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Labour’s reshuffle announced today

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, November 30th, 2015 - 250 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, labour - Tags: , ,

Andrew Little is set to announce a new Shadow Cabinet today -I know, I know, the phrase Shadow Cabinet is so #ukpol but it’s also too cool not to use:

Tracy Watkins has some reckons:

Some big movers are tipped in Labour leader Andrew Little’s first big reshuffle.

“We’ve got to think not only about the portfolio allocations, we’ve got to think about chief whip and junior whip in a new government, and positions outside Cabinet, positions available for potential coalition partners.

The reshuffle is an important positioning move for Labour as the year rolls to a close. While the party’s poll ratings are up on the election result, Labour continues to trail National by a large margin.

Little said next year would be about “knuckling down” and refining policies that were “definitive enough and bold enough” to give voters the “measure of who we are in 2017”.

The long and short of it – according to Watkins – is:

  • King to remain deputy but gain an “understudy” in health, with her eyes on a diplomatic posting early in the term
  • Ardern and Davis to get some good meaty roles – no surprise given their respective profiles and some damn fine campaign work on Serco and Christmas Island
  • Twyford vs Shearer for trade – which could influence Labour’s position on the TPP
  • Good things for Sue Moroney who’s done great work on paid parental leave
  • Possible bad news for Mahuta and Cunliffe
  • Nothing for Goff for obvious mayoralty-related reasons

Little also confirmed this is the “last reshuffle” he’s planning before the election and

I have no inside information on the new rankings myself but if this is going to be the team to take us into 2017 – including some indication of what portfolios might be up for grabs for the Greens (and/or NZ First) – I’m looking forward to it being an exciting one.

UPDATE: Radio Live are Periscoping the announcement.

New rankings and portfolios are now up on the Labour website. Scoop has a PDF of the caucus rankings here.

Labour’s media release:

Labour line-up to take the 2017 election
Opposition Leader Andrew Little has today announced a strong and talented shadow Cabinet to take Labour into the 2017 election.
“Labour had an impressive intake of fresh faces after last year’s election and newest MPs have now had a year to show what they’re made of.
“This reshuffle rewards hard work and continues my drive to renew our Caucus line up.
“Kelvin Davis moves up after he shone the spotlight on Serco scandals and the treatment of detainees in Australia. He will now take on Māori Development.
“Megan Woods joins the front bench in recognition of the important work she is leading in Canterbury and on climate change.
“Newer faces Jenny Salesa and Peeni Henare move into the Shadow Cabinet, along with Meka Whaitiri who takes on local government.
“High profile MP Jacinda Ardern moves up along with Phil Twyford who adds Auckland Issues to his bow.
Stuart Nash moves into the Shadow Cabinet and picks up Police. Her tireless campaigning on paid parental leave sees Sue Moroney promoted.
“Today’s reshuffle is a strong mix of new talent and experience – and builds a solid team to win in 2017,” Andrew Little says.

250 comments on “Labour’s reshuffle announced today ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Bryce Edwards was on RNZ this morning, talking up Davis’ impact and naming him politician of the year, and suggested that if Labour’s poll numbers (and Andrew Littles for preferred PM) don’t rise, then people will start talking about Davis and/or Ardern rolling Little.

    The media really do love to jump on the ‘star of the moment’ and talk up their leadership profile. Short attention spans.

    Cunliffe will likely be demoted and Mahuta almost certainly will be.

    • Sabine 1.1

      define “then people will start talking about”. Who are ‘the people that will then start talking about”.

      Really that what gets to me.
      The polls are meaningless if the methodology of who was questions is not made clear, and frankly most of the polls don’t.I.e. Saying 1500 people said this or that means nothing if 1400 of the 1500 are National Voters or non voters in the last election. Clearly they would not support any leader of the Labour party, no matter how many times they would change the leader or if they would knit a leader out of true blue national wool.
      I mean ask 1500 people that voted for any of the other parties then national last year, and see how much approval John Key would get? Will that mean the national party would rail road him, or that the stenographers at the Herald would drivel editorials about how John Key needs to be replaced with Hans Franz?

      As for the media, it seems to me that they essentially engage what could only be described as ‘circle jerking’ as less and less people watch any of the political programs or tv in general, but rather watch on demand or download and if it is only to watch tv without ads.

      As for the NZ Herald, what is the age group of NZ Herald readers, and what / whom would they vote for?

      Again, i don’t know many people that actually buy the Herald, and my good friend the Dairy Lady next door is ordering less and less the NewsPaper, as less and less people are happy to part with money to pay for what essentially is Rugby Wanking and advertising.

      So who are “the people that want XYZ as Caliph in place of the Caliph?

    • Northsider 1.2

      Kelvin has clear and strong values and had won an electorate as a result. Kelvin has a high work rate and was received TV exposure for his causes and campaigns rather than himself.
      On the other hand, Ardern………………..
      ….please add your text here.

      • Aaron 1.2.1

        The other thing about Kelvin is that he got rid of Hone Harawira so the establishment in NZ will have taken note that he can be trusted.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    It was Bryce’s opinion that people would “start talking about Davis and/or Ardern rolling Little”, not my opinion nor the opinion of the people who were polled.

    • Sabine 2.1

      so essentially :the people; don’t exist.

      so the commentary is useless. And what is it with that obsession of Ardern and Davis?

      Who are the people that would want them….unless that is defined any one who sprouts :The People: might as well be making stuff up for shit n giggles and to see what sticks.

    • Sacha 2.2

      “People”. Like most pundits he’s talking about the Thorndon bubble as if it represents anything broader.

  3. Whispering Kate 3

    Why is it suggested Cunliffe will be demoted. I thought he had kept a low profile since he was rolled, he is known for high intelligence and experience in the portfolio’s he has had. I would have thought Labour needs all the experience they can get and if Cunliffe is demoted down the list won’t he just want to get out of politics – is this what they want??

    • Northsider 3.1

      Very very disappointing if it’s true. Cunliffe brought great success to the Labour Party an a minister for Telecommunications, Immigration and for Health.
      He has been effective in his Tertiary and regional portfolio. He has kept his head down on non portfolio issues as that is the correct think for a past leader to do.
      Cunliffe would be a great asset to a future Labour government. It is very regrettable that Andrew is letting Robertson have his way on this.

      • Whispering Kate 3.1.1

        I think Northsider he is too left for this present Labour Party. While Labour and National are so much the same there will never be an opportunity to have a point of difference for voters. I see in Auckland every day so many homeless sleeping rough that its just disgraceful. I have a friend who is anything but homeless, she owns her own home but her two married children cannot afford to keep up with Auckland rents. One of the children along with husband and two kids are going to have to live in her garage until they can find suitable rental accommodation – they have been given notice right on Christmas – figures doesn’t it. These kids have jobs and got decent educations – why people who are homeless are considered just hopeless and unemployable etc beggars belief. Young people here cannot own homes unless its inter- generational and they get help from their relatives if they have wealth. We are creating a two-tiered society and while these two main parties cling to the same old theories of growth and money we are never going to get some balance in our society. Cunliffe maybe doesn’t cut the mustard in photographs but at least he knew where his heart was. Enjoy your Christmas and I mean this sincerely.

        • Chooky

          +100 Northsider and Whispering Kate…I wont be voting Labour…as far as I am concerned it is a Liberal Party now , we just have to face this

          ….there is a hole for a Party to take on the Labour name and history prior to its rogering

          imo Mana is the real Labour Party..maybe it needs to rename incorporating the ‘Labour’ name eg ‘Mana Labour’ or ‘Labour Mana’

          • Simple Simon

            So true Chooky.

            Mana is the only true left leaning party in this country.

            We need Hone to get back in parliament for any hope of fairness in NZ.

            • Matthew Whitehead

              Out of curiosity, why would you not classify the Greens as left-leaning?

