- 1 Background
- 2 Anti-Prebble faction
- 3 Key player in The New Labour Party
- 4 Peoples Voice appeal
- 5 Association with the Democratic Socialist Party
- 6 Major figure in the Alliance Party
- 7 Socialist Workers Organisation petition
- 8 Progressive Parties conference
- 9 Union involvement
- 10 Assisting the Maori Party
- 11 Involvement in Workers Charter
- 12 Media Columnist
- 13 Asia-Pacific International Solidarity Conference
- 14 Workers Charter conference
- 15 Mana Party launch
- 16 2012 "Revolution" conference
- 17 Little appointment
- 18 References
Matt McCarten is a prominent New Zealand socialist activist, unionist and commentator.
Matt McCarten was born in Dunedin 1959, of Nga Puhi tribal descent. In 1985, McCarten worked as a bartender at the Auckland Airport Travelodge, through which he became involved in the Hotel Workers Union. 
Key player in The New Labour Party
On June 24 of that year, McCarten was quoted by journalist Denis Welch in the left-leaning magazine The Listener, at the first Wellington New Labour Party conference;"We have a chance, maybe our only chance in this generation at least, to build a mass political party that will provide a genuine voice for the working people of this country. If we mess it up, they will not forgive us."
Peoples Voice appeal
Association with the Democratic Socialist Party
In 1992, McCarten was a guest speaker at the DSP's Resistance conference along with Joss Debreceny in Melbourne, Australia. The same year , McCarten became the international correspondent to the DSP's paper, Green Left Weekly.
In January 1993, McCarten was a guest speaker on the Alliance Party at a DSP organized Socialist Activists Education Conference, in Sydney Malik Miah of Committees of Correspondence and Helmi Fauzi of Indonesia were also speakers there.
In 1998, McCarten attended a DSP conference in Australia on 150 Years of the Communist Manifesto.
In 2000, McCarten attended the DSP's Marxism 2000 conference in Australia.
Matt McCarten, Marxist-Leninist
- I valued my friendship and political collaboration with Jim. He gave me the theoretical base for my political work. I owe so much to him. The impact Jim had on me over the last few years was enormous. Jim was one of the few left leaders who was able to bring Marxism-Leninism alive into today's world. He made socialism relevant to those of us who seek a new society based on social justice. His socialism was inclusive, warm and exciting. He was the major political influence in my life.
- Matt McCarten, President of the New Labour Party and Chairman of the Auckland Alliance, New Zealand.
By 1999, McCarten was still on the Editorial Board of Links, with;
- Andre Brie, German Party of Democratic Socialists , (the successor to the former East German ruling communist party).
- Max Lane, Democratic Socialist Party
- Doug Lorimer, Democratic Socialist Party
- John Percy, Democratic Socialist Party
- Jeremy Cronin, South African Communist Party
- Langa Zita, South African Communist Party
- Carl Bloice,Committees of Correspondence
- Malik Miah, Committees of Correspondence
- Joanna Misnik, Committees of Correspondence.
Through his relationship with the Australian Democratic Socialist Party, McCarten developed strong ties to U.S. based Marxist groups, in the early 1990s, particularly the Communist Party USA offshoot, the Committees of Correspondence.
On April 22, 1993, he gave a talk in San Francisco on the Alliance Party.This was the first time he had spoken on the party in the Northern Hemisphere. The speech was reprinted in the Green Left Weekly. It gave thanks to Alex Chris of Independent Politics for the text.
Major figure in the Alliance Party
In 1992, McCarten became the Auckland coordinator of the left-wing Alliance Party. On February 15, 1992, McCarten was interviewed on TV as the Alliance Party campaign organizer in Tamaki, Auckland. In that same month, he wrote the Alliance Party's policy platform for the Tamaki By-election.
Socialist Workers Organisation petition
Progressive Parties conference
- The Progressive Labor Party under the title of 'Towards a Progressive Alliance' convened a one-day conference of progressive parties and community groups in Sydney last weekend. It brought together representatives of a number of political parties and community organisations, including some trade unions. Upwards of one hundred people took part. Matt McCarten, Director, of the New Zealand Alliance Party, attended and spoke of the New Zealand experience and, while warning against simply attempting to copy the New Zealand 'model', advanced some excellent principle on which to build relationships between different organisations."
In 2003, McCarten became the secretary of the Unite union in Auckland. On September 11,2005, he became director of the union.
Assisting the Maori Party
On May 11, 2004, Alliance Party leaders Matt McCarten, Laila Harre, left to support the Maori Party, angering the remnants of the Alliance]. McCarten had been selected as campaign manager for the Maori Party if there was to be a byelection in Tamaki-Makaurau, Auckland, as a result of the John Tamihere affair, and Ms Harre had also expressed her support for the Maori Party.
Involvement in Workers Charter
On July 2, 2005, A Steering Committee of 20 emerged from the Workers Charter meeting. Held in Auckland They were (in alphabetical order): Rachel Asher, Paul Carrucan, Cathy Casey (Matt McCarten's partner) , Luke Coxon, Stuart Fancy, Cecil Fowler, Roger Fowler, Jennifer Francis, Chrissy Holland, Robyn Hughes, Maria Humphries, Daphne Lawless, Matt McCarten, John Minto, Grant Morgan, Pat O'Dea, Sam Quayle, Melody Shinnock, Mike Treen, and Elaine West.
In October 22, 2005, a conference was held at the Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road, Grey Lynn from 10am to 5pm. The media were welcomed to attend. Luke Coxon and Daphne Lawless were both the hosts and co-chairs of the Conference, and *John Minto and McCarten were "spokespeople" for the Conference Working Group.
By September 11, 2005, McCarten had become a media columnist for the Herald on Sunday.
