David Shearer has released his new caucus line-up, David Parker, Jacinda Ardern, David Cunliffe, Clayton Cosgrove, Shane Jones and Nanaia Mahuta making up the rest of his and Grant Robertson’s front bench. A lot of talent, and a definite fresh look from the Goff or Clark era.
Nanaia takes over Education, Jacinda Social Development and Maryan Street (9) gets Health.
But inevitably the discussion is over the Davids’ portfolios. Not so much Shearer keeping Science and Innovation (and showing his priorities are on jobs that will make this country richer, unlike Key’s tourism). Rather Parker and Cunliffe’s swapping of roles, somewhat as Zet suggested. Keeping Cunliffe as Associate Finance, so he can pass on his immense knowledge there, but letting him take on Joyce at Economic Development. Parker is a keen mind too, and keeping the two Davids as Labour’s economic team makes sense.
Clayton Cosgrove will also have an important role to play on SOEs, as some get sold off this term. Jones returns to the front bench to make full use of his outstanding oratory skills to attack National.
Having the Deputy on Environment shows Labour cares about its green side too – combined with his Tertiary Ed and Shearer’s Science it’s a good look for a team aimed at making Aotearoa “clean, green and clever”.
Su’a William Sio and Phil Twyford are 2 more young stars, rewarded for their talent with spots just outside the front bench.
Goff goes back to foreign, and King & Mallard are kept on the mid-benches, with Dyson and Horomia moved into the unranked backbenchers.
Interesting portfolios on the backbenches have Moana Mackey with Energy & Climate Change and Andrew Little on ACC – both will be busy areas for the government this term.
In a team of 34 everybody gets portfolios to attack the government on, and overall it looks a good use of fresh talent, without entirely throwing out the old heads’ wisdom.
rank. name. (major portfolios, rank change from before election)
1. Shearer (Science & Innovation, +22)
2. Robertson, G (Environment, Tertiary Ed, + 8 )
3. Parker (Finance, +1)
4. Ardern (Social Development, +14)
5. Cunliffe (Economic Development, -1)
6. Cosgrove (SOEs, Commerce, Trade, -)
7. Jones (Regional Development, Maori Econ Development, +5)
8. Mahuta (Education, +11)
9. Street (Health, -2)
10. Sio (Employment, PI Affairs, +5)
11. Twyford (Transport, Auckland, +5)
12. Mallard (Shadow Leader of House, -4)
13. Chauvel (Justice, AG, Arts, -2)
14. Dalziel (Cantab, CD, Commerce, -)
15. Hipkins (Sen Whip, State Services, +10)
16. Goff (Foreign, -15)
17. King (Housing, Local Govt, -16)
18. Fenton (Jun Whip, Labour, Immigration, +4)
19. O’Connor (Primary Industries, Food, +1)
20. Curran (IT, broadcasting, prev. unranked)
Dyson: Conservation, Seniors; Horomia: Maori Affairs; Moroney: Women, ECE; Mackey: Energy, Climate Change; Lees-Galloway: Defence; Huo: Building, Stats; Prasad: Ethnic; Faafoi: Police, Customs; Wall: Recreation, Community; Clark: Revenue; Little: ACC; Tirikatene: Tourism; Woods: Youth; Robertson, R: Nominee for Ass Speaker.