              • Macro

                my thoughts entirely – as anyone here would know I’m hardly middle or right wing in my opinions and yet I am a fervent supporter of the Greens because they almost exclusively promote the policies I want promoted – and that is not just environmental issues. Social justice, sound education policies, good health and welfare policies are not just the province of Labour or Mana. I should be noted that it was the Greens who took up the Feed the kids Bill first developed by Hone.
                If we have someone saying that the Greens have moved right because of the elevation of James Shaw to the co-leadership – they are really very much mistaken. The Green economy recognises the market, but it is not to the exclusion of all else, and it is a regulated market as are all markets.
                First and foremost in Green Policies are the 4 Principles to which every policy must abide: Ecological Wisdom, Social Responsibility, Appropriate Decision-making, and Non-Violence

          • james

            or Mana Labour Internet party, Labour Mana Internet party, perhaps internet labour mana. So many options.

          • lurgee

            imo Mana is the real Labour Party..

            How’s that working out?

        • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal

          Phil Twyford has made a real brave call by confronting the planning rules that escalate land prices. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11553128

          As someone who attend the National Conference I can tell you Labour is also very much committed to KiwiBuild. This being just one cog in Labour’s housing platform. Which will include, not selling off State housing, in fact Labour like in the past will build State housing. It will also reform rental rules to provide more stability, as renting has become the new norm -51% of NZ adults live in rentals 57% in Auckland.

          Labour will reform the planning rules as Phil explains so that speculation and land banking is not rewarded -the political/economy of housing will be reset back to traditional kiwi values of fairness and giving everyone a fair-go.

          This will be part of a wider programme to provide innovative attractive cities based around public transport -CRL for Auckland, passenger rail for Christchurch that give opportunities to all hardworking businesses and workers going forward in the 21st century.

          I believe this will very much be a point of difference between Labour and National.

          • tracey


          • Michael

            Until Stephen Lusk takes him out.

          • Mike the Savage One

            “Some people are fearful density means the kinds of high rise slums you see in Hobson St.

            It need not be this way. There are plenty of examples of density done well, you only need to look at the buildings designed by Mark Todd’s Ockham Residential.”

            Mark Todd and Ockham Holdings are one of a number of major developer and business submitters that seem to dominate the Unitary Plan hearings, and what they propose is more height, more density and other more liberal rules.

            They claim they offer a balance, but any person reading their submission and evidence will soon realise, that what they preach is not quite what the end result will be. They are just experts at “selling” themselves and their products, but any new homes they build are hardly cheap, not even apartments, unless they are the shoe-box version.

            Nobody is addressing the main reason for Auckland’s land price increases, which is increasing demand by those that have healthy nest eggs, got tax cuts under the Nats and otherwise are speculators, who are keen on buying more land, with or without homes on it. It is also the idiotic obsession by Len Brown and Council, in collaboration with the business and developer lobby, to grow Auckland to 2.5 million population, most within the Rural Urban Boundary, that has led to endless speculation. Any land owner can only win big with such plans, as demand will just keep increasing prices, with lax immigration on top of internal migration from the other regions to Auckland, and natural births here.

            But good, Twyford has shown his true face, he is just one full of words in Parliament and in front of media, when he talks about “houses” and “homes”, in reality he means more apartments, stacked on top of each other up to 7 or 8 storeys or more, and this over large parts of Auckland. “State housing” will be the cheap version of the same.

            People will NOT get houses, they will get flats and apartments, on the cheap, and with shortcuts, as that is the only way to achieve “affordable” housing on the present market.

            Nobody talks about slowing immigration or encouraging people to move and settle in other regions, nobody dares talking about ending the oligopolies of such as Ockham and Fletcher residential, nobody wants to address the building supply rip off, nobody has answers how to get the qualified manpower to build more homes. That is just more untrustworthy nonsense, what Twyford writes, I fear. I have just lost a lot of confidence and trust in Twyford, as what he writes betrays his hypocrisy.

            He is now in bed with the developers, as it seems, and with neoliberal free market fan Hartwich.

            • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal

              What do you mean no one dares attack the crony capitalism of the construction duopoly.

              Phil Twyford just a few months back was doing exactly that.

              Labour is going to attack this housing crisis from multiple angles. This is a problem that is a result of multiple failures over several decades and will require multiple solutions implemented with will and determination.

              I believe the Labour party can do this heavy lifting. In fact I believe we are the only party that has the history and culture to implement such a progressive change in NZ society.

            • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal

              “you don’t have to be a conservative to believe that we have too much [land use]regulation”

              Paul Krugman

              • Mike the Savage One

                So the National government thought in the 1990s, and we know what came out of that, the leaky home disaster.

                NZers are at risk of repeating other disasters, simply believing that the main obstacles to affordable housing are the rules that local authorities have, but as usual, it needs to happen first, before the public wake up.

                • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal

                  Savage Mike you seem to think I believe in some sort of Natz mindles free market dogma. This is not the case. I have thought carefully about how we house ourselves in NZ. I believe one useful way of looking at how we provide the basic need of shelter is as follows.

                  Housing or shelter in NZ works in a capitalist social-democratic framework.

                  From the top you have rules, regulations, structures like state housing, accommodation supplements, planning rules designed to prevent the overcrowding and disease spreading urban areas of the past and so on.

                  This framework is the result of our democratic processes and is designed for the greater good. Some of the framework is dated and needs reviewing so that housing in NZ becomes more egalitarian and gives more kiwis a fair-go. Phil Twyford and the Labour Party are engaged in that process.

                  Note, at the top of framework, is the state which decide on all the top-down structures. At the bottom is the individual or family who decide how to fit into the framework -with regard to housing -where to live, whether to own or rent, whether to apply for state housing, what sort of house, big or small, big garden or small garden or no garden and so on.

                  If all the bottom up decision makers were eliminated by say nationalising everyone’s property rights you would create a communist system -but that hasn’t work so well when tried.

                  If the top-down decision makers were eliminated it would create some sort of ACT free-market land -the nightmare aspect of this would be the inability to provide new structures for the greater good.

                  The compromise is a stable social democratic system that values egalitarianism and giving everyone a fair go. Luckily despite some flirting with the extremes, NZ has a history of successfully finding through democratic practices such compromises. The Labour party has almost 100 years of institutional culture in progressively providing such compromises.

                  • Mike the Savage One

                    “If all the bottom up decision makers were eliminated by say nationalising everyone’s property rights you would create a communist system -but that hasn’t work so well when tried.”

                    We are light years away from this kind of scenario, believe you me, we are rather close to the other (ACT Party kind of) scenario that you describe, and that has been the state of affairs for quite some years.

                    Perhaps, if you followed the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) hearing process, and read what submitters presented, and what evidence and other statements are made, you would see the proof for what I just stated.

                    You may then realise that the vast majority of the latter players (submitters and those actively participating in mediation, expert conferences and hearings) are such privileged parties, who are well resourced, legally and otherwise very well represented – while holding vested interests (various businesses, developers, construction companies, some key government departments, utility service operators and large retailers).

                    They get “heard”, while the bulk of Aucklanders struggle with even keeping up with it all, let alone have the expert and legal knowledge or money to afford such. Most have not got the time to attend day time meetings.

                    You may be familiar with their website, the IHP’s one:

                    Vested interests, such also as Fletchers, as Ockham Holdings, various other developers, also the AUOG, Telecom, Vodafone, Chorus, MOBIE, Housing NZ (getting their instructions from a government friendly leadership), various property and land owning businesses and trusts, investor groups, and last not least, a very dominant Auckland Council, always happy to have confidential chats with the big submitters and listening to many of their interests.

                    So how is Mr Twyford and are Labour going to bring in more balance in Auckland, when we already have a Mayor, who claims to still be a Labour member, but seems to be standing up for the Unitary Plan, the Auckland Plan and so forth, of which only few residents know details and had input in. So much for “democracy” and a “balance” of things.

                    It’s more like a steamroller rolling over the ordinary Aucklander and NZer, what most experience.

                    But thanks for your idealistic position on how the “top” (Central Government) could improve things.

