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Labour fixes its foreign student problem

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/06/2017

Labour has found billets for most of the foreign students it brought to New Zealand to work on its election campaign, party leader Andrew Little says.

He was landed with an embarrassing problem last week when it was revealed that more than 80 students, mostly from the US and the UK, were living in squalid digs in an Auckland marae.

The intern programme was started by Mr Little's former chief of staff, Matt McCarten, with the party's support.

It was over-subscribed and Mr McCarten couldn't handle the situation, so the party had to take it over.

"We pretty much have billets for all of them, although I've heard some of them quite like their accommodation and want to stick together," Mr Little said on Sunday.

"The party is in the process of putting together a good programme for them, some lectures, a bit of outreach, some cultural experience."

One of the cultural experiences planned is taking them to a pub to watch the last Lions vs All Blacks test in Auckland.

"That's so they understand the cultural significance of the All Blacks and a rugby test," Mr Little said.

Since the story broke several students have gone public and said their accommodation wasn't nearly as bad as it had been portrayed, and they were enjoying working on Labour's campaign.

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