Little and Labour MPs with interns

Andrew Little appears to have misled and not been honest about the extent of the Labour Party involvement with the Labour Party Fellowship scheme, also known as the intern scheme, Movement for Change and Campaign for Change.

Little said “people closely associated with the Labour Party were involved. Without without approval or authority or any mandate they went ahead and did stuff.”. But he admits:

This started out as an idea at the beginning of the year. I certainly became aware of it, um when it was raised with me.”

The next I became aware was about May this year when the party was getting messages from students about to arr… within days of arriving, um, ah, the party stepped in straight away to people associated with it saying what is going on, there’s no approval for this, this is not the party thing.

The party was given assurances, “we’ve got funding, we’ve got a programme sorted out, nothing to worry about”.

But it is obvious it was a party thing. And if the party stepped in straight away then Little hasn’t admitted it, he has denied it.

Some of the interns say in LinkedIn profiles they have been in the scheme since April. See Links between interns and Labour from April.

The right approach was once we got notification of complaints, or the party didn’t, I was told about it, I said we get up there straight away. The general secretary Andrew Kirton and his team did an outstanding job, he was there on Monday…

The party (Little and general secretary Andrew Kirton) didn’t step in until Monday 19 June.

There was, yeah, we got the complaints this week and the minute that happened, because we were aware that the Labour Party name was associated with it.

It’s not about legal technicalities. I take a very dim view of those who hide behind legality and say it is moral responsibility that is the most important thing.

There is a moral responsibility to be truthful and not to mislead. It was not just the Labour Party name that was associated with it.

Little, Jacinda Ardern, other Labour MPs, and Auckland candidates were associated with it.

The week before Little claimed to have acted immediately:

LabourInternLubek1

As well as interns, included in the photos:

  • Labour leader Andrew Little
  • Labour deputy leader Jacinda Ardern
  • MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis
  • Labour candidate for Rodney Marja Lubeck
  • Labour candidate for Northcote Shanan Halbert
  • Labour candidate for North Shore Romy Udanga
  • Labour candidate for East Coast Bays Naisi Chen

LabourInternsCandidates

That shows a Labour party banner, interns (with Movement for Change ribbons around their necks), and Labour candidates Halbert, Lubeck and Udanga.

@youngnzlabour and MPs @raymondhuo and @Damien O’Connor liked the tweet.

Shanan Halbert retweeted the tweet. “Shanan Halbert has been selected as the Labour Party candidate for Northcote in the 2017 Election. Authorised by Andrew Kirton, 160 Willis St, Wellington.”

He also tweeted:

Little wasn’t taking responsibility for the Labour Fellowship Scheme. He was avoiding responsibility for the scheme prior to last Monday, but he, Ardern, Labour MPs and Labour candidates were all associating with the interns.

Like this:

LabourInternsLubek2

Little needs to show actual leadership and take full responsibility for and some ownership of Labour’s involvement in the scheme. Some questions could do with answers.

Why did Little say that in May he discovered “people closely associated with the Labour Party were involved  without approval or authority or any mandate” but say he took no action until 19 June?

Why did Matt McCarten suddenly announce on 11 June that he had ceased working for Little in May?

Why did Little say the first time he did anything with the interns was on Monday 19 June when he attended a Labour Party event with the interns the previous week?

Why did Little say of the intern scheme “this is not the party thing” when it is obvious that the interns have been working with Labour candidates in Auckland in a number of electorates?

There’s nothing wrong with using foreign students to assist with campaigning (apart from a bit of hypocrisy), but there does appear to be something wrong with Little avoiding taking responsibility for a scheme that had some minor issues with intern complaints.

The much bigger issue is what Little and Labour appear to be trying to hide.

McCarten has been dumped on by Little, Kirton, and by Clayton Cosgrove – seeCosgrove bus follows Labour over McCarten.

Certainly McCarten seems to have driven the scheme, but it has been suggested that he is a “voluntary scapegoat”.

His sudden departure from the Labour Party job was before the intern complaints happened – he says it was in May. Why did he leave, whether it was in May or in early June when he announced it?

McCarten launched the supposedly non-partisan ‘Campaign for Change’ that also involved Mike Treen and according to himself Martyn Bradbury, people associated with the far left and not with Labour.

This was launched on Saturday 17 June – New Zealand launches ‘Campaign for Change’.

Little says he stepped in to deal with problems two days later.

I don’t think Little has been straight on Labour’s involvement in the fellowship/intern scheme, with his own knowledge of the scheme, and what went wrong that led to McCarten’s sudden departure from his Labour job and sudden intervention by the Labour leadership and head office even though Little, MPs and candidates were involved with the interns and they were clearly involved with the Labour Party in far more ways than using the name.

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26 Comments

  1. Little has just been interviewed on RNZ. It will be interesting to have a good listen to that. He is still being frugal with the truth.

    • Blazer

       /  June 27, 2017

      once again…what crime has been committed?How can one be ‘frugal’ with the..truth..its either the truth or it isn’t.What outright lies have you..found that you can substantiate?

      • Little is misleading the public. Like English he may not be outright lying but he is not being honest.

