Private funder for Labour’s intern scheme

Matt McCarten says that the Labour intern scheme had a private funder “who thought the scheme was a good idea”.

NZ Herald: Mystery funder behind Labour intern programme – and party doesn’t know who

A mystery backer funded the volunteer scheme for overseas students working on Labour’s campaign – and even Labour does not know who it was or how much was involved.

Matt McCarten, who set up the scheme and ran it under his “Campaign for Change” organisation, told the Herald it was funded by a “private funder” who thought the scheme was a good idea.

McCarten must have also thought the private funding was a good idea.

He was chief of staff for David Cunliffe and Andrew Little, and ran Labour’s election campaign in Auckland until he quit to balls up the intern scheme last month.

Has he no clue about the requirements of political campaign funding? Or did he think he wouldn’t be found out?

It is understood Labour itself still does not know who that funder is or how much was spent on the programme and it has been left to cover some of the costs of housing the interns at Awataha Marae, although McCarten said he believed the payments were up to date.

This has put Labour in  a very difficult situation, as by association they may end up being responsible for this.

Labour’s General Secretary Andrew Kirton took over the programme this week after concerns about how it was being run and the ability to manage the numbers involved.

He would not comment on the funding issue, saying he was still working on taking care of the interns and “sorting the mess out”.

After that he may have a funding mess to sort out.

Heading into an election campaign this is a terrible diversion for the Labour Party.

Labour will also have to consider whether it needs to declare any contributions to the costs of the programme as a donation.

Electoral law expert Graeme Edgeler said it would have to if it was a Labour Party programme, but it probably would not have to if it was a third party campaigning for Labour.

It was advertised as a “Labour Party Fellowship”, involved Labour MPs, and was set up by McCarten while he worked for Labour until May – but was run by his Campaign for Change.

The Campaign for Change change seems to have been a rush job to try to distance the scheme from Labour, but ” third party campaigning” could be very difficult to argue.

Other Labour Party activists and staffers have been names as involved in the scheme.

One could wonder if a more effective sabotage of Labour’s campaign could have been executed, but I think it’s more likely that this was a mix of arrogance and ineptness from McCarten and those directly involved, and a glaring lack of oversight by the Labour Party at best.

Labour leader Andrew Little said the party would disclose anything it was required to and would ensure third parties did as well. However, the party was still working out what funding there was in place.

Awkward.

Interns have given mixed reviews – yesterday one told the Herald that much of the attention had been on the standard of accommodation, but that had not been the problem or the reason Labour officials had to step in. Nor had complaints by individual interns.

“There’s pushback from many who feel it shouldn’t have been shut down so quickly, but I really don’t know how much longer it would have lasted, especially since the whole programme was labelled ‘Labour’, without clear connection to Wellington. It was a ticking time bomb until Wellington found out and shut it down. That’s ultimately why it was shut down – it had Labour’s name all over it, but Wellington had no control over the situation or even knew many details about it.”

So it seems that McCarten was out of control.

Unite’s National Director Mike Treen said the union had taken part in the programme and planned to use the interns for an programme to enrol Unite members, but had not provided any direct funding.

“Matt is ambitious, and where there is a will there is a way is often his attitude. He may have tried to reach too far in this case. We thought there were positives and are a little bit sorry to see it’s all fallen on its face.”

So Treen was also involved. He stood for the Mana Party last election and has links to socialist groups – see  Mana Party and Socialists

It looks like a misconceived attempt at a coup of Labour – see Labour policy coup attempt?

Leave a comment

39 Comments

  1. chrism56

     /  24th June 2017

    As Labour knew about this scheme long ago, did Matt McCarten really quit to run it? Or is he still being supported from the leader’s fund?

    Reply
  2. Man.U

     /  24th June 2017

    Should of run this out of the exclusive brethren. No complaints then about the digs and food…..

    Reply
  3. alloytoo

     /  24th June 2017

    “Private Funding?” – Sounds like undisclosed political donations to me.

