Little on McCarten: It’s not about promotions or demotions, it’s about the best fit for the job


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.

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.

McCarten had volunteered to take on the role and was not being pushed.

“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.”

Was Andrew Little a teacher once?

It’s not the winning or losing, it is the participation that counts.

Gold star to Matthew McCarten for participating in politics! 

It appears to be time for Whaleoil to undo the spin and tell everyone what is really going on.

This is a ‘soft firing’ of McCarten.  The EPMU have been slowly isolating him from Andrew Little, and McCarten no longer has Little’s ear.

Two consecutive election losses all land on McCarten’s plate.  Somehow he managed to spin the first one as being the result of the revolving leader issues at Labour.

The second one, the Dirty Politics / Vote Positive campaign led Labour to it’s largest loss in 70 something years and has put the 100 year old party in serious danger of becoming a minnow party.

Don’t underestimate the amount of dirt McCarten had on his hands working hand in dirty glove with that paragon of virtue, Mr Kim Dotcom.  Dotcom dictated Labour’s IT policy via Clare Curran when she moved into the mansion pulling her little suitcase on wheels along.

“There’s a lot of people involved in the decision making and the strategy making, this won’t cause any disruption” Andrew Little re McCarten

McCarten could not be gotten rid of by firing him. He really knows too much.  Labour had to find a way to offer him an “exit plan” that would ensure he is still kept in the fold and puts him outside the reach of other interested parties that may want to get access to all that institutional knowledge that he carries.

Make no mistake:  McCarten has been a dead man walking inside Labour for some time.  Running the Auckland branch office is hardly a step up, but it guarantees his silence.

For now.


– Claire Trevett, NZ Herald

  • kayaker

    “McCarten had volunteered to take on the role and was not being pushed”. That’s a sure sign. It’s like saying “taking some time out to spend with family/pursue other interests” corporate-speak.

    • Woody

      Why the need to state that he wasn’t being pushed if he really wasn’t being pushed. The little laddie doth protest too much, methinks. Apologies to Shakespeare.

  • Wheninrome

    If there was a golden handshake involved that surely would have emptied the coffers, labour would well and truly have been in the red, ie red through and through.

  • Geordie

    His salary is going to put a major hole in the Labour party’s finances (or are they going to fund him out of the leaders budget?). Maybe he will be expected to door knock around Auckland with the Labour begging bowl, this might be their cunning plan.

  • Keeping Stock

    So who’s going to be paying for this? I seriously doubt that the Labour Party will, given that it’s so broke it’s begging for $3 donations and selling coffee mugs.

    I guess that means you and I, the long-suffering taxpayer, will foot the bill. Ain’t socialism wonderful?

  • Hard1

    The new Labour office will be at Kelly Tarlton’s, in the newly refurbished Think Tank.

    Guppies and Minnows, lot’s of Lampreys and Blind Eels, plenty of Remora and a Mako, Catfish, Carp, lot’s of Spotties and a few old Leatherjackets.

  • shykiwibloke

    I’d spin it another way if I was in caucus and anti-Angry – “Matt distances himself from Labour leadership.” –

  • kayaker

    Does this mean a dual Auckland role for Matt? Managing President Phil’s office, or is that the domain of Clayton?

  • Sally

    So all Little’s stuff ups have been of his own making. Nice to know we will still be entertained.

    • GoingRight

      Yes I thought McCarten was writing everything for him and all little had to do was read the speech in him dreary way. Seems I was wrong. So McCarten has failed again. Soon he will be unemployable.

      • There isn’t a single political organisation he hasn’t set back yet. He’s been the right’s best friend since forever.

  • Cadwallader

    I think the term is “gardening leave.” I was driving in the South Island this morning and was listening to Leighton. Even he is beginning to question whether National will get back next year. Several of the comments were to the effect that National appears directionless. Unfortunately those who adore huge government are looking to it to “solve” the housing issues/crises/emergencies. I do not think it is the government’s role to do so. PS Is McCarten a Maori?

  • cows4me

    Labour opening new office in Auckland, is Mitre 10 having a sale on garden sheds up there?

    • Keeping Stock

      No; they bought a surplus phone box from Spark…

  • sheppy

    Can’t help thinking he’s being sent up to the home for failed labour politicians aka Auckland Council to ensure Len Mk2 doesn’t stray from his “tribal Labour” roots once shoehorned into the job

  • Keeping Stock

    I guess there’ll be a KFC within walking distance of McCarten’s new office, for those voters who need a little extra persuasion; just sayin’…

    • Effluent

      Shouldn’t that be a pig farm?

  • Iva b ginn

    Even without McCarten being the coal shoveller, Little still can’t make any constructive comments. On the news tonight he made a comment over Asians being unsafe in NZ, of course it’s the govenmments fault. (sigh!!!)

  • XCIA

    Remember this – “Matt McCarten: Goff really needs to go… to labour a point” Just one in a series of articles where McCarten blagged Goff…………