'It's not a good look' - Labour fronts up on intern visa problems
The Labour Party has revealed two people involved in its international programme may have broken immigration rules.
On Tuesday the party said the two interns did not have the correct visa to take part in the programme, and comes after some interns complained about the programme's living conditions.
- Two of Labour's international volunteers had wrong visas
- Intern scheme got 'wildly out of control' - Andrew Little
Labour general secretary Andrew Kirton told The AM Show it's "not a good look," but said as soon as he heard of the programme's problems, he stepped in to sort it out.
"My team arrived on Tuesday to sort out this programme of Matt McCarten's and the Auckland Labour Party."
He says two people did not have working holiday visas, but guarantees the remaining interns (at least 75) are in New Zealand legally with the right visas.
Mr Kirton says he and his team have met with the remaining interns and seen their visas.
"It's been a bit of an effort but we're getting on top of it now. The young volunteers are now really excited to get out and learn about MMP environments across the country.
"It started off as a Labour Party project - not too dissimilar to what we've done in the past. The problem with this though was it was expanded out quite significantly by Matt McCarten with support from the Auckland Labour Party.
"[It] got out of control, the management got out of control, and that's why we stepped in straight away."
Mr Kirton says he's been in touch with Immigration NZ to "figure out what the next steps are" and if there'll be any penalty issued against the party.
Mr McMarten ended his contract in May, and is no longer employed by Labour.