the scheme. (my error, I thought it was administration).

        Reply
  6. Tipene

     /  June 23, 2017

    And yet, these incompetent people will retain their seats in Parliament – we truly do get the Government (and opposition) we deserve.

    Reply
    • Missy

       /  June 23, 2017

      the joys of MMP.

      Reply
      • I abhor it

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  June 23, 2017

          No one would’ve guessed.

          Reply
        • Missy

           /  June 23, 2017

          Interestingly, after decades of hating it, I saw the benefit in the UK election just been. I have a very good local MP – who unfortunately happens to be Labour – and the Conservative candidate was useless, so I was put in a position of voting for a useless candidate to try and get the Government I wanted, or vote for a very good local MP and get a Government I didn’t want. MMP would have solved my problem in allowing me to split my vote (which I do all the time at home – usually).

          Reply
          • I get that bit. What I dislike about it is that we have many people in Parliament who simply couldn’t win ANY electorate on character or reputation. They are mere organs of their party and have zero electorate appeal or duty

            Reply
        • Blazer

           /  June 23, 2017

          let me guess..you favour a right wing…dictatorship.

          Reply
  7. Reply
    • Gezza

       /  June 23, 2017

      Reply
    • Intern Scheme schedule. Booze up – Brewery analogy comes to mind. I love that the Interns are called “fellows”. Very Oxbridge/Ivy League. What a shock for the Coastal US lib/Obama luvvies. A cold Marae floor, recycled plastic cubicles and not enough showers on the menu. Might look good on their Liberal CV but unpleasant in the extreme in reality.

      Labour would have been better getting a few of the call centre kids in from Mumbai – oh wait😏😇😇

      https://www.scribd.com/mobile/document/351981366/Labour-Intern-Scheme

      Reply
  8. lurcher1948

     /  June 23, 2017

    Go WINSTON PETERS a future PM.Winny gave me my gold card and I gave him my vote and I like the”cut of the jib”of Mr O’Connor,Labour I think I will give him a chance,time for dunny to retire.

    Reply
  9. PDB

     /  June 23, 2017

    So……

    *Formulated some time ago using union money to launch.
    *One of Labour’s highest ranked people at the time (Matt McCarten) heavily involved.
    *Advertised overseas as early as February 2017.

    “Andrew Kirton is being interviewed on RNZ.He said he first knew about the project in April.”

    Reply
  10. Brown

     /  June 23, 2017

    I bumped into Cathy Casey at a seminar many years ago (she even gave me her business card looking to meet again) and she mentioned that she came to NZ and found she would get paid for political campaigning. She was cock a hoop as back in Blighty you had to do that for nothing. She was working for Anderton’s mob at that stage. Nice accent though but a political cancer if you are even nominally to the right.

    At least this wage free scheme means that Matt won’t run into issue with PAYE.

    Reply
  11. PDB

     /  June 23, 2017

    Martyn Bradbury joined the students two weeks back because he needed free food: https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/06/23/why-the-labour-party-student-intern-scandal-is-a-smear/

    He confirms Labour HQ knew it was turning to custard and tried to disassociate themselves from it (even though it was a Labour initiative) by getting McCarten to leave and take it with him.

    Reply
  12. Ray

     /  June 23, 2017

    Love the way Bomber immediately smears one of the interns.

    So is this another example of the “Bomber touch of death”?
    Two weeks ago he appears on the scene and then it is tits up.

    Reply
  13. PDB

     /  June 23, 2017

    Jacinda has been quiet for a Labour MP in an Auckland electorate…………..let me guess – she didn’t know anything about it until recently even though she was one of the people meant to give a speech to the interns (advertised back in Feb) and two other local Labour Auckland MP’s were involved as shown in a couple of the intern’s statements to the media.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  June 23, 2017

      At least she got a starring role to demonstrate her fitness to rule with the first Question in the House yesterday, looking to eviscerate the Minster of Police, Hon Ms Zipitsweety, who regrettably was unavailable to provide far better entertainment than boring drone Hon Mr Woodhouse.

      It started off well but petered out towards the end owing to Hon Zipitsweety not being there to defend police independence herself.

      Reply
  14. lurcher1948

     /  June 23, 2017

    It seems the story of intern slave labour is a crock of garbage.It seems it was started by a disgruntled intern who was caught stealing wine and had lost a leadership roll and was bitter, and keep going by the bitter right who are terrified by what happed in the UK to the Conservative party.Boring Billy has got his shocktroop right wing blogs spinning false stories to the converted ie on WO and kiwiblog to divert attention away from his illegal cover up of the Todd Barclay affair

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  June 23, 2017

      Woof, woof, Lurch. And they were “working for Labour” on a tourist visa?

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  June 23, 2017

      Might I enquire as to the source of this revelation, Lurch?

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  June 23, 2017

        Came from that lefty American female intern that reckoned it wasn’t the NZ Labour Party’s fault…..ironically she was one of the one’s going home early.

        Reply
  15. I have written to Rt Hon David Carter asking him to investigate whether Matt McCarten was in receipt of a taxpayer-funded salary up until his resignation, and whether Labour has unlawfully used public money for political campaigning purposes.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  June 23, 2017

      Interesting. Good show. Report back on developments as matters progress ?

      Reply
  16. PDB

     /  June 23, 2017

    https://commons.marymount.edu/global/2017/06/20/the-start-auckland-nz/

    “When I arrived in Auckland airport, I was picked by Simon, a former Barista (which means lawyer here!), who was helping out with the internship program.”

    I’m currently working for the New Zealand Labour Party, and Simon is one of many friendly people I’ve met in the program.”

    note: “I’m currently working for the New Zealand Labour Party”.

    Reply
  1. Funding of Labour’s intern scheme — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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