      • Jilly Bee 3.1.2

        I agree Northsider – I am seriously considering my membership of Labour. I was going to up my donations and also made a modest contribution to the recent appeal by Tim Barnett. I would be disappointed but probably not surprised if David Cunliffe decided to give it all away next year.

        • Northsider

          I won’t be leaving Labour.

          The vacuous (Ardern), the manipulative (Robertson), and the entryists (Shearer and Nash) can not be allowed to take over the party like Douglas did.

          Stay and fight. Collaborate with like minded members to push policies and candidates that are based on Labour Values. Disrupt the careerists at every opportunity.

          • Colonial Viper

            I admire your mindset and it is the strategy that the ABP branch took over the last year and a half.

            The fact of the matter is that politically and personally, it’s not worth it.

            The careerists and the right have been ascendant in Labour for a very long time now. Your energies and political talent should be invested in new political answers for NZ, not into a crippled old political barge whose officers seem determined to run aground.

            • Michael

              CV +1

            • Mike the Savage One

              Maybe have a discrete chat with Cunliffe, Laila Harre and some others, and consider the bold step, to form the True Labour Party or something similar?

              • Chooky

                +100…there would be a lot of enthusiasm for this…especially if it were to incorporate the Mana and Internet parties, which have some very talented and seasoned activist leaders

                …out with the old and dysfunctional Labour Party , and in with the new

          • Mr Burns

            No no you have to understand the program. We can’t have that Cunliffe fellow having a position of responsibility. He is far too dangerous. If he was able to take apart Telecom do you know what he could do as Finance? Better to have that totally vacuous Robertson in charge.

            • Kiwiri

              Hey, Mr Burns:

              “Ex-cell-ent !”

              Little has released the careerist and neo-lib hounds within cabinet.

  4. Anonymous Commentator 4

    King is strong and competent. Which is why she should remain as… whip.

    She’s the ‘Mother of the Caucus’, and has an excellent hold on that role. However, your deputy should be someone who can excite the nation and win over voters. Ardern does that excellently and is far more likely to impress the several hundred thousand middle-class New Zealanders that Labour must convince.

    • Ovid 4.1

      However, your deputy should be someone who can excite the nation

      The deputy PMs since 1990 have been Don McKinnon, Winston Peters, Wyatt Creech, Jim Anderton, Michael Cullen and Bill English. Aside from Peters and Anderton who were party leaders in their own right, these are hardly people I would call exciting.

      Deputy has been settled. It’s King. She has performed extremely well over the past year and my goodness, Labour is far from the factionalised party it was before the election. There haven’t been any uncontrolled leaks and almost everyone has been on message.

      No policy to speak of yet, but that’s as planned. It will be good to see Kelvin Davis and David Clark rewarded. And I think if Goff wins the mayoralty next year a successful Mt Roskill by-election will bring in some new blood and leave Labour well-placed for 2017.

      • I support Annette King as deputy leader on the principle that after she stops being part of the leadership team she finally ends her career in Parliament. She’s a hard-working MP who probably deserves a senior role, but she’s had this job for too long.

        Parliament shouldn’t be a long-term job and with how long she’s been around, like a few other long-term Labour MPs, she should be mentoring potential replacements.

    • seeker 4.2

      Ardern does not excite me as a voter. So far I have never really seen her excite anyone, nice though she maybe.

      • Hami Shearlie 4.2.1

        With you on that! That Woman’s Weekly photo-spread of her just screams “lightweight”! She hasn’t won a seat, and has never scored any major hits on Paula Bennett or Anne Tolley! Not impressive in the slightest!

        • Grindlebottom

          +1. Ardern is rated well above her actual value with many folk who want to see Labour fail.

    • Ad 4.3

      Ardern at Number 5 with effectively no portfolios is well high enough.

    • tracey 4.4

      Who is “father”, or is it a single parent family?

  5. weka 5

    Heh, just been listening to Utah Phillips folk singing about Mother Jones, most dangerous woman in America. “Let’s get the son’s of bitches”. (bugger Corybn, we need a Mother Jones).

  6. Chris 6

    Like deck chairs on the Titanic…

  7. Michael 7

    The line up reflects the caucus divisions. Little couldn’t demote Mahuta far enough; Davis and Nash are positioning themselves as the right wing factional leaders; while Robinson’s bloc will accommodate whichever faction lets them enjoy the baubles of office. It is evident that Labour has no idea how to handle the challenges of globalisation, or how to help New Zealanders deal with those challenges either. I’d say Stephen Lusk’s paying clients got their money’s worth.

  8. RedBaronCV 8

    There is something seriously wrong with a party that favours Stuart Nash and Chris Hipkins over David Cunliffe

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    They want Cunliffe gone and unranking him is a way of pressuring him to resign.

    • BM 9.1

      Yep, he’s stinking up the place.

      • Chris 9.1.1

        I hope Cunliffe stays. His presence can only help to move things along to the much needed implosion that’s crucial for Labour if it’s ever going to rebuild itself.

        • BM

          I still think he still has his eyes on the top spot, especially after his ‘I was robbed!! deranged ramble in the house a while back.

          You are right though, Labour still hasn’t had it’s much needed civil war yet, I’d say Robertson will kick it off sometime in January 2017 especially if Little is polling well.

          • Michael

            Little is not polling well and probably never will. Robertson is more likely to use Little’s poor polling numbers as an excuse for rolling him before 2017. His only worry is that Labour will probably lose the 2017 election, irrespective of who’s the boss; if Robertson is, he will carry the can, and be rolled by someone like Nash or Davis.

            • BM

              Little will be leader going into 2017 with Robertson doing his utmost to sabotage the next election.

              if Little wins he’d have to wait at least another 12 years before he’d have a chance of being PM, I really don’t think that scenario would excite Grant Robertson tremendously.

              • Daniel Cale

                12 years??

                • BM

                  If Little wins and is a total fail it would be 1 term Labour followed by 3 terms National ,12 year wait.

                  if Little was moderately successful, 2 terms followed by at least another two terms of national, more likely 3 , so a 15 year wait.

                  if Little was a raging success, 3 terms followed by another 3 terms of National, which means an 18 year wait.

                  In an ideal world for Robertson, he’ll want Little to lose the next election and then get rolled, this will give National a fourth term which will be John Key last, he’ll retire and Labour and Robertson will then be the front runners to win 2020 as they’ll be up against a Keyless National and probably a electorate looking for change.

                  So three years against at best 12 years.

                  • Michael

                    I think your analysis is about right. The question really is whether Labour is redeemable or not. If not, we need to look elsewhere.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Labour ain’t winning the next election, and Little probably ain’t winning the next Leadership selection: unless Labour get close to 30% on election day.

                    Short of that mark, we’re going to have a Grant Robertson led Labour Party post 2017 elections.

                    In essence I think you guys are right.

                    BTW Labour isn’t redeemable – both unable to take power and unable to promote or elect good, competent men and women in Parliament.

                  • Daniel Cale

                    Got you, thanks. Well thought out.

            • Mike the Savage One

              Little always strike me as having the charisma of a cold brick lying next to you in a cold winter in your bed.

          • seeker

            @BM I think you are confusing David Shearer with David Cunliffe. Shearer has been the one to shout and whine that he was ‘robbed’ since the first day after the last election. I have never yet seen David Cunliffe moan about his lot or blame others for the position he is in (unlike your favourite john key).After all Cunliffe is a man, a proper man, not an apology for one.

            • Mr Burns

              Yes one of them is a pliable blithering idiot that would have ensured National remained in power. The other is a dangerous radical with truly preposterous ideas like there should be no poverty.

              I did not get where I am today by thinking there should be no poverty.

        • Jilly Bee

          Well, if Bill English can do a Lazarus I reckon David Cunliffe should be able to do so too.

    • AmaKiwi 9.2

      CV, they ranked Cunliffe 28 out of 32!

      Does anyone imagine Cunliffe will hang around for the next election? Why would he?

