Well well… McCarten’s being paid from Little’s parliamentary taxpayer funded budget

Labour are dancing on the head of a pin for the funding of their Auckland campaign “Outreach” office.

Labour leader Andrew Little has defended the taxpayer-funded salary of a top Labour campaign strategist, saying he will not be campaigning.

Rather, chief of staff Matt McCarten will be paid out of Little’s taxpayer-funded leader’s budget to run a new Auckland office, from which he will manage Little’s “public outreach” programme.

Asked to describe the difference to campaigning, Little said his weekly outreach work programme involved “meeting with all sorts of people, right across New Zealand”.

Little’s Leader’s Budget is provided by Parliamentary Services to help fund his parliamentary duties as the Leader of the Opposition.

That does include consulting with the electorate, and communicating certain parts of the party’s policies with the public.

Dancing on the head of a pin. It’s a campaign office and I’ll lay money on it the by-election in Mt Roskill will be run out of it and that election year campaign meetings will be held in the office.

But it’s against the rules for any taxpayer funds to be used for campaigning or electioneering on behalf of the party, or soliciting membership or donations.

The leader’s office is sub-leased from the Labour Party and Little confirmed party campaign work will be happening in a “different section of the office”.

Oh the old “Chinese Walls” malarky lawyers use…sneaky, furtive and bullshit.

Little gave an assurance his party was working within New Zealand’s stringent campaign funding rules.

But he said he did not know if McCarten had wider employment arrangements with the Labour Party itself.

Why not, he’s the leader?

That was in response to a question over whether he could be partly paid by both the Leader’s Budget and the Labour Party, to allow for a crossover of work – an arrangement the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Wayne Eagleson works under.

Obfuscation…for a start Labour has no money to even part pay McCarten. So that’s a lie right there.

Asked if he could guarantee outreach work, and campaign work would not become one and the same thing during an election campaign, Little said he was “constantly in outreach”.

“In an election year, you do outreach and you do campaigning.”

Little said he was very clear on the rules.

“What I’m going to be concentrating most on actually are the issues New Zealanders are most concerned about right now.

“And I’m going to be making sure that next year’s campaign is going to be squarely focused on the failures of this Government to ensure people are getting the basics of good housing, good education good health and safe communities,” he said.

“I know the level of scrutiny that is applied to Parliamentary Services funding.

“We are always looking to make sure that we are well within the rules, not just the written word but the spirit of it as well – and that would continue to apply in every appointment I make, in every activity that I do.”

Here’s the problem. There is actually no scrutiny of Parliamentary Services funding because parliamentary Services is not subject to the Official Information Act. So his line about scrutiny is bullshit.

If National did this you’d be hearing Labour MPs shrieking from the rafters.

They will get caught out, mark my words.

 

-Fairfax

  • Keeping Stock

    So McCarten has shifted sideways from being the Labour leader’s Chief of Staff to a glorified secretary organising meetings and events.

    Anyone who knows anything about Matt McCarten and the level at which he operates will see through that smokescreen. This is Pledge Card v2016; another Labour Party rort against the long-suffering taxpayer.

  • Quinton Hogg

    So where is this office going to be?
    The CBD? Onehunga?
    Rent won’t be cheap.

    • Keeping Stock

      He is sub-leasing an office in a building already leased by the Labour Party. I suspect it might be Goff’s office in Mt Albert Road. That alone sets my rorting-the-taxpayer antennae buzzing.

      • Quinton Hogg

        David Shearer might not like having Matt Mccarten or Little being a cuckoo in the nest if that is the case!

        • Sailor Sam

          And having Mc Carten so close means Mt Albert will be lost to Labour and also it will have no hope in winning Auckland Central.
          Winston should gear up to run a good candidate in the mountain, he could well win it.

      • biscuit barrel

        Trades Hall in Gt North Rd ?

  • Sally

    I wonder if McCarten took a pay cut or is Little’s plan to have 2 COS, one in Auckland and one in Wellington?

    • In Vino Veritas

      No. Its purely and simply because the Labour Party couldn’t afford to pay McCarten any more (doesn’t he need it to sort out Unite Union misdemeanours?). Now they’ve passed that liability onto the taxpayer. Socialism at its absolute best.

      • biscuit barrel

        As Chief of Staff he was paid by taxpayer out of leaders fund.
        DPF worked it out a few years back
        The funding for each party is:

        National $17,416,111
        Labour $11,858,505
        Greens $3,925,458
        NZ First $3,105,717
        Maori $524,808
        ACT $333,474
        United Future $333,474
        MPs salary and expenses is on top of that.

  • Big_Al

    “Outreach” just another name for “Campaigning” when you read between the lines.
    Little is lying again and making out he did’nt know what McCartens arrangement are.
    What a cop out. No way do i agree to my tax money going towards Labours campaigning. Something very fishy going on here.

  • Wayne Hodge

    So our beloved MSM appear to go along with this shabby arrangement. So much for the Fourth Estate; more like the Labour Party’s Fifth Column.

  • Isherman

    In the words of the great Bob Dylan,
    “Sometimes it’s not enough to know what things mean, sometimes you have to know what things don’t mean.”

  • RoboRob

    This is absolutely typical Labour / Anderton politics. Send out my campaign docs on Parlimentry letterhead and claim it as parliamentry expenses. This needs to stop.

    Secondly this mcCarton crap is easy to prevent with the following rules

    1) Parliamentry services may not sub lease equipment, premises’ or personal from political parties or party members.

    2) Staff employed or contracted by parties may not be employed in parliamentry services.

    3) All communications / ‘outreach’ in the x months leading up to an election counts as campaigning and must be expensed as such.

    4) Any party that intentionally spends more than the maximum allowed campaigning amount or intentionally breaks campaigning rules has it’s leader disqualified from holding office.

    #4 (which could use some work) is required to stop the likes of Clarks govt comming in and passing retrospective legislation
    to allow overspending. It stops members advertising on the day of the election (The labour MP in CHCH). It stops a party intentionally overspending to win an election and then paying the money back afterwards but keeping the rewards.

    Simple but no party really wants to tidy it up, sadly.

  • metalnwood

    He will get away with it or he won’t, I don’t know but I can take comfort that they truely are at the bottom of their finances by trying it on.

  • Aucky

    This sham could prove to be very rich pasture for the WOBH investigative team.

  • Hard1

    They have been caught out. Well done.

    Little states ““What I’m going to be concentrating most on actually are the issues New Zealanders are most concerned about right now.”

    The first and foremost issue for Kiwis is keeping Little well fed, homed and paid money by the State for doing very little.
    Concentrating for this man would seem to be a challenge. Is the next vehement outburst planned or involuntary?

  • LesleyNZ

    The NZ Labour Party are really becoming a very deceitful bunch. So obvious what they are doing. And then there is Phil Goff who no longer supports the traditional red leftie Labour socialist colour, instead pinching the blue right conservative colour. Real tricky. What it boils down to is that the above mentioned mentioned can not be trusted.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    Ah the old Petone two step. Outreach? No surprise the Media party are compliant with this sham. Funnily most expected that the taxpayer would pay one way or the other from the day McCarten was first on board.
    There is now a surplus of deckchairs as increasing numbers decide to jump and swim for it.

  • Bob Dazzler

    Once again the socialists take/steal others peoples money, nothing to see here move along folks.

  • Dog Breath

    National have no need to do such a thing simply because they know how to raise money lots of it. Calling people who have a bit of money rich pricks is probably no going to cut it for Labour.

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