Shearer has proved to be more popular among the general public, and the caucus evidently felt the need for the fresh face. He brings with him a wealth of experience of leadership in the world’s trouble spots, so the Labour caucus room should hold no fears for him.
While a few here may be disappointed, it is important Labour unite behind the new leadership team. Shearer and David Cunliffe both set out similar stalls for Labour policy and the need for structural change in the party. There is a lot of talent that now needs to come together and work for the benefit of New Zealand, making sure that the changes suggested come through and we get a better Labour that is in top shape to run a better New Zealand.
The new leadership team has a tough task ahead, with 34 MPs to hold the government to account. The first job is to work out the roles to put the likes of Cunliffe and Parker, Jones and Mahuta into. Where does Ardern fit? What balance experience vs new blood? They must make sure the losing group don’t feel punished and isolated, but also the priority must be to have the best person for each portfolio to hold National to task.
But for now: congratulations to David Shearer and Grant Robertson. Good luck – New Zealand needs you to succeed.
(Press conference is now – 11.30 am)
(Chris Hipkins and Darien Fenton have been elected whips and Clare Curran is the Caucus Secretary and rep to NZ Council: congratulations to them too)
[Update: portfolios will be decided before Parliament sits next week]
[Further Update: Shearer announces David Cunliffe will get a “very senior” position.]