The New Zealand Labour Party must explain how it can possibly justify exploiting 85 international students for its election campaign while at the same time campaigning against legitimate law-abiding international education providers, National Party Campaign Chair Steven Joyce says. 

“This is truly appalling behaviour both for its lack of human decency and industrial strength hypocrisy,” Mr Joyce says.

“If the allegations are correct, Labour has brought international students to New Zealand on false pretences, failed to look after them, and failed to meet their obligations to the students in the most basic way, while at the same time campaigning against exploitation of migrants.

Mr Joyce says Andrew Little, Jacinda Ardern and Campaign Chair Phil Twyford must explain how this happened, apologise immediately to the students involved, and put things right for them.

“They also must explain their personal involvement given their use as a drawcard to lure the students into the scheme,” Mr Joyce says. “They can’t pretend Matt McCarten has nothing to do with Labour.

“This is not how we do things in New Zealand. Labour is known in campaigning circles for a win at any costs approach, but this is a new low even for them. 

“Labour has attacked people with Chinese sounding names and attacked international students studying in New Zealand. Little did we know that at the same time they were exploiting vulnerable young migrant workers.”

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