Monday, December 19, 2011

Who's in; who's out? Part deux...

David Shearer has announced his front bench and portfolio responsibilities; the Herald reports:

Labour leader David Shearer has put five new people onto his front bench and given the number five slot to David Cunliffe - the man he defeated as Labour leader last week.

Mr Cunliffe has lost his finance portfolio and previous number 3 ranking to David Parker - but has managed to get the significant economic portfolio of economic development.

Jacinda Ardern has received a significant promotion from 19 to 4, and becomes Labour's highest ranked woman. Ms Ardern will do the social development portfolio, putting her head to head with Minister Paula Bennett during a period of welfare reform.

As expected David Parker has taken the finance role, and Shane Jones has been boosted from 13 to the front bench. He will take a new 'regional development' portfolio and is an associate finance spokesman.

Mr Shearer said the team focused on new areas of priority including the environment - a portfolio given to his deputy Grant Robertson - and rebuilding links with business and provincial New Zealand.

"I have built a team that brings forward new faces."

However, he was also giving senior responsibilities to experienced MPs.

"We are going to change the tone and we are going to take a fresh look at our priorities."

Mr Shearer was elected Labour's leader by caucus last Tuesday after a two-week campaign for the job against David Cunliffe.

Since then Mr Cunliffe has refused to say if he would accept a front bench slot, saying he wanted time to consider what he wanted to do.

As last as last night, it is understood the two were still negotiating over Mr Cunliffe's ranking.

Mr Shearer had refused to promise the MPs jobs during the campaign for the leadership, saying he did not want to restrict his options of putting together a team. As well as merit, his line up is a sign he is hoping to mend any ructions the competition may have caused.

The front bench line up is Mr Shearer, Grant Robertson, David Parker (Finance), Jacinda Ardern (Social Development), David Cunliffe (Economic Development), Clayton Cosgrove (State Owned Enterprises and Commerce), Shane Jones (Regional Development, Fisheries), Nanaia Mahuta (Education).

The promotion of Jacinda Ardern to #4 is a surprise. We certainly expected her to be on the front bench or very close to it, but #4 seems very high for an MP with just three years under her belt. Then again, Grant Robertson is also a three-year man and now sits at #2, and of course David Shearer has not yet completed three years in Parliament. Labour's top four is very inexperienced.

And after 15 years in Parliament, Nanaia Mahuta finally emerges from the shadows and onto the front bench despite having backed David Cunliffe's leadership bid. How will she fare as Labour's Education spokesman? We don't imagine that Hekia Parata will be quaking in her boots; this seems to be Shearer's oddest selection.

The full list of Labour spokespersonships can be found here. Some of the interesting features are the demotion of Health from the front bench (to Maryan Street at #9), and the demotion of Cunliffe loyalists Dyson, Moroney, Mackey and Horomia outside the Shadow Cabinet. Lastly, you have to look a long way down the list to find the name of Andrew Little; he's almost an also-ran!

MP's will be sworn in tomorrow, and then the Address in Reply debate will begin on Wednesday following the Address from the Throne. It will be fascinating to see how the respictive combatants stack up.


James Stephenson said...

Re: Health. Can't land a punch on Tony Ryall? Demote the portfolio and stick someone useless in it.

pdm said...

Plughead at 6 seems above his station - he will make no headway against Key, Ryall and English on Part Privatisation of State Assets - that should have been Cunliffes role..

Quintin Hogg said...

If this is what going in a new direction means then the labour party will be going around in circles.

Allan said...

What is it with the promotion of Jacinda Adern. Despite the mascinations of the Greens trying to pervert the outcome of the Auckland Central seat, Adern was still unable to beat Nikki Kaye. Methinks she has been promoted to a position beyond her actual ability and the main reason for this is that she been put there in order to make the front bench look more presentable to the voting public. It is going to be interesting listening to the debates in Parliament. Paula Bennet will have her for breakfast.

adamsmith1922 said...

This is not renewal, look at where priorities are placed. This is rubbish, suspect Robertson is the guilty party.

Who is leader Shearer oe Robertson?

This is not a compelling team and will implode. Some of these will struggle to even land a question on National let alone a hit

Shearer falls at the first outing, not a stayer

adamsmith1922 said...

Ardern v Bennett, a joke

FaaFoi v Tolley, even Tolley cannot lose

Mahuta v Parata, tribal warfare and Parata will win

Horomia v Sharples, with Horomia unranked - Maori Party win

Labour have lost the plot

Keeping Stock said...

I don't disagree with any of that Adam; Labour has indeed lost the plot.

Anonymous said...

Yes. They are bad. Very bad. Labour is bad. Bad. Quite bad, I think.

jabba said...

Shearer has nothing to work with BUT he has stuffed up. Ardern is an empty vessel, and we will find that out, Parker needs to sort out his fidgeting when speaking, Cosgove has to be shell shocked by now poor bugga but at least he dumped Moroney from education but replaced her with Mahuta.
Whenever Cunners stands up to ask a question he will be teased as will Jones .. good times to come and maybe 9 more years

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