Statement from Matt McCarten, Campaign for Change

By   /   June 22, 2017  /   8 Comments

In May this year my contract with the Labour Party ended and I left to run a programme called the Campaign for Change. The programme was supported by the Labour Party in Auckland, however I led and managed it.

This programme involved an international volunteer programme with a focus on voter enrolment, working with trade unions, student groups and churches.

Volunteers would also have the opportunity to work on local political campaigns, and a number of them did volunteer to help with Labour campaigns in Auckland.

The programme was extremely popular and quickly became oversubscribed. The scale of the programme is now greater than I can manage, and I am aware of issues that this has caused.

Earlier this week the Labour Party Head Office contacted me about these issues and requested to take the programme over so that it could resolve them. I have agreed to this and am no longer involved in the programme.

My intention from the start has been to give young people a positive experience in the New Zealand political system and I regret that the programme has not lived up to this promise for all volunteers.

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8 Comments

  1. Pete says:

    It takes so much effort to get a single vote, to try to get one person to see a point, to even consider turning away from Liar Bill’s Mob.

    Just when the sandcastle starts to take shape, it looks like tidal patterns have changed and the construction is to be safe and sound, and a rogue wave comes smashing in and crashing down. You look up and your brother who had been helping with the build had caused the big wash which caused the damage.

    Using interns is common practice but who cares? Impressions count. Yep, a million stay at home, who’d want to visit the beach.

    • Kevin says:

      Yes poor organization and slightly hypocritical but not illegal, no grand cover up,lying and using taxpayers funds to provert the course of justice.
      If this is democracy in action it’s little wonder people can’t be bothered voting.

  2. Tiger Mountain says:

    Matt has served the NZ working class well as a left social democrat through New Labour and the Alliance and numerous other campaigns, and of course starting UNITE for the ‘untouchables’, the workers the Labour led unions did not want to know about–a union that to this day maintains a class focus

    Elections NZ has been both underfunded and nobbled by the Govt., to stop it seriously encouraging non voters, including those who could be tempted by info about the unpublished roll, so full marks to all those that try and get the alienated and others participating in our democracy

    sad to see this initiative not go so well, international exchanges involving volunteers are a long tradition–but this one does look a blunder that is going to cause some rather adverse publicity–hold the line–but don’t bloody do it again…

    • Francesca says:

      I’m not so sure
      From what I’ve heard the majority of interns were more than happy, but are unable to speak out because of non disclosure agreements
      I wonder how well they are vetted?
      It would be a smart move for the opposing parties to have a few plants , to torpedo the whole thing at an opportune time,(for instance, taking the heat off Barclay Bill when he’s sweating in the spotlight)

  3. XRAY says:

    This is so dumb I do not know where to begin.

    I think some people want National to just finish off the demolition job they started.

    Forget a campaign for change, it’s dead and buried.

  4. Louis says:

    I thank you Matt McCarten for all that you have done and tried to do. Sometimes even the best laid plans can go awry, we are not gods we are all of us only human beings after all, except for the media a beast that whipped a storm in a tea cup to give embattled Bill some respite. Take heart in the following US intern defends Labour’s ‘fellowship’ campaign programme from ‘sweatshop’ claims http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11880781

  5. Nick says:

    The programme to bring more people into the voting process is entirely desirable.
    It is true that there is a likelihood that such a move would advantage the Left side of politics, but to attract otherwise disinterested young voters, some degree of activist authenticity is imperative. The Labour leadership have to show a little courage. Big ideas are the province of the reformist end of the political spectrum. A shell-shocked and risk averse political movement is as likely to be cannon fodder for attacks from the right, as indicative of a party able to sleep-walk to victory.

    If the polls are to believed the Left have little to fear: things are as dire as ever. Having tried everything else, Andrew Little might have a go at speaking his heart.

    There are plenty of opportunities. Polling shows that the people at least claim to care about a lot of issues that should be the very wheelhouse of Labour policy.

    At present they are happy to support a party that pretends to be doing something about many of these issues: housing, poverty, climate change, fresh water, family violence, education… How hard would it be for the leadership to point out the obvious? You either elect a party that pretends to make things better (but actually drags the chain and does as little as possible) or you go for one philosophically committed to REALLY making the necessary changes.

    A strategy of presenting as small a target as possible may well result in success: we may end up with an even smaller target of elected reps and another 3 years in the wilderness.

    The margins are close enough not to have to wait for a Justin Trudeau to come along. We have the leadership we have. They have to do the business. If they really believe in the mixed, activist, reforming economy, it is time to stand up and make a stand. A target can also be a standard.

  6. Lavins says:

    It was a bloody good idea!
    What went wrong was pretty minor really – and simply a victim of success.

    I had to laugh tho, the precious little dears complaint about living conditions that are better than those many NZers live in thanks to National.
    It’s not like they were put up in cars!