Andrew Little can’t retain staff and one of his staff who was heavily involved in Justin Lester’s campaign has now scored a job with Lester.
The revolving door continues for Labour with a new appointment being made at the same time another staffer quits.
On Friday, staff in Labour leader Andrew Little’s office were told Phil Reed, press secretary for former Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, had been hired to fill the role of lead senior press secretary.
Reed replaces Danya Levy and his role includes being deputy to Mike Jaspers, who was appointed chief press secretary in September when he moved to the Opposition after years working in communications for New Zealand Rugby.
Jaspers filled the position left vacant since May when former Woman’s Weekly editor Sarah Stuart left after little more than a year in the role.
Word is Jaspers is busily pissing people off in the Press Gallery.
But while Reed’s appointment will fill one empty seat, there are still two more roles open following the departure of press secretaries Miles Erwin and Julie Jacobson earlier this year.
And now there’s another job to be advertised following a fifth resignation from the communications team.
Hayden Munro who has been speech-writing for Little and was promoted to a senior communications advisor in recent months has also quit.
He’s accepted a position in new Wellington Mayor Justin Lester’s office creating a one-for-one swap scenario between the Mayor and Opposition leader’s offices.
Munro worked heavily on Lester’s campaign in the lead up to the election last month.
Munro’s departure combined with the two other unfilled vacancies means Labour’s communications team is still three staff down a year out from the election.
Which proves the point that Little’s taxpayer funded staff were heavily involved in assisting Justin Lester. Little denied anything of the sort when a video was released and claims made about his office’s involvement in the campaign.
Here is the leaked email we released at the time:
Looks like the “we” was Zane Te Wiremu Jarvis AND Hayden Munro.
Those claims now stack up. I wonder just how much taxpayer resources were used to help elect Justin Lester?
Perhaps Andrew Little might like to come clean on how many of his staff were involved in helping Justin Lester and how much taxpayer cash was used to win a mayoralty?
Meanwhile the irony of a union boss with a revolving door for staff isn’t lost on me.