      At age 52 and with brains, education, experience, and highly marketable skills in a wide range of fields, the job offers are coming in as we speak.

      David, you will be sorely missed by many of us.

      Thank you for your commitment and sacrifices for the cause.

      • Bill Drees 9.2.1

        We should be shouting for David Cunliffe to stay. He is young talented hard-working and his electorate love him.

        The real Labour Party needs him and more with values, vision. talent and the will to win.

        This is punishment to those of us who voted for the membership to have a say in the leadership selection process. Watch attempts by Robertson, via stooges, to get that rule change reversed at a forthcoming conference.

        • ianmac

          Quite possible that David Cunliffe has given a quiet nod that he will stand down in 2017. Would explain his position now. Like Phil Goff really.

          • Bill Drees

            Nah. He is a dedicated man. Labour friends in New Lynn tell me he is fully committed to making a positive contribution to the Labour Party and to New Zealand.
            Why should he go? He is a great man who had success in every Party role but one.
            Why should he go when he sees older and less capable people on the front bench like Parker and Shearer?
            Why would he go when we all see the likes of Nash getting to the top table?
            Cunliffe owes it to Labour to stay. Too many activists would loose heart if he was to be beaten by Right.

            • Ad

              Well said Bill.

            • Atiawa

              If Cunliffe was half as good as you say he is Bill, his caucus colleagues would be ensuring his voice be heard.
              I think DC does not enjoy the support of his parliamentary colleagues. Bye bye David Cunliffe.

              • Colonial Viper

                Caucus isn’t a meritocracy; they continue to hate on Cunliffe because he has qualities and talent that they cannot replicate.

                Having said that Cunliffe also has major shortcomings, the same ones which have led to this situation where they can bury him at the bottom of the rankings and there is nothing he can do about it.

                • Mike the Savage One

                  Tall poppy syndrome, one of the nastiest aspects of life in Aotearoa NZ, still these days, and even here in “cosmopolitan” Auckland, I’d say. That is what it must be, the tall poppy syndrome having most in caucus firmly in the grip.

            • The Lone Haranguer

              “Why should he go when he sees older and less capable people on the front bench like Parker and Shearer?
              Why would he go when we all see the likes of Nash getting to the top table?”

              I would have thought that those were valid reasons to go, not valid reasons to stay

            • Mr Burns

              But Cunliffe is one of those crazed radicals. How is an honest business empire owner meant to make an honest dollar with these lunatics in power?

        • AmaKiwi

          MPs like Cunliffe are silenced by the leader and caucus, forced to dumb down to the lowest common denominator.

          I would relish Cunliffe unchained from the constraints of the caucus, free to speak his mind on a wide range of social issues.

          What he needs is a position, a platform, a format from which he can let loose his intellectual power and social commentary.

          For our sake, I hope he finds it.

  10. Saarbo 10

    Overall it looks very good.

    Im comfortable that Labour are setting themselves up for a strong challenge against a well funded, fast talking and ineffective Nat Party.

    Winning in 2017 is going to be a tough challenge but with unemployment ramping up over 6% and the reality of our poor performing economy hitting more people and businesses, the Nats are going to be under serious pressure.

    Well done Andrew Little.

    • Atiawa 10.1

      100+. The next election will be won or lost for Labour on issues of economic management, jobs and wages, housing affordability and ensuring all children are being raised to enable their full potential to be realized.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        I’ve predicted many a time already how 2017 is going to happen. The economy, nationally and globally, will be in the shitter. Key and English are going to point to Little, King and Robertson and say – none of these Labourites have the first clue or track record in about economics or finance. National will play the ‘safe hands’ strategem and Kiwis will vote them in again.

        • Craig H

          I disagree – Labour will point at National having 9 years and squandering it, and as long as they play reasonably safely, National will lose because unemployment and housing will get them booted out.

          • Michael

            Unemployment and housing won’t damage National. People without work cannot afford to buy residential property and no longer vote. The rich always vote to protect their interests. If they need votes from the non-rich, a hate campaign against a marginal group (beneficiaries, people with disabilities, Maori, Chinese, …) never fails to do the trick. Labour knows this perfectly well, which is why its strategy is status quo.

            • Colonial Viper

              I think time will prove your scenario correct. In times of economic trouble people aren’t going to take more risks with an unproven inexperienced bunch.

      • s y d 10.1.2

        the next election will be carried out on issues of scaremongering, racism, lawnorder, house prices, racism, not winning an illectrit seat, terriirrsimists, sugar tax and other miscellanea.

  11. kenny 11

    The trouble with the current Labour caucus is there is a definite shortage of talent; you only have to watch parliament TV to see them ‘owned’ at every turn by National ministers who constantly have smiles and smirks on their faces when they see the feeble attempts to ask telling questions by the Labour front bench. As for Ardern and Davis – please, a less inspiring and talented pair is hard to imagine, Davis may be working hard but that is never enough, you need talent to go with it. Robertson, Hipkins and King constantly fail to get the better of their opponents and the same can be said for Andrew Little.Clarke and the rest are invisible The most capable member of the Labour caucus that I can see is Clayton Cosgrove, who unfortunately is right wing.

    No wonder the Nats are so full of confidence.

    • Chris 11.1

      “…when they see the feeble attempts to ask telling questions by the Labour front bench.”

      Exactly right. It is dumbfounding that Labour keeps asking such wasteful and destructive questions time and time again, like “does the minister agree that his reforms have been a resounding disaster that have only increased the level of blah blah by blah blah percent?” What the heck is a minister going to say to that? Yes? FFS, it’s just staggering how fucking stupid Labour’s questions are. One or two like this is fine, but Labour uses this approach as its main form of attack and the government gets a free pass, not only on the particular issue but with how they respond to the question. Carter, rightly or wrongly, sees the provocation in the question as giving license to the minister to have a go at the opposition so it’s a win-win for the government. National are laughing all the way to 2017. Labour is fucked in so many ways.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 11.2

      It’s not confidence they’re full of. Seriously, I don’t think any National supporters should be pointing the finger at Labour for lack of talent. Take a look at the National Cabinet!

  12. Ad 12

    First off the actual list is quite different from the hints provided by the columnists over the last week. This indicates to me that Little can keep it tight, and is played by neither the moisties nor the dry’s. A very positive leadership sign.

    Top work by Kelvin. Standout work this term.

    Odd seeing Twyford’s transport portfolio split. Moroney has absolutely no feel for or experience in transport. To me it signals “prepare to give Transport to the coalition partner”.

    But good that Twyford is at 4. Fully merited with his fresh policy and run against Smith.

    Shearer in Defence and Foreign Affairs! See ya later Dave!

    Cannot understand why Environment (Parker) is separate from Climate Change (Wood), which is in turn separate from Conservation (Mahuta). Not even the Greens are coherent across these portfolios. This area needs combining with the Local Government portfolio if the RMA is to be reversed back and coherent city and dairy planning made real.

    Mahuta and Sepuloni have done well to retain good rankings as neither have fired this term with anything. That tells me their caucus supporters are strong.

    To me however the standout is Ardern. The portfolios she has been given are absolutely tiny, and in a future government would have almost zero budget, almost zero policy importance, and almost zero staff. Number 5 ranking for that degree of responsibility is completely unjustified, except a signal that she will expand her role as the MSM’s cushion-fluffer, puffing Labour’s otherwise Weetbix image among populist media.

    I am sorry for Cunliffe, truly. Sorry that caucus still need that degree of punishment after the loss. It does give him time to rebuild himself (in all ways) after a difficult 2014-15. But is the clearest signal possible from the leadership that he should leave. Very tough.

    • seeker 12.1

      Agree Ad regarding Ardern and no. 5 ranking for tiny portfolios, although children are not small ( for long at least); whereas David Cunliffe has been given some gnarly ones that possibly he is the only one with enough intelligence and foresight to deal with. Unless these are the last important things for him to deal with before he leaves. I hope this isn’t the case as he is a Labour man through and through which is why National, self interested Labour MPs and journalists and BM dislike him so much, in my opinion.

