Labour’s Caucus Reshuffle

Written By: - Date published: 10:55 am, May 6th, 2014 - 60 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, labour - Tags:

David Cunliffe has announced a reshuffle of Labour’s Caucus rankings and Portfolio allocations.

Details are as follows:

1                                 Cunliffe

Security and Intelligence
Regional Development

2                                 Parker

Attorney General

3                                 Robertson

Shadow Leader of House
Economic Development,
Employment, Skills, Training
Assoc Tertiary Education
Assoc Security and Intelligence
Assoc Arts, Culture, Heritage

4                                 King


5                                 Ardern

Arts, Culture, Heritage

6                                 Twyford

Auckland Issues
Assoc Environment (Cities)

7                                 Cosgrove

Building and Construction
Earthquake Commission
Assoc Finance

8                                 Mahuta

Maori Affairs
Treaty Negotiations
Assoc Innovation, Research & Development

9                                 Hipkins

Early Childhood Education

10                              Moroney

Senior Whip
Social Development

11                              Little


12                              Shearer

Foreign Affairs

13                              Sio

Pacific Island Affairs
Local Government
Interfaith Dialogue
Assoc Social Development

14                              Goff

Ethnic Affairs
Veterans’ Affairs
Assoc Foreign Affairs

15                              Mallard

Assoc Economic Development
Internal Affairs
Sport and Recreation
Animal Rights
America’s Cup
Assoc Finance

16                              Street

State Services
Tertiary Education
Assoc Foreign Affairs (ODA / Human Rights)
Disarmament and Arms Control

17                              Wall

Youth Affairs
Community and Voluntary
Assoc Social Development
Assoc Auckland Issues (South Akl)
Assoc Sport and Recreation

18                              Mackey

Climate Change
Assoc Health

19                              O’Connor

Primary Industries
Food Safety

20                              Clark

Small Business
Assoc Finance
Assoc Health

21                              Lees-Galloway

Junior Whip
Assoc Health

22                              Davis

Assoc Regional Development
Assoc Education
Assoc Police
Assoc Corrections

23                              Beaumont

Womens’ Affairs
Consumer Rights and Standards
Assoc Labour
Assistant Whip

24                              Woods

Innovation, Research and Development
Assoc Transport
Assoc Tertiary Ed
Assoc Education (Christchurch)

25                              Faafoi

Assoc ICT
Assoc Pacific Island Affairs

26                              Fenton

Assoc Immigration
Assoc Transport
Assoc Labour
Assoc Arts, Culture, Heritage

Unranked             Curran

Civil Defence and Emergency Management
Open Government
Assoc Regional Development
Assoc Economic Development (Procurement)

Unranked             Dyson

Senior Citizens
Disability Issues
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery
Land information

Unranked             Prasad

Assoc Ethnic Affairs
Assoc Social Development

Unranked             Huo

Assoc Ethnic Affairs
Assoc Education (Export Ed)
Assoc Justice
Assoc Building and Consutrction

Unranked             Tirikatene

Assoc Maori Affairs
Assoc Forestry
Assoc Small Business

Unranked             Whaitiri

Assoc Regional Development
Assoc Local Government
Assoc Primary Industries

Unranked             Willams

Assoc Housing (Chch)
Assoc Social Development
Assoc Community and Voluntary

Unranked             R Robertson

Assoc Disarmament and Arms Control

60 comments on “Labour’s Caucus Reshuffle”

  1. Craig Glen Eden 1

    Cunliffe is so forgiving!

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Yep promoting Mallard will cause some discussion. For me it shows Cunliffe’s approach to politics. He is quite indifferent to the personal attacks on him. The goal is to get Labour into shape for the next election and to get everyone contributing to their fullest extent.

      • Craig Glen Eden 1.1.1

        Totally agree MS.

      • Pete 1.1.2

        To be fair to Mallard, I can’t recall him misbehaving since Cunliffe became leader – at least in public. I think he’s happiest when he has something he can get his teeth into.

        • Anne

          Agree Pete.

          Idle hands are the devil’s playground.

          Delighted Twyford moved up to no 6. He’s a rising star. A real one. 🙂

          • newsense

            I guess I’d prefer Hipkins to be higher than Twyford. I’m yet to be convinced by Twyford and if he’s to replace Shane Jones as Hand to the King, hmm. Still feel 10/11 is about right for him and that Hipkins should be above him.

