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A few thoughts on the reshuffle

Written By: - Date published: 6:50 pm, February 3rd, 2011 - 31 comments
Categories: Politics - Tags:

It’s bloody good to see Darien Fenton get the labour portfolio. Mallard did it well but work rights is where Fenton’s heart lies and she’s worked bloody hard to push for them – she’s a fighter and work rights is going to be a good place for a stoush this year.

Also pleased to see Grant Robertson getting a decent portfolio. His opposite number, Tony Ryall, has been getting away with all sorts of dodgy shit under the radar for too long. I get the feeling that may stop now.

I’ve always considered Darren Hughes a bit of a lightweight but I’m not surprised he’s got education. He should be able to run rings around Tolley if he pulls his finger out.

I’m a little surprised Dyson has been given conservation. She’s been low profile in health this year and it’s likely conservation will be a bit of a battle ground – it was certainly the area in which National took its biggest hit of 2010. I figure she’s either being given a chance to prove herself or Labour is ceding that ground to the Greens this year. Only time will tell.

David Parker will enjoy the meaty portfolios he’s been given and will get to grips with the detail well but I’m not sure he’s got enough mongrel in him to run against Gerry soundbite for soundbite but his straight forward common sense and integrity might leave big Ger looking like the (political) lightweight and dodgy prick he is.

As for the rest? Pretty much business as usual. Your thoughts?

31 comments on “A few thoughts on the reshuffle ”

  1. higherstandard 1

    In my view the only real standout is Grant’s promotion he’s a class act both in terms of his intelligence and personality and is one of the few I rate in parliament…….. as for the rest meh.

    Oh and I’m also pleased Darren Hughes got education – hopefully he’ll bring some fresh ideas to the debate.

  2. Rharn 2

    Yep pretty good over all. Shane Jones is in from the cold. That’s a plus. But King is still a chain around Goff’s neck. Labour need a newer look than a reshuffle. Still it’s an improvement. So what did Mallard get or has he been demoted? Anyone know?

    • Bunji 2.1

      Trevor swapped Darren Hughes’ Shadow Leader of the House for his Education. Gave Darien Labour and picked up Sport and Associate Finance.
      So the keen cyclist now has all the sporty portfolios (Am Cup & RWC as well)
      Darren & Trev still 8 & 9 in rank respectively.

  3. Bunji 3

    Yup, Darien & the labour portfolio just make sense together. Grant is obviously the headline, and he deserves it. Happy to see David Parker at 4 too.

    I’d also say good to see Phil Twyford get Local Govt after doing so well on the SuperCity; expect more nailings of Rodney. And good to see Jacinda promoted – she’s a definite talent. Employment should be fertile ground for her.

  4. pete 4

    Not sure Labour need a strong conservation spokesperson — the Greens should have that pretty well covered.

    • orange whip? 4.1

      They still need someone good, but the main qualification should be that the person is able to work well with the Greens (including taking direction from them when necessary.)

      Does Ruth have those qualities & relationships in place? I don’t know.

      • NickS 4.1.1

        It would also help if they have actual background in conservation, as it would allow for more accurate and devastating cluebatting of Wilkinson’s bs. Or at least a clued up brain bank.

        • just saying

          Parker is clued up in conservation (and energy) I saw him in a local debate on the issues. He came across very well and said he had initially become involved in politics because of concern about the environment

  5. NX 5

    The top four, Goff, King, Cunliffe & Parker, are all from Labour’s ‘right’ faction. Big change from the days of Clark ‘n Cullen.

  6. Deadly_NZ 6

    Should have got rid off King and Dyson. Dyson has done absolutely nothing except pick up her salary for the last 2 years and king is a millstone around Goff’s Neck. The only other one that really needs to be replaced is Goff. That or he really has to grow a pair and start making some leader like noises not the “id fark hurley as well”, what a cretin, now there’s is something that could have come back to haunt ol’ smiley wavey, is now a moot point.

  7. Anne 7

    I don’t know why some of you here have it in for Annette King. She comes across to me as a steadying influence in the Labour caucus. What’s more, she’s had some king hits on Paula Bennett in the debating chamber. Annette’s knowledge and experience has left Paula looking like the blustering amateur that she is.

    Pleased to see Darien Fenton getting recognition for her stirling work in the House – and elsewhere – these past two years.

  8. Nick C 8

    “I figure she’s either being given a chance to prove herself or Labour is ceding that ground to the Greens this year.”

