Former Alliance president Matt McCarten has been named as the Labour Party’s new chief of staff.
Labour Party leader David Cunliffe made the announcement this afternoon with Mr McCarten in the party’s caucus room.
Mr Cunliffe believes Mr McCarten will “add a lot” to the party and called him one of the best political strategists in the country.
Mr McCarten was diagnosed with cancer four years ago, but is now in remission “for some reason”.
“My Christian friends say I’m here because I’ve still got work to do.”
Mr McCarten is the third chief of staff the party has had in recent months, and replaces Wendy Brandon who was only in the job for five months.
Ms Brandon, a respected Auckland lawyer, resigned earlier this month after taking up the job in September for medical reasons.
She was appointed following Mr Cunliffe taking over leadership and took over from France Mold, who resigned after former leader David Shearer stood down.
Former Labour researcher Dave Talbot has also been appointed as the party’s general election campaign manager.
Mr McCarten is the head of the Unite union, which represents low-paid workers, particularly in the hospitality industry.
In 2010, he unsuccessfully stood as an independent candidate in the Mana by-election.
3 News / NZN