            Maybe Mallard’s work on hobbling Cunliffe is being asked to be replicated on the Nats. Happy to see Mallard back actually, if he can be relied apon to be a party man. He’s a very experienced political operator and a long serving electorate MP.

            and no move for Lees-Galloway or for Clark at the moment. Or any sign of Charles Chauvel being seconded from the UN?

            The Water allocation a clear signal to the Greens?

            • Anne

              I know Phil Twyford well newsense. He’s one of the hardest working and most competent politicians I’ve come across and I’ve known a fair few over the years. He’s had a good grounding on the back benches too which, in my view, is essential experience before letting MPs loose in important portfolios. Once he’s been given the chance I think you will find he will shine.

              • newsense

                I’ll take your word for it. You’re a regular here and usually with good sense, not just new sense! (Are you the Anne from above? different thingy)

                I guess the proof will be in the pudding. I’m a bit leary of people with ambition, who don’t also have loyalty and a sense of the history of Labour and it’s roots. I really want the next Labour government to pull together.

                I guess want I want to see from Twyford is a bit of humility, team play and achievement, and service. He’s probably been putting it in already. Wouldn’t know. But actually for the lot of them service over ambition and ego is a bit of a point of judgement. Leave us all better off than when you joined us.

                The other thing about that list- apart from the retiring Robertson there isn’t a white male from 23 down…Does that mean on performance they all deserve to be higher? Just a question?

        • Craig Glen Eden

          Who said I was singling out Mallard for special attention. I was agreeing with MS last sentence, any way I wish the new shadow Labour cabinet well, they have important work to do to save us from a National Government which is full of self interest.

      • Markymark 1.1.3

        Or conversely, despite Mallard being strongly anti Cunliffe, he has no choice given how bereft of talent the current Labour caucus is. Say what you will, Mallard has experience, despite his other failings.

        But seriously this is a caucus is desperate need to renewal and dead wood , looking at that top 10 – doesn’t inspire you with confidence at all does it. How many of these people have had successful careers outside of parliament? You could count them all on one hand.

        Bugger all, is the answer – Cunliffe, Parker and Shearer seem to be the only ones that spring to mind.

        • karol

          Actually, given the low numbers of Labour MPs currently, renewal will come via the new candidates in electorates and on the list.

          Rob Salmond has compared stats and show that the Labour caucus already has more recent entrants to their caucus than National:

          * Over half of Labour’s (post-Jones) caucus entered Parliament in 2008 or later. For National it is 47%.
          * A third of Labour’s front bench (Grant Robertson, Jacinda Ardern, Chris Hipkins) entered Parliament in 2008 or later. There are two for National (Steven Joyce, Hekia Parata).
          * At least 18% of Labour’s 2011 caucus will not contest the 2014 election. For National the apparently final figure is 24%.

          • Ant

            You kind of want people with parliamentary and specifically ministerial experience in your top 10. Wouldn’t want much of mix between old hands and newbies than what Labour already has.

            • Tamati

              Agreed. Whilst rejuvenation is important, there is something to be said for experience. There is a difference between renewal and a Stalinist purge.

          • Bearded Git

            Average ages of the 2 front benches would be useful here too

        • Tracey

          so what?

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Markymark had its ‘renewal’ last election with the lower than expected party vote.

          The national voters seem to have been had, as only last election Mps that are being shafted as deadwood were vital members of the team. Amazing what 3 years can do

      • Tracey 1.1.4

        as long as hes not involved in election strategy cos he really sucks at it.

  2. captain hook 2

    Nothing like a freshen up to rejuvenate the party. Only the tory nitpickers and poormouthers will have anything bad to say about this.

  3. karol 3

    No associate Maori Affairs for Davis?

  4. John 4

    John Armstrong and his Nat mates will paint this as a move forced on Cunliffe following the embarrassing Shane Jones defection, but one that provides him with the opportunity to keep his enemies closer to stave off another caucus coup. Myself, I just see it as another sign that Cunliffe is a pragmatist looking to blow the National Party house down, and that he clearly feels that having Mallard in the trenches with him will assist with that objective. Who knows, maybe Mallard has said something to Cunliffe in the last few weeks that has changed his views?

