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McCarten Named New Labour Chief Of Staff

David Cunliffe: Matt McCarten New Labour Chief of Staff

David Cunliffe's press standup – 26 February 2014

Scoop Audio+Photos

By Jamie Neikrie


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Matt McCarten has been named the new Labor Party Chief of Staff.


Mr McCarten has previously been in charge of the Unite Union, was the Alliance Party president and stood for the Mana Party in a 2010 by-election.


Labour Leader David Cunliffe also announced former Labour researcher Dave Talbot as the party's general election campaign manager.


Mr Cunliffe said Mr McCarten is, “One of the country’s best political strategists,” and indicated that Mr McCarten’s appointment would aid Labor’s chances in the upcoming election.


McCarten replaces Wendy Brandon, who resigned earlier this month for health reasons after only holding the position for five months. In doing so, he becomes the party’s third Chief of Staff in recent months.


When questioned on his loyalty to the party, Mr McCarten highlighted his commitment to progressive ideals. “It’s about values, the movement, and the people,” he said.


Mr McCarten was the head of the Unite union, which represents low-paid workers. McCarten has battled cancer in recent years.


Mr McCarten emphasized that the disease was behind him and that he returned to the Labor Party “because I’ve still got work to do”.

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