Dodgy Matt has “not been forthcoming” about the Labour slave labour scheme

Dodgy Matt McCarten has been making up stories and taking the piss when it comes to the dodgy slave labour scam of the Labour party:

Newly released documents have shed light on a troubled intern scheme linked to the Labour Party, with the party’s secretary telling electoral officials the scheme’s organiser “had not been forthcoming” in disclosing how it was funded.

The Campaign for Change, launched by former Labour official Matt McCarten, hit the headlines in June when about 85 overseas students recruited as volunteers complained to Labour officials about the state of their accommodation and the quality of the programme.

Labour stepped in to take over the scheme, which was billed as a non-partisan drive to boost voter enrolment but included some time campaigning for Labour candidates.

The Electoral Commission undertook an investigation after Kiwiblog founder and National Party pollster David Farrar wrote to it in late June, raising concerns about whether the money spent to fund the scheme should be declared as a donation to Labour. It ruled in late August the funding did not need to be declared as an election expense, but it did need to be included as a donation for the candidates who benefited from the interns.

“It seems abundantly clear that this activity was organised over many months by Labour Party staff and office holders to help Labour’s campaign.”

In response to a letter from the Electoral Commission, Labour Party general secretary Andrew Kirton asked for a meeting to discuss the “unusual and complex situation”, accompanied by Kensington Swan lawyer Hayden Wilson.

The Electoral Commission’s notes of the July 5 meeting record Kirton as saying McCarten’s vision “appears to have been to create an independent entity supported by unions etc”.

Kirton estimated McCarten had spent $104,000 on the intern scheme, with the funding believed to come from “a private funder who he has not disclosed”.

“Andrew believes that Mr McCarten would not have funded any of the costs himself. Andre [sic] and Hayden indicated that Mr McCarten has not been forthcoming…

“Andrew and Hayden’s view is that the costs incurred were by Matt. They have stepped in to honour the bills but at law they have no obligation because Matt was responsible [and] had unilaterally entered into these agreements and had no authority to incur costs on behalf of the party.”

The Electoral Commission then wrote to McCarten on July 10, asking him to provide information on who provided the funding for the campaign and the extent of Labour’s involvement.

After he did not respond to a July 17 deadline, the commission wrote to him again on July 19 saying it was considering whether to refer the issue to the police “given the amount of money involved and the seriousness of [the] allegation”.

McCarten replied two days after a new July 24 deadline, saying he had been “out of circulation for the last few weeks”.

Yeah right Matt, you were on television commentating on election issues every weekend, but you couldn’t respond to a deadline?

“The project was an individual initiative by me, and despite speculation all costs were covered by me.”

He had spent $65,094 on the scheme “paid directly out of my personal bank accounts”, including nearly $37,000 on accommodation and food as well as over $10,000 on rental cars and vans.

He had contacted organisations keen to support a non-partisan enrolment campaign, and had received some promises of financial contributions once it was up and running.

McCarten said he was not working for Labour when he set the campaign up, and believed the interns would not have seen themselves as being part of the party’s national campaign.

Well, that’s bullshit for a start. He was working for Labour when it kicked off, he was their Auckland Campaign coordinator…on top of that if you believe that Matt McCarten has a spare $65k lying around to spend on foreign slave interns then I have a bridge to sell you. The whole thing was staffed and organised by Labour people.

McCarten told Newsroom he had provided Labour with a breakdown of the costs, which he would pass on to the Electoral Commission.

Asked why he had said he secured a private funder for the scheme, McCarten replied:

Because I just felt like it really, to be honest – it was really kind of tongue-in-cheek between myself and [the reporter]…I meant it more as a joke but of course there’s no jokes in these matters.”

Oh, it’s all just shits and giggles for this guy. He just made it up about the private donor? He told Labour and they told the Electoral Commission there was a private donor…and now he says he was just pulling everyone’s leg?

Something doesn’t smell right…but then again nothing Matt McCarten does ever smells right.

Dodgy is as dodgy does.



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