  5. greywarbler 5

    Water and Broadcasting – I think Broadcasting Faafoi should come under Education with both being handled by someone mature and gutsy and defensive of these two important matters to see that evidence based and quality based policy be applied.

    Water is strategic. – Gone to unranked Whaitairi.

    • karol 5.1

      Water is a very significant issue – bound to be increasingly significant.

      Broadcasting is wider than education. Broadcasting is about wider cultural engagement with entertainment, information and informed debate – and linked with IT policies.

      • greywarbler 5.1.1

        I think that in this modern age broadcasting, media, education should be interconnected. Silos won’t serve us well as we progress or regress onwards into 2100. I am not suggesting that Fairfax media should take over the schools, or Tv, or Radiojerks though.

        When tv was introduced much was said about its uses for education. But not much done except go for the commercial payoff.

        • karol

          The original Reithian idea of public broadcasting was a tripartite thing: educate, entertain, inform. I think Cunliffe is taking the right approach in linking digital media with broadcasting.

          Linking broadcasting to education narrows it’s remit and potential.

  6. With what was available this looks a reasonable reshuffle.

    Andrew Little has been bumped up the pecking order quite a bit. If Mallard intends to stay in Parliament as longs as he as suggested he should take more responsibilities.

    Interesting to see Kelvin Davis put into what should be a safe zone if that rank is reflected in a similar list position. While he’s only been given associate roles they are all in fields of particular interest to him.

    Despite Labour’s efforts in promoting gender equality this ranking is male dominated which probably reflects a reality of experience and ability.

  7. amirite 7

    So much for getting rid of neoliberalism and rogernomics.

  8. BLiP 8

    Hmmmm . . . why has Parker shrugged off responsibility for Conservation? I guess its not such a good look when he’s also cheer-leading for deep-sea oil drilling, even with the expected platitude about an “effective rapid response capability”. The “water” portfolio going to the unranked Whaitiri also casts doubt on Parker’s rah-rah-rah about economic development going hand-in-hand with a decent environment.

    Hipkins drops a spot, that’s good; Mallard back on the rise, not so good. Still quite a bit of weeding required in there, IMHO.

    • Tracey 8.1

      actions louder than words labour.

    • greywarbler 8.2

      Chickweed is a prolific weed that can actually be eaten I’ve read. So perhaps the weeds properly cultivated and pruned and dug over regularly may yield benefits to the careful environmental gardener.

  9. Chooky 9

    assuming they will be in coalition with the Greens …Conservation and Water will be in the Green Bag?

    imo …maybe Education will also be in the Green Bag?…someone needs to take on Education in a big way to counteract NACT’s policies of privatisation ( Charter Schools) unwarranted focus on testing in the lowest socio-economic areas ……and user pays in the tertiary sector where many young NZers are being denied the chance because of fees…and fee paying foreigners are taking their places

    Hipkins and Labour have not really performed yet in education imo…but maybe they are keeping their powder dry?…policies yet to be announced?

    • Tracey 9.1

      what makes you think cunliffe prepared this list with the greens in mind?

      • Chooky 9.1.1

        note the question marks?….answer i dont know if he did or didnt

        …but if I were expecting to go into coalition with another Party or two…..I would be making sure that there were some inviting gaps their MPs could slot into…eg Winnie into Foreign Affairs…and I would be keeping other Labour contenders very busy with other portfolios of an important nature so they are not too disappointed when they let the coalition partners in…

    • Tamati 9.2

      It wouldn’t surprise me if he considered the Greens when making this line up.

      It would be logical for Cunliffe to farm off the environmental type portfolios to the Greens. It would be a win for both parties. Labour looks like they care about the environment, Greens get to implement actual policies in a portfolio that’s close to them.

      Labour will definitely hang on to Education though. It’s always been one of their strong points and the teachers unions will be expecting a Labour minister.

    • Colonial Viper 9.3

      Hipkins and Labour have not really performed yet in education imo…but maybe they are keeping their powder dry?…policies yet to be announced?

      NB Education insiders really like the work Hipkins has been doing, and it is a big reason why Cunliffe has kept that major portfolio with him (despite Hipkins very public former role in the ABC club).