    • Karen 12.2

      Not quite true re Adern – she has Justice and Small Business which are both seen as important portfolios for Labour at the moment. I have never been a fan, but I do think she is doing much better with these than Social Development where she was dire. Adern’s main attribute is that she has a very high profile particularly in Auckland but also NZ wide, and that, coupled with being very likeable, means she is important for Labour.

      I think the divisions between portfolios for environment and climate change are because these are likely to be Green Party cabinet positions in a coalition, so best that nobody in Labour gets too attached to them. Same for Transport – that has Julie-Anne Genter written all over it.

      I, too, am very sad for David Cunliffe. He hasn’t produced anything of note in the portfolios he was given since the last reshuffle, but it still seems a waste of a great brain. I loathe Nash and I can see no reason for his ranking, though keeping him busy is probably a good idea. I have no idea why Cosgrove isn’t at the bottom with Goff.

      My biggest problem is with broadcasting. Curran is useless and it is such an important portfolio. Labour have never given Broadcasting the status required. They just don’t seem to understand the importance of having well resourced public broadcasting.

      • Peroxide Blonde 12.2.1

        Ardern failed to land a single punch on Bennett in all the time on the role.
        Her contribution to the Labour cause has been to get on breakfast TV…….
        Where there opportunities for Ardern to score something over Bennett: many Social Development staff and many Union reps gave her much ammunition.
        All Arder had to do was load that ammunition into a suitable projectile and fire it.
        She was not up to it, is not up to it and never will be up to it.

        • AmaKiwi

          @ Peroxide Bland

          I deeply regret I must agree with you 100%.

        • Karen

          Yes – as I said Adern was dire in the Social Development role, but has performed much better in the roles she was given last year – Justice and Small Business.

      • seeker 12.2.2

        Karen, Cunliffe has been having many goes at Joyce over underfunding of tertiary institutions and problems with Agribusiness training. (not to mention the great speeches he has given including national”screwing the scrum”, see TheStandard this last month 4.11.15. for a vid. clip of this stimulating speech) He never lets the grass grow under his feet.

        • Karen

          I agree his performances in the house lately have been good but too little too late I think, and it is also important to get a profile outside Parliament. Nothing much out of him for a very long time, but he still is a million times better than Clayton Cosgrove! I really do not understand that at all.

          • Colonial Viper

            I agree his performances in the house lately have been good but too little too late I think, and it is also important to get a profile outside Parliament.

            Not sure what you mean “too little too late” Cunliffe has always been a natural performer in debates both in the House and on TV.

            Also caucus continues to slam Cunliffe any time he does anything to raise his profile outside Parliament.

            That’s how shite the Labour caucus is.

            • Karen

              I meant his profile and input over the past year. I haven’t seen anything from him until last month.

              I like Cunliffe and I think he is a much stronger speaker than anyone else in the Labour caucus. I think he should have remained leader, as all the shit that could be thrown at him had been, and so I figured it couldn’t get any worse, but it was clear there was such strong opposition from some in the caucus that he did the noble thing and stood aside.

              Most of those who opposed Cunliffe were from the right of caucus but not all, and his personality did seem to grate with some ordinary people. Also certain journalists did a real number on him. Perhaps it has just been difficult for him to get anything into the media, but I always check his twitter and not a lot seemed to be happening. I still think his being relegated to the backbenchers is a loss to Labour.

            • Hami Shearlie

              And Cunliffe can only give a speech in Parliament when the leader and whips allow it – that last speech was the first opportunity he was given – and what a blockbuster speech it was too!! Little, Shearer, Goff, Robertson – no-one else in fact in the whole of the Party can give a brilliant speech like Cunliffe can – unfortunately the green-eyed monster is alive and well in Caucus – that is patently obvious.

            • Michael

              CV – you must be delighted that Claire Curran’s talents were appropriately recognised?

          • Northsider

            The asking of questions in the house is strictly co trolled by the chief whip and the leadership team. On a day to day basis that is Hipkin, Robertson and King.

            Cunliffe (and any MP) has to get permission from that three to ask a question, issue a press release or make a speech.

            Cunliffe’s public persona was strictly squashed by the ABCs and now the latest humiliation.

            The sooner that self serving Wellington BBQ set go the likelier we are to start crawling back to a winnable position.

            • Colonial Viper

              Problem is, they’re not going anywhere (mainly because no where else will hire them).

              • Hami Shearlie

                And their future career prospects are so much more important than the people of NZ who are struggling – that’s the way they act and that is how they all see it – beltway to their very core!

        • Hami Shearlie

          And hasn’t Stephen Joyce squirmed? – When you watch Parliament when Cunliffe is asking questions of Joyce, Joyce’s smug demeanor disappears and he is very very careful with everything he says – he definitely fears Cunliffe, as he knows Cunliffe has his measure and knows that portfolio like the back of his hand. Maybe more people should watch Cunliffe’s recent speech in the General Debate a few weeks back!

          • seeker

            Absolutely Hami. I think Karen has missed Cunliffe doing a good high profile job on Tertiary Ed. since at least July.

      • Markm 12.2.3

        I look for something more than likeable in an MP especially one who could be senior in a Government.

        Competence is more important and she hasn’t shown that in any way shape or form.
        Her profile is simply from glossy magazines which have not revealed any policies or positions or strong drive to change the world.
        We know she has a nice smile but that docent put food on the table .

      • The Lone Haranguer 12.2.4

        “Adern’s main attribute is that she has a very high profile particularly in Auckland but also NZ wide, and that, coupled with being very likeable, means she is important for Labour.”

        So Keven Mealamu would get number 4 in a Labour list then?

      • tracey 12.2.5

        Gower described her promotion as a result of her being popular with young people and Davis for his hard work.

        So, Clark got derided in some quarters for not being pretty enough and now Ardern for being too pretty. We really haven’t come as far as some folks think.

        Not having a go at you Karen, just using your analysis to srpingboard.

        • Karen

          I never said anything about being pretty. I said she is likeable and anybody that has had any personal dealings with her would agree I think. As far as her abilities with policy and in the house I think she is definitely a lightweight, but actually most people who vote do so without ever listening to parliament and with a scant knowledge of policies. This may be strange to those of us interested in politics , but it is the reality.

          The reason Adern appears in preferred PM polls is because she has a high media profile that is, generally speaking, a positive one, particularly with younger voters.
          She has been doing a lot more networking in Auckland over the past year or so . She was on the Hikoi for Homes – a three hour walk in the rain – and the Climate Change march, she takes part in all the various ethnic and music festivals and has been doing a lot of liaison with small business.

          I do not think she is PM or even DPM material, but I can understand why she is on the front bench.

    • Cybeny 12.3

      Doesn’t Arden have the Justice portfolio?

      My understanding is that the Justice Portfolio is a pretty big ask, and probably shouldn’t be paired with too many other portfolios and justifies the ranking.

      • Colonial Viper 12.3.1

        It’s a very big ask for someone with a BA.

        • Cybeny

          Gotta agree with you there.

          I don’t think she is in anyway suited for the Justice portfolio.

          BUT, I don’t think it is appropriate to say that she only has lightweight portfolios.

        • tracey

          That’s just a petty and bullshit comment CV. Maybe put your claws away.

        • tracey

          Bachelor of Communication Studies from Waikato University

          Bear in mind our last Minister of Justice was a qualified tax lawyer. Look how that worked out.

    • Sacha 12.4

      “Cannot understand why Environment (Parker) is separate from Climate Change (Wood), which is in turn separate from Conservation (Mahuta).”

      Someone is hoping the Greens are silly enough to count those as 3 separate seats in a coalition cabinet?

      • Karen 12.4.1

        Presently they are three different portfolios held by 3 different MPs in current government.

    • weka 12.5

      “Cannot understand why Environment (Parker) is separate from Climate Change (Wood), which is in turn separate from Conservation (Mahuta).”

