February 25, 2014
Cunliffe hires Alliance svengali to run office
Labour leader David Cunliffe is hoping former Alliance president and nemesis Matt McCarten can give him the organisational boost he needs to become Prime Minister.
Mr Cunliffe is set to announce Mr McCarten as his chief of staff this afternoon.
It could be seen as a high risk strategy by Mr Cunliffe, whose election as leader last year hasn’t brought the increase in the polls his supporters hoped for.
Mr McCarten my be viewed with suspicion by many party members and MPs was instrumental in setting up New Labour in protest at the policies of the Lange-Douglas Government of the 1980s, and went on to become president of the Alliance.
A split with leader Jim Anderton led to the collapse of the Alliance and the emergence of the Greens.
Mr McCarten moved back into union organising, setting up the Unite Union for low paid workers as well as continuing to comment on politics and running for the Mana by-election in 2010.
Mr McCarten also helped set up the Mana Party.
Copyright © 2014, UMA Broadcasting Ltd