      • Chooky 9.3.1

        well that is good about Hipkins and the “insiders”…i look forward to seeing his good work made available to those on the ‘outside’…as I say i havent seen much of Labour’s education policy yet

  10. The Real Matthew 10

    Not much to talk about on this reshuffle.

    A little disappointed to see Goff so far down the list. Haven’t heard too much from him but what we have heard has been quality.

    Kelvin Davis is the other interesting one. A little surprised to see him straight into a ranking given Labour will want Hone to win his seat. Perhaps Labours internal polling has Hone comfortably ahead.

    My only other comment is that the #manban doesn’t seem to ba having much of an effect. Do I count 4 females out of the first 15?

    • Chooky 10.1

      …well maybe some of them could start to wear dresses and lipstick?….hasnt done some Labour MPs any harm in the past eg Georgina Byers ?….who was absolutely gorgeous and very very popular !…way more popular and lovely than you know who? ….the Crusher one with the pearls

    • fender 10.2

      You should do your homework, the “man-ban” was quashed.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.3

      Hone is well ahead. The guy lives and breathes his electorate work.

  11. Disraeli Gladstone 11

    I’m going to sound like an urban liberal here, but I’m really disappointed with how the Arts, Culture and Heritage has been treated by Labour. The Associate roles have gone to Robertson (who has plenty of other concerns above it) and Fenton (who, to be honest, isn’t a star performer.) Meanwhile, while Ardern seems to recognise the importance of the field, she has the portfolio for Childrens, Corrections and Police, which she seems to concentrate more on.

    I absolutely admire Finlayson’s performance as Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and I think his work has been the one true success story of the National government. But he could be pushed so much harder on Arts and Culture.

    Disappointing that politicians aren’t ready to acknowledge both: the importance of arts and culture for society, but also the untapped economic potential of the creative sector. Robertson with Economic Development and Assoc Arts, Culture and Heritage is a start, but there needs more linking.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 11.1

      Arts and Culture is way down the list of priorities as its mostly dying in the performance areas. Opera, Ballet, Orchestra rarely have audiences under 50, and are getting smaller by the year

      • Chooky 11.1.1

        …sad…in France i think they have special subsidies so that ordinary people on low incomes …workers, students, families can a partake in the arts…and an appreciation of opera , ballet , orchestra , plays etc … is not regarded as the preserve of the wealthy

        Arts and Culture are vitally important for a Nation’s and culture’s sense of well being….as they well know in France

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.2

        Arts and Culture is way down the list of priorities as its mostly dying in the performance areas. Opera, Ballet, Orchestra rarely have audiences under 50, and are getting smaller by the year

        Yeah, public broadcasting has mostly been dying too, so lets kill that while we are at it.

        Oh wait, a large part of the public’s exposure to arts and culture in NZ has historically come from public broadcasting, I wonder if that has something to do with it?!

        Anyhows, a public without any sense of the traverse of history, literature and culture is a public primed to become individualistic self concerned consumers. Exactly what we have now.

        It’s utterly frustrating to see how the neoliberals have so successfully changed NZers view each other and view their nation, and how the Left struggles with how to evolve and transform it to something different than that which we have now.

        Religion, spirituality, culture, music, literature, writing, theatre, these are just some of the ways forward to bring communities together. Not policy manifestos.

        • Disraeli Gladstone


          I really want to sit down with the Greens and Labour and just put forward this case. They should be presenting a narrative about what life in New Zealand could be like: community-oriented, educated, cultured, multicultural and the Arts can be one section of this narrative.

          Instead we get bits by bits piece of good (and not so good) policy that has a common theme but isn’t being put into a story.

          Labour and the Greens are still not building an alternative version of New Zealand yet, they’re working brick by brick rather than painting the entire landscape.

          • karol

            The Greens have done that consistently – they did it last election. I expect them to roll out a comprehensive overview of their agenda come this election campaign.

    • Olwyn 11.2

      I do not count myself as an urban liberal, even though I am in fact urban and somewhat liberal, but I too would like to see more emphasis placed on the arts for the reasons you suggest. I also think that a healthy arts sector has a positive effect on people’s morale in general.

  12. karol 12

    Arts and culture doesn’t need to be elitist – it’s also the music and film industry, gaming, etc. It’s the area of activity that can unite people, and communicate their values and experiences in an engaging way.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1


      neoliberals always cut funding to community arts and culture as they are activities which make people realise that there is far more to life than working and making profit for capitalists.

      Arts and culture doesn’t need to be elitist – it’s also the music and film industry, gaming, etc.

      NB it’s very easy to fall into corporate and economic rationales for asserting why arts and culture has value to humanity – a trap to be avoided.

      • karol 12.1.1

        True – community arts and culture rather than corporate industries’ version of it.

    • Disraeli Gladstone 12.2

      Exactly. I think there’s this sense that Arts just means Wagner, Goethe and the like. I’d love for a politician to step up to the mark and explains the fullness of the area. Recognise opera and theatre alongside wall art and comedy.

      And I agree with CV that talking about the economics of Art is potentially falling into a trap, but I think a two-pronged focus is still the best approach:

      A: Art and culture is crucial to society at a fundamental level. It gives people expression and the chance to live.
      B: And if you’re not buying into that, it’s also a valuable and increasingly important section of the economy.

  13. Sacha 13

    You’re worried about Arts and Culture – represented by those ranked 5 and 3?

    Try Disability at 28/unranked.
    Less important than Animal Rights and Americas Cup at 15 apparently.

  14. tc 14

    It’ll do, the mix is OK now get those candidates right and very much game on.

    Ducky, Phildo and Kong have to deliver in this campaign, focused and brief FFS no lectures.

    It’s all about looking ready to govern and then see what hand MMP deals you

  15. Murray Olsen 15

    It would help me a lot if there were a couple of sentences beside each name saying why they’d been chosen for the role and what policy direction they intended to take. There are far too many names there for my liking where the synopsis of policy directions would be “Continue the good work we began in 1984.” There are others where I would expect some sort of woolly corporate speak such as “Ensure that all stakeholders in the process are adequately represented and go forward confident that their concerns have been aired.”

    I don’t see anything there that would persuade me to give Labour my party vote at all. I might end up voting Labour in an electorate to try and get rid of a Tory, but this lot will really have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to do anything worthwhile.

  16. Harry Holland 16

    Would like to see the +/- places moved for each. I can’t see it reported anywhere.

  17. Harry Holland 17

    So here it is… With Jones’ departure, MPs ranked below 4 would have hoped to be at least +1. Anything less than +1 is a demotion.

    Winners are Mallard, Little, Twyford.
    Undemoted are Ardern, Mahuta, Shearer, Sio, Goff.

    The rest below 6 effectively get a demotion.
    The biggest losers are Street, Faafoi, Hipkins, Wall, Fenton.

    1                                 Cunliffe –
    2                                 Parker –
    3                                 Robertson –
    4                                 King –
    5                                 Ardern +1
    6                                 Twyford +5
    7                                 Cosgrove –
    8                                 Mahuta +1
    9                                 Hipkins -1
    10                              Moroney –
    11                              Little +6
    12                              Shearer +1
    13                              Sio +1
    14                              Goff +1
    15                              Mallard +12
    16                              Street -4
    17                              Wall -1
    18                              Mackey –
    19                              O’Connor –
    20                              Clark –
    21                              Lees-Galloway –
    22                              Davis New
    23                              Beaumont –
    24                              Woods –
    25                              Faafoi -3
    26                              Fenton -1
    Unranked             Curran
    Unranked             Dyson
    Unranked             Prasad
    Unranked             Huo
    Unranked             Tirikatene
    Unranked             Whaitiri
    Unranked             Willams
    Unranked             R Robertson

  18. Not a PS Staffer 18

    It is right that this is not headline grabbing stuff. We need to leave the airways clear for the National Party self mutilation show.

    Re-shuffles are very delicate matters: I’m sure Cunliffe watched how Helen Clark crafted hers. Loyalty should be rewarded as well as building bridges with former adversaries. Lees-Galloway, Wall and Moroney took a lot of shit from Robertson’s friends.

    Rob Salmond’s stats on party turnover is a surprise to me: a pleasant surprise. There is still a strong perception that Nats have done a lot better in refreshing their benches. We need to address that…….mmmm…..a few faces come to mind.

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