      Climate Change is about economics, Conservation is about tourism. Not sure what the Environment is for.


  13. Ben 13

    What is the actual reason for Ardern’s promotion? The Herald provided examples of the good work the promoted MPs have been doing, except was silent on Ardern. Labour’s media release calls her “High flying” – meaning what exactly? Her only claim to fame seems to be that she appears on the cover of women’s magazines and some people find her attractive.

    • Ad 13.1

      She’s doing what no other Labour MP can do, and that’s get MSM cut-through into a broader realm than just politics.

      Very, very few New Zealanders give a damn about politics outside three months before election year. A huge majority of people rate politicians just above tow-truck drivers in trustworthiness. Ardern does the job of making Labour feel fun and real to people under 50, to influential reporters, and and to political commentators who appreciate her ability to work light politics into culture.

      No other politician in Parliament live or dead could be a DJ. Sure, she’s a cushion-fluffer, but it ‘s a necessary job and she is really good at it.

      • Chooky 13.1.1

        re … “Sure, she’s a cushion-fluffer, but it ‘s a necessary job and she is really good at it.”

        (says it all really!…this is a Liberal Party…not a serious Labour Party)

        • Ad

          Not at all – figuring out how to work the media is an extremely necessary role. It’s also one Labour have done very poorly at for some years.

          • Colonial Viper

            Ardern is not that smart and not that talented; if she were a political threat to National the media would have let us know a long time ago. But they’ve decided that she isn’t.

            • Chooky

              +100 CV…and although she is popular with some…she certainly isn’t regarded as very effective as a politician by others

      • Once was Tim 13.1.2

        she’s going to have to do a little more than d-d-d-dj’ing and cushion fluffing to capture the attention of many of the missing million and/or convert many of the ‘cashie job’/tradie/waitakere-man blokes away from the gNats. I’d suggest a bit of pole dancing maybe

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    Well, after a look at the graphics I can say that I won’t be voting for Labour.

    • seeker 14.1

      That graphic puts it so clearly in perspective that I may well have to take a large delusional pill of some sort to vote for such a ‘team’ (especially with nash and cosgrove on it) in 2017. Desperately short on the honour bit of ‘honourable members.’

      • Mike the Savage One 14.1.1

        “I may well have to take a large delusional pill of some sort to vote for such a ‘team’ (especially with nash and cosgrove on it) in 2017. ”

        Hah, having heard and seen the new shadow line up presented by Little, I have decided I won’t be going into “rehab” any time soon (before 2017). There is just no incentive anymore.

    • Michael 14.2

      But you would never vote for Labour anyway, even if its line up were the crew who made up the first Labour government?

  15. DoublePlusGood 15

    Reasonable in the circumstances.
    Ardern shouldn’t be highly ranked as she hasn’t actually done anything. Nash should have all responsibilities taken away until such time as he stops undermining the Labour Party he is supposed to represent.
    Cunliffe should be given substantial responsibilities as he is actually good at portfolio responsibilities.
    Some of the other long serving, under-performing MPs need to be dropped down quite a bit, to encourage them to move on with their lives outside of parliament.

    • Peroxide Blonde 15.1

      Parker, Cosgrove and Shearer in the Shadow Cabinet and not Cunliffe. How does that work on the basis of Talent and Performance?

  16. Peroxide Blonde 16

    Andrew Little, you are rude and band mannered.

    To list David Cunliffe below the departing Trevor Mallard is a deliberate insult.
    It is an insult to Cunliffe, who deliver exceedingly well as a minister and was performing well in the portfolios you assigned to him.
    It is an insult to the marge number of members who votes for him in the past battles.
    It is an insult to the party to disregard talent and experience to mess like this.

    I though Andrew Little was man enough to stand up to Robertson. He is obviously not.

  17. Wainwright 17

    So Phil Twyford goes to 4 even though his racism play against Chinese voters had no effect on the polls? But Iain Lees-Galloway has been pwning Michael Woodhouse, on health and safety and zero hour contracts but gets bumped 2 positions for David Shearer and David Parker????

    Louisa Wall who has some of the best name recognition after marriage equality and held Manurewa for two terms despite all the racist rabblerousing about Pasifika voters hating the gays is still unranked, but Clayton ‘I hate Labour so much I pretend I’m not a member’ Cosgrove gets 18?????

    Along with Stuart Nash who got his mates to buy advice from Simon Lusk about starting his own party gets 19 why??

    I guess Nania Mahuta got shafted because you can only have one Maori in the top ten. At least Sue Morony gets a bump. But if you voted Little because you wanted something different than the bad old neolib days of Goff and Shearer you wonder why you bothered. The way they’re treated Cunliffe is all the proof ya need.

    • Northsider 17.1

      Twyford is so smooth he can slide uphill.
      Lees-Galloway supported Cunliffe and is getting punished.
      Shearer? ABC
      Parker? ABC
      Wall supported Cunliffe and is getting punished.
      Cosgrove? ABC
      Nash? ABC and a owned by RWNJs.
      Mahuta supported Cunliffe and is getting punished.

      You may think that there is a pattern here, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

      • Chooky 17.1.1

        lol…us chooks can see a pattern between the chaff and the wheat thrown out by Little…it is all Liberal Party puffery…and we are expected to take it..the chaff that is

      • Karen 17.1.2

        Um, Sepuloni, Moroney and Woods all supported Cunliffe, so why aren’t they being punished? Woods, Sepuloni and Mahuta are still on the front bench, Moroney has been promoted and Lees Galloway is just outside the front bench. So Cubnliffe supporters are actually doing quite well.

      • kenny 17.1.3

        Agree entirely.

        Little has been a big disappointment.

        It’s going to be a long 2 years (and then some).

  18. mary_a 18

    Kelvin Davis, who shafted Hone Harawira at the last election, with the help of Labour, National and NZ First, gets promoted! Stuart Nash, who would look comfortable in the NatzKEY camp, gets promoted! SHAME, SHAME on the lot of them!

    David Cunliffe and Nanaia Mahuta, the only two staunch Labour MPs with integrity and values connected to the principles the party was founded on. Both demoted!

    What the hell is Andrew Little thinking of here? Seems he is being manipulated by the ABCs neo libs in the party!

    Labour as far as I’m concerned now, can go screw itself into oblivion, which it will do at this rate, because with its present lineup, it’s no alternative for middle/ordinary working class Kiwis!

    And with James Shaw giving FJK a free pass re the flag issue, I can’t see myself voting Greens again next time either, which will be a first in a long time of loyalty to the party.

    Betrayed by Labour thirty odd years ago and now again with this latest reshuffle. Shaw has proved himself unreliable and untrustworthy. Another act of betrayal!

    Don’t trust Winston not to support FJK, although he does have some impressive MPS in Ron, Mark, Fletcher Tabuteau, Clayton Mitchel, Pita Paratene et al, behind him. A vote for NZ First I feel, could well be a vote for National. So at this stage, NZ First isn’t an option.

    So for me it’s Mana. Mana all the way now. Mana, the only alternative it seems, to the dross now performing on centre stage, disguised as government and opposition!

    • Chooky 18.1

      +100 mary_a

      How about Mana rename itself the ‘Labour Mana Party’ ?…I could vote for that !

      …and if it was an Emerald ‘Labour Mana Party’ …it would kill two birds with one stone

      ( this party under Little is no Labour Party , it is a Liberal Party….the real founding Labour Party got rogered and has never recovered)

      …and lets hope David Cunliffe ( the membership choice) jumps ship !

      • …why would renaming the Party persuade you to vote for it? o_O If Mana is worth voting for, it’s worth voting for whether they include the word “labour” in their name or not.

        • Chooky

          Mana is a working class party with working class values/priorities and representatives of the working class

          (eg Annette Sykes, Hone Harawira, Laila Harre, John Minto..etc…maybe Cunliffe would join along with disillusioned others from the Little Labour Party)

          …therefore Mana Party is really the rightful heir to the Labour Party as it was originally founded …this existing so called Little Labour Party is a sham…it is really a Little Liberal Party

          ( and btw i did vote for Mana last time)

          imo people vote for Labour out of habit …eg some members of my family

          …if Mana were to call themselves the Labour Mana Party…. disillusioned Labour voters who wanted Cunliffe could see another Labour Party continuation option to vote for….in other words a real Labour Party…the REAL working class no frills Labour Mana Party!!

          • Tiger Mountain

            yep, agree with Chooky;

            reshuffle here = a case of the “bland leading the bland”
            Labour well and truly rogered this country’s working class people in the 80s and has never fully recanted and why would they–they support the retention of the Reserve Bank Act, SOEs and latterly it seems by virtue of not coming out with a clear position–the TPPA

            NZ needs reforms such as a massive house building programme and restoration of union rights and a UBI more than ever but they are not even up for that as the caucus rather than the members still runs the party

            apart from basic politeness to some individual Labour members I have known for years from unions etc they get no support from me, social democracy as an ideology of reformism stifles and misleads class action, so shuffle away, this deck is stacked with jokers

          • DS

            The working class don’t vote Mana. Or Green.

            The working class either votes Labour, or doesn’t vote. Or votes National, depending on the part of the country.

    • weka 18.2

      “So for me it’s Mana. Mana all the way now. Mana, the only alternative it seems, to the dross now performing on centre stage, disguised as government and opposition!”

      Unless something significant changes in Mana in the next few years, voting for them in 2017 increases the chance of a fourth term for National, it doesn’t decrease it.

      Vote for the Greens on their policy, or hold your nose and vote Labour, because those are the only two parties that have any chance of forming a left wing government. Personal preference doesn’t really come into changing the government, it’s all about MMP and the politics.

  19. Westiechick 19

    I am sad and disappointed. I don’t know if I can vote for the people who shafted Cunliffe (and Labour supporters) during the last campaign. I have never not voted Labour and never even thought about it but anything else on the left is starting to look like a good option.

  20. Daniel Cale 20

    Reading the comments here it is clear why Labour are in such trouble. The divisions within the party are so wide and so deep that I actually feel sorry for Andrew Little having to dance on a pin to keep this all together.

    The other problem Little faces is that, despite claims to the contrary, there has been very little rejuvenation within the caucus. The dearth of talent is actually reflected by the fact that Jacinda Ardern is seen as a leading light within the party! Labour remain in serious trouble, and it is ironic that at a time when there are calls for renewal, left wingers like Cunliffe are demoted, and those on the right of the party (David, Nash) are promoted.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      And Cunliffe isn’t even “Left.” He’s just more Left than the current incarnation of Labour, the version of Labour which values pro-globalisation types like Parker, Shearer and Nash above him.

    • weka 20.2

      Here’s hoping for 15% for the GP then, because they’re packed with talent.

      • Chooky 20.2.1

        Personally I think NZF will be the winner here!

        ( Greens have soiled themselves over the flag and other issues supporting jonkey nact…people don’t trust the Greens …they think they are flakey, bluey and middle class)

        …unless the the word ‘Labour’ can be applied to the Mana Party as in ‘Labour Mana Party’ ….and it can get up and running again as a real socialist left alternative …my vote will go to NZF…because I very much doubt they will go with Nactional

        • weka

          Yes, but your doubts are immaterial to what might happen. Peters might choose National, there is no way around that. Unlike the GP who you don’t like anymore over one mistake but who can’t support a National government.

          Even if Peters chooses Labour, the more seats the have, and the less seats the GP have, the more centrist govt we get rather than a left wing one. Which is fine if that’s what you want.

          • tinfoilhat

            @Weka, Chooky has never favoured the Green party, he/she never fails to deride them at every possible opportunity.

            Having read that particular commenters views on a number issues on this site I wouldn’t be concerned with what their views are.

        • tracey

          You want a left party that is working class, and want Labour to get with Mana… to achieve that you will vote for one of the more conservative politicians of our times… kaaaaaaaaaaaaaay

      • McFlock 20.2.2

        True, they’ve got some effective people, the Greens.

      • Daniel Cale 20.2.3

        No, they’re not. They just look good when compared to Labour. The Greens will always appeal to the “10% ers”, but 15%, not likely.

    • millsy 20.3

      In 10-15 years I would wager that NZLP no longer exists and will be replaced by one or more new entities. If the Greens had any nous, they would drop Labour like a stone and go all out to replace them as the official opposition.

      • AmaKiwi 20.3.1

        If anyone with a knowledge if contemporary political studies were to form a new political party, that party would not even remotely resemble the NZ Labour Party.

        Organizationally the NZLP is a herd of 19th century cannibal dinosaurs.

    • tracey 20.4

      He just has’t had enough Mike Sabin’s, aye Daniel?

  21. ianmac 21

    All this talk of Cunliffe’s demise sounds fishy to me. Avoid a direct attack on Andrew so instead worm away at the lack of choice for David. MMmmm. Sneaky plot orchestrated from Joycie perhaps?

  22. james 22

    So 14 men and only 8 women in the shadow cabinet.

    And on current polling would only get 5 in.

  23. Macro 23

    OMG what an absolute disaster the Labour Party are now – I hang my head in absolute amazement at their crass stupidity.
    If they think the people of NZ are going to vote for National Lite they may be right.. But I would hope not – and NO! Politics is not about playing smart games and shiny PR campaigns its about people and principles – something Little and is gang have very little of.

    • Michael 23.1

      I think the Labour Party calculates that the people they want to vote for it in 2017 will vote for National-lite. The target voters are lower-middle class consumers who stopped voting Labour in 2005 and switched to Nact instead (Labour only won the 2005 election because the Unions got the working class vote out in the big cities. It lost in 2008, and thereafter, because the Unions could no longer do it). Labour’s target voters in 2017 are people who think they are rich because the residential property bubble in the big cities lets them buy lots and lots of bling. These people do not care about anything, or anyone, else. It should be obvious that Nact tailors its message, precisely, to these people, until they lose their purchasing power and drop out of the middle classes. Labour seems to have concluded that it’s just too hard, or too boring, to connect with the underclass, most of whom are, admittedly, alienated from politics and too busy with the daily struggle to survive to have time for anything else. While I think Labour’s strategy is morally repugnant, I must concede that some astute political cunning lies behind it.

      • Colonial Viper 23.1.1

        I think you are being generous with your assessment; it’s a venal, short sighted strategy, but one that Labour has used several elections in a row now. It may eventually lead to a single Labour victory but at the expense (again) of Labour’s natural base of working class support, which means that long term Labour’s prospects will be durably diminished.

        Which is what we are seeing now.

        • Michael

          But if the mainstream parties only have to concern themselves with a small sliver of the electorate, they’ve effectively gamed out MMP and can concentrate on pandering to the prejudices of their target demographic to the exclusion of everything else. Which makes politics a lot easier and cheaper to conduct. Then the politicians can get on with the real business – enjoying the baubles of office.

  24. Wayne 24

    I find it puzzling that Louisa Wall isn’t more highly ranked.

    She has made a real difference with her Members Bill. She is an effective and interesting debater. She works hard in her electorate.

    Yet she keeps being poorly ranked. What gives?

    And in my view supporting Cunliffe three years ago does not count as a good reason.

    • GregJ 24.1

      The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013 was passed 2 years ago so it’s “yesterday’s news” – what has she done recently? I suspect also her success with that legislation is seen as being part of “identity politics” – something the current Labour caucus (leadership?, party?) appear to want to move away from. 😐

      • Ergo Robertina 24.1.1

        Cunliffe’s devotees still point to his telecom unbundling as proof of competence, and that was nearly 10 years ago.
        While identify politics is on the backburner, I would have thought the point was demonstrating the political skill needed to get a tricky piece of legislation through the house.