Asia-Pacific International Solidarity Conference
- "One of these was the rapidly changing map of New Zealand politics, in particular, the development of the Maori Party, the Unite union and the Residents Action Movement."
Several left-wing leaders from New Zealand attended the conference, including Matt McCarten, who was until recently the campaign manager for the Maori Party, Global Peace and Justice Auckland leader Mike Treen, and David Colyer and Grant Morgan from New Zealand Socialist Worker, who all addressed a feature session on March 28.
Workers Charter conference
The Workers Charter Movement was the embryo of a new left wing political party, modeled on the successful British “Respect” coalition and the less successful Australian Socialist Alliance. It was also a co-ordinating body for militant union trade union activity. The “movement” published a “Workers Charter” newspaper.
- This Saturday, 7th October, starts 11am
Auckland Trades Hall 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn
- 11 – 11.10am Welcome from chair (Daphne Lawless).
- 11.10am – 12.30pm – Workers Charter, a paper for the movement – introduced by John Minto (editorial) & Bronwyn Summers (financial).
- 1.30 – 3pm – Unions in the 21st century – intro by Laila Harre (NDU), Andrew Little (EPMU), Sue Bradford (Green MP), Mengzhu (Radical Youth) and Joe Carolan (unionist & socialist).
- 3.15 – 4pm – Human Rights for Workers campaign – introduced by Vaughan Gunson (unionist & socialist) and Eliana Darroch (Radical Youth).
- 4pm – 4.30 pm – Graham Matthews, Australian unionist.
- 4.30 – 4.45pm – election of expanded, national editorial board of Workers Charter paper.
- 4.45 – 5.30pm – Climaction Day (4 November) to build a campaign for
System Change, Not Climate Change. Speaker(s) to be confirmed.
Graham Matthews was a National Committee member of Australia’s largest Marxist-Leninist organisation, the Democratic Socialist Perspective. He had also been in recent years, NSW and Victorian convener for the Socialist Alliance.
It was significant that Green Party MP Sue Bradford supported the meeting. When Bradford was in the Workers Communist League, her group had very close ties to the DSP’s fore-runner, the Socialist Workers Party. 
Mana Party launch
At the launch of the Mana Party, in 2011, on the stage with Hone Harawira to express their solidarity and support were some of the most well-known names from the left, union, Maori rights and social justice movements. They included Annette Sykes (Ngati Pikiao, lawyer and activist), Matt McCarten (general secretary of Unite Union), John Minto (leader of the anti-apartheid movement in the 1980s and spokesperson for Global Peace and Justice Auckland), Sue Bradford (unemployed workers rights leader in the 1980s and 1990s and former Green Party MP), Syd Keepa (Maori vice-president of the Council of Trade Unions), Nandor Tanczos (former Green MP), Margaret Mutu (Ngāti Kahu’s chief negotiator, the chairperson of Te Rūnanga-a-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu and the professor of Māori Studies at Auckland University). Most groups that describe themselves as socialist, such as Socialist Aotearoa, the Workers Party, Socialist Worker and the International Socialist Organisation, have also generally greeted the emergence of this new party positively.
2012 "Revolution" conference
The first weekend of September 2012 saw Socialist Aotearoa's Revolution conference held over the weekend at Auckland Trades Hall.
Debating the future of the left on Saturday afternoon, Matt McCarten from Unite union told the conference that Socialist Aotearoa is a small but serious part of the left, respected for its interventions in union disputes and political campaigns and 'Punched above its weight.' Labour MP Darien Fenton also spoke at the closing session, calling for unity on the left to fight the Government. And Joe Carolan from Socialist Aotearoa discussed the situation of the radical left internationally and the success of parties of the radical left such as Die Linke in Germany and Syriza in Greece and the need for a radical left alternative.
Labour leader Andrew Little appointed left wing strategist Matt McCarten as his chief of staff, December 10, 2014..
Mr McCarten was chief of staff for former leader David Cunliffe and was kept on in a temporary basis after Mr Little won the leadership in November.
Mr McCarten's appointment in February stunned the Labour caucus because as a founder of the break-away Alliance Party, he had spent years opposing Labour.
But he has earned the trust of MPs and staff with his strategic skills and people management skills.
Mr Little has been reviewing the leaders' office. Yesterday he confirmed Mr McCarten's appointment and all other staff will be kept on.
- Shift, April/May 1985
- DST June 18, 1989
- The Listener June 24, 1989
- Peoples Voice April 30, 1990
- Peoples Voice April 2, 1990
- Direct Action September 11, 1990
- Green Left Weekly No. 37
- Green Left Weekly Number 63
- Green Left Weekly Number 84
- Green Left Weekly Number 302
- Green left Weekly November 1992 number 80
- Green Left Weekly Number 107
- Workers Voice 1992 Number 16
- Greenweb, June, 1992
- The Press March 18 1993
- April 10 The Press
- Newstalk ZB November 11 2004 02:11 PM
- The Guardian, dated March 1, 2000
- Newstalk ZB November 5 2004 02:11 PM
- The Press May 24 2004
- [http://archive.indymedia.org.nz/article/72416/workers-charter-conference, www.indymedia.org.nz Workers Charter Conference Submitted by Anonymous on 4 October 2006]
- LINKS, Aotearoa/New Zealand: A new working-class, pro-Maori political voice.May 11, 2011
- http://socialistaotearoa.blogspot.com/2012/09/revolution-conference-spring-in-our-step.html, Socialist Aotearoa blog Monday, September 03, 2012,Revolution conference - Spring in our step]
- [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11372642, NZH, Audrey Young, Labour leader appoints new-but-old chief of staff Matt McCarten 11:45 AM Thursday Dec 11, 2014]