Labour are slumlords, ratbag employers and immigration scamsters themselves

Labour is running a “fellowship programme” for this election, roping in youth from overseas to work on their election campaign, essentially for free.

According to sources around 85 overseas university students responded to their advertisement of a “fellowship program” in NZ. The programme highlights access to Andrew Little, Jacinda Ardern and even enlists the support of Helen Clark.

The fellowship participants have paid their own flights to get here/return home, with accommodation and food provided by the Labour party.

However, what they have been sold about the programme and what is delivered in reality are somewhat different. A source says that most were shocked at where they have been living and what they have been doing, but are afraid to make too big a fuss in case it is cancelled and they get stuck in NZ for weeks until their return flights.

Apparently there has been discussion among the students on online forums like private Facebook groups.

Last Saturday a meeting was held with senior Labour party officials (including the President Nigel Haworth) about the poor accommodations and facilities and there are now plans to move them to Wellington, ostensibly for more relevant campaigning work.

Their accommodation in Auckland has been at the Awataha Marae. There are 85 people staying there. WOBH has been supplied images from inside the marae of their accommodations.

They called this a ‘fellowship’ programme and participants were told that they would be in dorm-style accommodation.

The participants were also told at the meeting on Saturday that they would all need to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Most have refused and some students left after just one day, others are resigned to see it through as they have no other option and can’t afford another ticket to go back.

They have been told that they are to be broken down into teams – they will be either phone soliciting, door knocking in regions in Auckland, or approaching universities and “unions” to recruit votes and more volunteers.

For the calling duties Labour have bought around 30 Alcatel phones and they are used in a common area to call people from the marae. Reports are that this is very disorganised and many of the people contacted have been called already.

They have had one day of ‘training’ and then there is nothing else planned for these volunteers as far as our sources are aware.

Some of the participating students have turned down other internships to do this.

But where this become interesting is that Labour have been making a big song and a dance over boarding houses and sub-standard accommodation.

Labour Party’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford told The AM Show it’s an emergency.

He said Labour will legislate tough minimum standards to make sure boarding houses are safe, warm and dry: “Not the kind of rat-infested dumps that we saw on Caitlin McGee’s fantastic report on The Nation this week.”

Labour plans to bring in a warrant of fitness that would “urgently” clean out slum boarding houses within three months of the election.

It seems that Labour wants boarding houses to have better standards than the accommodations that they are prepared to put their own volunteers up in. Their candidate and a good friend of Matt McCarten, Willie Jackson, has been vocal about slumlords too:

There are times I’m really outraged by the lax manner we allow standards to slip in this country because it’s always the poor who pay the steepest price.

NewsHub’s recent report on deplorable conditions of boarding homes in this country is a perfect example.

The filthy rooms we were shown weren’t suitable for animals, let alone human beings. Charging $230 a room for houses as contaminated as that simply adds insult to injury.

We know 1600 New Zealanders die each year from the cold and that is driven by uninsulated and substandard houses.

Desperate people forced to live in such desperate conditions are a direct failure of Government policy, and those desperate people are always those too poor to fight back.

Allowing the vulnerable to freeze and grow sick is a Government decision. They have gutted affordable housing, privatised state housing and fed a property bubbly to make National voters feel rich.

When you are only concerned about enriching your voters, those who don’t vote don’t matter.

That’s why National are the political party of the slumlord.

In reality it looks like it is Labour who are the slumlord here.

Meanwhile Maori Television has been running a story about lack of access to Awataha Marae, their news report mentions the students.

More protests were held today by the North Shore community in Auckland to oppose the trustees of Te Awataha Marae.

According to the protesters, the community is still being blocked from Te Awataha Marae.

Spokesperson for the protestors Hohepa Maclean spoke to Kawe Kōrero Reporters and claims the local community is locked out of accessing the marae due to it being controlled by one group of people.

Maclean says, “We are here, jumping up and down, pleading with them to open up the gates so we can go in.”

He says, “I say that they’re doing things that will benefit themselves, a small select group only.”

Trustee of Awataha Marae Anthony Wilson also spoke to Kawe Kōrero Reporters and says the claims from the protestors are untrue.

Wilson claims he has invited the community three times to come and “sit down kanohi ki te kanohi and have a korero.”

But Maclean claims “It’s all lies”.

Except it isn’t lies, Labour has 80 plus international students using the marae.

So, Labour have imported foreign campaign workers, they are unpaid, no living wage for them, and worse still put them up in slum accommodations.

But the story gets even more curious. It seems these workers are actually performing campaign work for Matt McCarten’s supposedly non-partisan get out the vote campaign. It then leads to questions over what immigration visas these “campaign fellows” entered the country on. Is the reason that they aren’t paid despite clearly coming here to work on a campaign is because Labour thinks that this will get around the immigration laws?

Given the profiles that have been published on Matt McCarten’s organisation’s Facebook page there is a good chance that these campaign workers are here on student visa or tourist visas, in which case working on the campaign would void their visas.

Again this is contradictory to Andrew Little’s campaign about low value student courses and students entering the country for those courses on student visas.

Labour has also campaigned heavily, with their union mates for the Living Wage and large increases in the minimum wage. Yet, here they are using unpaid labour. Late last year Andrew Little launched their flagship unemployment policy:

Labour will offer the long term youth unemployed six months paid community and environmental work, Labour leader Andrew Little announced on Sunday.

The policy, costed at $60 million a year, would not be compulsory, but would be offered to those who were work ready and had been on the Jobseekers Allowance for six months.

It would target those aged 18-24 who would be paid at least the minium wage. Labour is assuming 10,000 would be involved.

The proposal was the flagship announcement in his conference speech on the final day of th party’s three-day conference in Auckland.

The flagship policy is to address the low-paid and unemployed but in practice when it suits them they ignore their campaigns and policy. Their campaign workers should surely be paid the living wage.

All of this just leaves the whole scheme smelling distinctly off. It is now clear that McCarten’s non-partisan approach is a sham to get around campaign laws and to hide the campaign costs of up to 85 campaign workers in a third-party campaign. It will be difficult to claim that the two organisations are separate when the recruitment was done over Labour party email addresses and their General Secretary, Andrew Kirton, has admitted to Politik that this is a Labour party scheme.

Last night Labour’s General Secretary Andrew Kirton confirmed that there had been issues with the scheme which had arisen over the past week.

He said the scheme had been originated by Andrew Little’s former Chief of Staff, Matt McCarten, who now runs Labour’s campaign office in Auckland.

“There were some issues with capacity, “he said.

“He couldn’t really supervise them on a daily basis.”

So, from their own General Secretary we have confirmation of the close involvement of Matt McCarten and the Labour party on something that has been sold to the public and the media as non-partisan. It is a deception and Labour have been caught out.

Worse, it signals that they can’t get Kiwi volunteers for their campaign and have resorted to importing foreign labour.



-Maori Television, Willie Jackson, Politik, Newshub


New Zealand Labour Party 2017 Campaign Fellowship by Cam Slater on Scribd

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.