        • Blazer

           /  June 27, 2017

          so you are desperately trying to manufacture …character assassination….pathetic.Far more imnportant matters that need addressing than this…obsession.

      • It is quite conceivable electoral rules have been broken and it’s established as a fact that Little has been economic with the truth. I can’t call him a liar in the simplistic dog whistle manner the left do, but he’s been found wanting as a strategist, a planner, and a leader with integrity.

        Other than that he’s wonderful 😄

        • Blazer

           /  June 27, 2017

          there are all sorts of machinations that are quite ..’conceivable’.Smacks of desperation.Given the criteria you mention,how on Gods green…earth could you have supported John Key as leader….with a straight…face!!

      • There is a very strong suspicion that Labour has used taxpayer funding unlawfully for election campaigning. They got caught doing that in 2005, and were rightly kicked from pillar to post. To be caught a second time is inexcusable.

        I understand there have been multiple complaints about the possible misuse of Labour’s leader’s budget. I think it is likely that Little will already have received a “please explain” letter from the Speaker.

        That presents a dilemma. If he is less than truthful with the Speaker about his knowledge of what has gone on, he will be in serious trouble. However if he is completely truthful, and as a result of his candour Labour is found to have unlawfully spent taxpayer funds on campaigning, both he and Labour will be in trouble, and will only have themselves to blame.

  2. Note that in TVNZ’s tweet above they frame the Barclay event as a “scandal” and yet Labour’s electoral/immigration/jobs event as a “controversy”.

    TVNZ must be devotees of the Loretta Lynch school of spin.

  3. Corky

     /  June 27, 2017

    It boils down to that old socialist adage: ”do what we say, not what we do.” The stench of hypocrisy is creating a great disturbance in the ‘ force.’

    Andy and Mat McCarten equal a toxic commodity digging Labour a bigger hole by the day.

    • Gezza

       /  June 27, 2017

      😮❗️ Christ! Nearly had a heart attack! Where the hell did you come from?

      • Brown

         /  June 27, 2017

        Bethlehem.

        • Gezza

           /  June 27, 2017

          Don’t go back there it’s a shithole & they think you’re only some piddling little prophet or other who everybody’s deluded about! How’s Dad & Caspar?

    • Blazer

       /  June 27, 2017

      that is not an adage at all….Corky…hows the…tan?

      • High Flying Duck

         /  June 27, 2017

        More a socialist maxim isn’t it?

  4. Gezza

     /  June 27, 2017

    It’s nice to see Jacinda finally doing something for the children though.
    Surely that’s a positive? 😕

  5. Zedd

     /  June 27, 2017

    After nearly 9 years of Natz (mostly Team-Key) getting away with total B-S/smug excuses (often just ignored by their cronies/supporters) it is interesting to see these recent stories playing out; condemn Labour, for anything they can find (right-wing MSM) & brush-over the actual potential criminal activity by a Natz MP, as if its OK for Govt. to do so !
    Once again showing the ‘tory leaning’ media.. hard at work in NZ

  6. Is this the beginning of Andrew Little and Labour’s problems? Who will they have a debt to?

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/06/mccarten-may-have-left-labour-in-debt-after-intern-scheme.html

    • Have a phone around perhaps ?

      “There is a potential for it [debt], yes,” Mr Little said. “We take moral responsibility and that means and creditors and suppliers have to be looked after and we will have to do that.”

      Mr Little dismissed Mr McCarten’s plans as “fantasy world stuff” and an “embarrassment”.

      He said a senior Labour council member, Paul Chalmers, stepped down over the weekend because of his connection to the scheme and there would be an internal investigation.

      Internal documents obtained by Newshub show that Mr McCarten claimed to have over $100,000 funding from unions.

      The unions named have all denied this, raising questions about where Mr McCarten got his money from.”

      Little’s wry SOH comes through with the “Al Sharpton” reference.

      “He had also planned to have a “Souls to the Polls” initiative, based on a religious get-out-the-vote movement in the United States.

      He planned to unify the Ratana and Pasifika churches, and bring an American pastor to New Zealand to rally the followers.

      “I can’t imagine Al Sharpton coming down,” Mr Little said.

      Mr McCarten has been contacted for comment. ”

      You would wonder that if McCarten is such an incompetent just why they weren’t on to him earlier. Specifically after he war roomed Labour to its worst ever loss in 2014. Unbelievable

  7. Ray

     /  June 27, 2017

    And now it is reported that Paul Charmers a senior labour councillor has resigned.
    On Sunday!
    That bus better have plenty of grunt ’cause it sounds though quite a few are going under it.
    Will Andy be next?

  8. lurcher1948

     /  June 27, 2017

    At least the person who got the intern scheme going has stood down ,unlike Billy English CATHOLIC AND NATIONAL CONSERVATIVE and once again national, ITS ALL ABOUT THE POLLS RIGHT ENGLISH lie flutter the truth and let tom stay on getting his 150K… barclay, its the national way

  9. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  June 27, 2017
    • Blazer

       /  June 27, 2017

      oh dear…a couple!….100’s of students do not have the correct..paperwork.Don’t get..[Deleted. PG]

  1. Little and Labour MPs with interns — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition