McCarten may have left Labour in debt after intern scheme

Labour leader Andrew Little said the intern scheme could have put the party in debt.
Labour leader Andrew Little said the intern scheme could have put the party in debt. Photo credit: Getty

Labour leader Andrew Little says Matt McCarten's botched student scheme may have left a debt for the party.

Mr Little admitted today that Mr McCarten, one the scheme's organisers, might not have the funding he had claimed and that the party would have to pick up the bills.

"There is a potential for it [debt], yes," Mr Little said. "We take moral responsibility and that means and creditors and suppliers have to be looked after and we will have to do that."

Mr Little dismissed Mr McCarten's plans as "fantasy world stuff" and an "embarrassment".

He said a senior Labour council member, Paul Chalmers, stepped down over the weekend because of his connection to the scheme and there would be an internal investigation.

Internal documents obtained by Newshub show that Mr McCarten claimed to have over $100,000 funding from unions.

The unions named have all denied this, raising questions about where Mr McCarten got his money from.

Matt McCarten was Little's former chief of staff and until recently worked at the party's Auckland office.
Matt McCarten was Little's former chief of staff and until recently worked at the party's Auckland office. Photo credit: Newshub

He had also planned to have a "Souls to the Polls" initiative, based on a religious get-out-the-vote movement in the United States.

He planned to unify the Ratana and Pasifika churches, and bring an American pastor to New Zealand to rally the followers. 

"I can't imagine Al Sharpton coming down," Mr Little said.

Mr McCarten has been contacted for comment. 

Newshub. 

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