    Reply
  4. Ray

     /  24th June 2017

    Surely Labour wasn’t planning another rort of electoral spending, do they never learn, or is it sign of desperation and lack of money?

    Reply
  5. Gezza

     /  24th June 2017

    Reply
  6. PDB

     /  24th June 2017

    “It is understood Labour itself still does not know who that funder is or how much was spent on the programme”

    And these people want to run the NZ economy?

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  24th June 2017

      well this bloke is running it…

      ‘Nobody realised Todd Barclay recording of secretary might be a crime: Bill English’….Billy Bright.

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  24th June 2017

        Seemed to be OK for the teapots saga bloke who released the recording to the MSM even though it had nothing of public interest on it? He even got money for hurt feelings……

        Reply
        • Sorry Pants, you’re deluded. It’s quite different when those pesky vile righties allegegdly tape a dispute convo. Otoh, leftists are lauded as warriors of justice when they tape, hack and steal thousands of emails. Writing carefully curated and biased books to amplify their important message is the stuff of legends.

          You couldn’t invent the degree of leftist hypocrisy on many levels here.

          Reply
      • PDB

         /  24th June 2017

        For Labour not to know the funder must have paid the money from his secret account into Labour’s secret account…..

        Reply
  7. lurcher1948

     /  24th June 2017

    Gerry Brownlee for pm

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  24th June 2017

      Fat chance.

      Reply
      • Pete Kane

         /  24th June 2017

        Speaking of Fat Chances, if there really is a mystery backer, KDC? Got the Matt connections.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  24th June 2017

          Matt Black Ops?
          Where’s the colonel? He’ll have all the gen. Relentless intel sifter.
          Good man to have about in an ambush.
          Carry on soldier.
          Sir Gerald,

          Reply
        • PDB

           /  24th June 2017

          This ‘mystery backer’ nonsense – how does that all work?

          All of Labour deny they know who it is so how did this person find out about the scheme in the first instance in order to finance it? How did this person pay the money without being known?

          The identity of this person is possibly the key to unlocking the whole scheme – Dotcom?? Harré (now in the Labour party), McCarten and Bradbury all have the contacts to him.

          Reply
  8. PDB

     /  24th June 2017

    “Interns have given mixed reviews” – any intern saying ‘it isn’t the Labour party’s fault’ should be taken with a grain of salt – these are political left-wingers wanting to help the left win the NZ election and have come a long way across the globe to do so.

    Reply
  9. lurcher1948

     /  24th June 2017

    Page 2 weekender, whole page on tom barclay,.People are more interested in sacked MPs and lying forgetful PMs than interns ,sorry right wing snowflakes

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  24th June 2017

      Who’s Tom Barclay, & how does he fit in to all this?

      Reply
    • PDB

       /  24th June 2017

      The MSM have a working interest in this being a close election – they have no appetite to go too hard on Labour.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  24th June 2017

        I’m still making up my mind on this. Andrea Vance virtually stated hers – and thus maybe 1ewes’s editorial “view” – that the Intern scandal would very soon “blow over”, indicating they might be so determined that it does, they’ll just drop coverage of any more developments or relegate them to the third segment of News @ 6, after Aunty Mary’s budgie’s recovery from a delicate leg op.

        But will the print/online Media? Clicks is money.

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  24th June 2017

          *The MSM is largely made up of left-wingers.
          *They also want a close election as that will get people interested – Winston being ‘king-maker’ the best result for them.
          *Labour is seen as being so low some MSM don’t want to further batter a beaten dog.

          Reply
  10. Ray

     /  24th June 2017

    “People” being the media who work tirelessly to get a positive change in the Labour vote?
    Just to quote Katie Bradford last election

    Reply
  11. PDB

     /  24th June 2017

    The Greens have been silent on Labour’s scheme as far as I’m aware? If this was National doing this they would be all over it.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  24th June 2017

      Was there anything in their MoU or a secret protocol about not kicking the other party when they were down, or nakedly exposed?

      Reply
  12. PDB

     /  24th June 2017

    Reply

Leave a Reply to Blazer Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s