    Did you consider that Goff simply lacks the political capital within his own caucus to demote her? Shes been around nearly as long as Goff himself, could probably cause quite a stir if she were demoted.

  9. Domino 9

    If dyson’s only got conservation why is she still on the front bench!!! Is goff so weak he can’t even decide his own line-up? What a terrible indictment on the weakness of the labour party right now.

  10. Hilary 10

    You are a mysogynist lot (don’t let Veitch and Key set the agenda). Ruth and Annette are long time experts in social welfare and health and disability, among other areas. Jacinda and Sue Moroney also got promotions but you didn’t notice. Jacinda will be continuing to work in the urgent area of youth employment

    • Carol 10.1

      Yes, the first report of the reshuffle that I read was on stuff. I thought at first that it was a totally male dominated line up from the way it ws reported. But whEn I looked down the list, Jacinda and Moroney were there, but stuff didn’t think they were important enough to highlight. TV3 gave Ahern a mention.

      But I was starting to feel that women were disappering from the politcal landscape…. what with all the focus on male rugby palyers and women who are only of interest for their hotness.

      Annette King has had some praise for her work on issues to do with foregrounding children. And she can be very effective in the House.

      • higherstandard 10.1.1

        I thought the trick was to judge on performance, actual or potential, and not to concentrate on whether or not the person had a diddle in their pants.

        • Ari

          The point is that Labour’s female MPs ARE good performers, but the coverage of the reshuffle wasn’t reporting it, you sexist idiot. 😛

  11. BLiP 11

    Mumble mumble top four mumble mumble plonkers mumble. Apart from that, good to see Su’a William Sio get P I Affairs.

  12. Brokenback 12

    Annette King?

    Oxygen thief .

  13. Salsy 13

    I feel genuinely depressed by Labour this week…

  14. Sean 14

    I think one of the key results is Mallard is Shadow Leader of the House.

    His key role there should be drawing attention to how Gerry “Everything-is-so-Urgent” Brownlee has been acting in his role. My guess is Labour is looking for more stand up fights on the floor of the House in election year.

  15. arants 15

    Can’t quite put my finger on what makes me uneasy about Phil’s reshuffle. Although some of the specific components seem quite appealing, their general arrangement seems unimaginative.

  16. I have no doubt that if Parker can take on ‘the don’ he can take on Brownlee:

    also by default Charles Chauvel as environment minister and Brendon Burns as water and climate spokesperson will have an interest in Mr Sexycoal Brownlee in some way too.

    Perhaps Twyford or someone would make a better conservation spokesperson, but it could be that labour is willing to make a green Conservation Minister were a non national govt to come to power. The Alliance conservation minister Sandra Lee was a lot more heavy hitting than many of the recent Conservation Ministers.

    Simmering tensions between Energy Minister David Parker and coal-mining SOE Solid Energy have surfaced after he told the company’s boss, Don Elder, to “get real” over the prospects for carbon capture and storage. At the national energy conference in Auckland last week, both men had to curb their tempers as they traded verbal blows. Elder delivered a bullish speech in which he talked up the prospects for converting Southland lignite to liquid fuels, with carbon emissions offset by capturing them and burying them underground. But this didn’t sit well with Parker, who targeted Elder during his own speech, suggesting the coal industry is “prone to wishful thinking” about the prospects for carbon capture and storage.
    Parker also accused Elder of a tendency to “exaggerate,” noting the SOE boss predicted two years ago NZ would be self-sufficient in fuel from lignite within five years.

    [lprent: How about settling down on one e-mail address. I have to release you from first-timer moderation because you use a different e-mail each time. It is getting a bit tedious. If you don’t correct the behavior then I’ll add you to auto-spam and reduce my workload. ]

  17. sorry Dr Nick Smith is still environment minister (in name), not Charles who is spokesperson.

  18. Darien Fenton 18

    Thanks Irish – Its a great privilege, but also a big challenge, especially after the presentation of the erstwhile Minister (of Labour) today at a gathering of Aussie and NZ heavyweights in the Labour area – descriptions of her speech to me were “embarrassing” “pathetic” “pleease”. My job, a big one, is to challenge the discourse about the role of labour and workers in our economy and our country. All help, support and advice most welcome!

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Hi Darien, I saw your awesome presentation at Summer School. Looking forwards to much more and yes, would love to contribute further to the public discourse of workers organisation, rights and pay over the course of the year. Will be in touch.

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