        • GregJ

          Yours is a logical piece of reasoning – so therefore totally unsuited to the current Parliamentary [edited in for clarity] Labour Party. 👿

          Louisa was pretty clearly a Cunliffe supporter – so ipso facto no place for her in the current set up.

        • millsy

          His unbundling is the reason why we now have ISP’s offering unlimited data plans.

          • Ergo Robertina

            Yep, I was pointing out it was a while back now (in response to Greg’s point about Wall’s biggest political achievement being yesterday’s news), not meaning to diminish its significance.

            • Kiwiri

              Years ago, a Natz cabinet minister said to me at a Government function that Labour’s caucus is better at chopping down tall poppies than growing talent. I rolled my eyes and dismissed that right away but I have been reevaluating that comment in more recent times.

    • tracey 24.2

      We are in agreement Wayne. I expected to see her higher up.

  25. infused 25

    So kinda much the same then.

    Ardern gets far too much credit…

    Cunliffe got bitch slapped back to the back of the bus. Didn’t see that one coming.

    • GregJ 25.1

      Cunliffe got bitch slapped back to the back of the bus. Didn’t see that one coming.

      Unless you missed out a sarc tag there I think it was pretty likely. Maintaining Cunliffe’s shadow ranking place makes him a target which Little has to waste time defending. He’s got him working on policy stuff in the background – superannuation being a biggy – they may not be releasing and discussing policy yet but the work has to be done. If Labour lead a government in the next term then (and assuming DC stands) then he can always bring him back into a line-up if he needs to (I accept though it seems a waste of DC’s talent but the media and some in the caucus still seem to dislike/hate/loathe him).

      • Colonial Viper 25.1.1

        Optimistic thinking there mate, but Little couldn’t/wouldn’t stand up to the ABCs in this reshuffle, and the same would apply in the future.

        If I were Grant I’d be busy finding more pliable careerist young candidates to put on the Labour List 2017.

        • Michael

          No shortage of them, AFAICS. I’ve heard of a plot by “Head Office” to gain control of the list selection process by excluding (or reducing) the grassroots involvement. ILO your post above, that makes sense.

        • GregJ

          You are probably right – although winning an election may strengthen Little’s hand so that at that point he may feel he has more autonomy of action (not that I’m optimistic of that actually taking place in 2017). :/

  26. Olwyn 26

    I think that Andrew Little is a strategist but not a dissembler, and I will wait a little to see how things look to be going before renewing my membership next year. Prima facie, it looks as if the usual suspects continue to control the party whatever the rest of us do. However, it could also be that Cunliffe is willingly getting himself out of the way to remove an easy target, and that Little is trying to create a cohesive force with which to face the next election. To get beyond the current impasse, a bigger caucus is needed, and to get that, you need to set out with a reasonably tight ship.

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      No way has Cunliffe decided to gladly taken another knife in the back for the ‘greater good.’ He’s been royally screwed by a Little who has no leverage against the Robertsonites or against the broader ABC.

      • Olwyn 26.1.1

        News reports and so on suggest that you are right about that. I feel very conflicted because I believed that Little would take the party in a sober, straightforward direction – away from the parlour games he decried in his conference speech, and find it hard to part with that belief.

  27. TheSocialDemocrat 27


    Pleased to see Davis, Ardern, Parker, Moroney, and Lees-Galloway promoted.

    I was initially very disappointed with Cunliffe’s demotion, but perhaps he could form a Labour-aligned think tank of some sort? I’d certainly join. He’s much too talented to not be involved in politics in some form, and he’s clearly interested in philosophy/theory. Either way, as long as he maintains some sort of active role in politics, I’ll be happy.

    Disappointed to see Stuart Nash move up. From what I have seen recently, his behaviour has been poor, and he seems to have more friends in National than in Labour. At least he isn’t on the frontbench.

    I think Mallard, Cosgrove and Dyson should start looking at post-parliamentary careers.

    Overall, nothing significant. Some highs, some lows.

    • Kiwiri 27.1

      The deal that has been struck is that Mallard will be put up for Speaker, and Dyson as Deputy Speaker. That is IF Labour forms government. IF.
      The tide will run out for Natz, Grant shrinking Labour’s policy target to be really very small, lots of Women’s Weekly promotion, and abracadabra, Labour wins the General Election.

      • Colonial Viper 27.1.1

        in their fevered imaginations maybe…I still can’t see any scenario where Labour gets over 30% on election day and I personally am still picking 22% to 26%.

  28. millsy 28

    Let’s be honest here. It isn’t like Little has much talent to work with. It’s like Steve Hansen having to pick a team from a bunch of East Coast/Poverty Bay club sides.

  29. millsy 29

    Pity that Cunliffe got treated they way he did.

    • Colonial Viper 29.1

      He’s still hated by a certain (powerful) crowd in caucus as much as ever.

      • Hami Shearlie 29.1.1

        Unbridled jealousy is a powerful yet shallow emotion – Funny how the Caucus seem to think that you are only a good polly if you are “liked” a la Ardern. In the real world being skilled and talented at your actual JOB and getting results is far more important than being everyone’s BFF. Maybe Caucus should focus on being “liked” by the members of the party? How many of those members joined up to vote for Cunliffe to be Leader, because they detected he had the brains and the oratory to do the job? And how many of those people will now walk. I would have thought that the members views would be of great importance right now, considering the parlous state of the Labour Party’s coffers.

  30. Paul 30

    Chris Trotter questions whether Little is just a puppet on Puppet On A String and if he has become the plaything of Labour’s dominant factions.


  31. Observer (Tokoroa) 31

    The Shuffle Cuffuffle

    I imagine that all those who think that strong Oppositions make for good parliaments and thereby good policies, will wish Andrew Little well.

    He has been on the ball in raising the profile of stars such as Twyford and Davis. Important too, to include Ahearn in the high power ranks. Has kept his astute Deputy as well.

    But too many of his Shadow Cabinet have failed to grasp the opportunities and make make an impression in Parliament and in the media. Little is carrying middle order passengers.

    His own troubles include the gaping chasm of having no electorate who have voted him into Parliament. He has been dragged in without a peoples vote. That is legal under the strange anti-democracy rules of the NZ voting system.

    Also, like any leader he does not need anybody near him who shows more talent, more nous and more media attention. Which is why Cunliffe and Wall, have been pushed way down into the hidden soggy bogs of the Party.

    Though to be fair, Cunliffe went to the last election with a Capital Gains Tax policy and a raising of Super age from 65 yrs by a couple of years. This is the sort of thing which really upsets Union workers. So Little dumped those two good policies.

    National of course, has brought in a type of Capital Gains, which is a nod of respect towards Cunliffe.

    On top of these problems, Little has been offered no support by the rather National leaning giddy Greens. Nor has he been offered support by the really talented NZ First Party.

    I hate to add this, but Andrew Little looks good when he smiles. He will not move media without that smile. But he doesn’t seem to understand that fact.

    All I know is, The Labour Party will gradually need all the Cunliffes and Walls that they can find.

    • millsy 31.1

      I belive that there is a case for *lowering* super eligibility, not raising it.

      With the way thing have been going, are going and will be going, NZ Super will probably be the only secure income that people will have. Especially those over 55 who have been permanently locked out of the job market .

      Further tightening of NS eligibility will only hurt people.

      • The Chairman 31.1.1


      • Colonial Viper 31.1.2

        Spot on. We have to lower Super eligibility as the future of secure paid employment looks increasingly bleak.

        I would propose: dropping the Super age to 60 if you leave paid employment.

        And everyone over the age of 50 gets “Mini-Super” – i.e. Super paid out at 50% of the normal rate to help people over 50 get out of debt and save up for retirement.

        • Chooky

          +100…I am sure the Labour Mana Party would agree with that!

        • Michael

          WHy not adopt a Universal Basic Income and be done with it? There are plenty of ways to raise the necessary revenue (I favour hanging and flogging fatcats but concede there are other approaches that could be taken) and it would deal with the issue of surplus labour for the “business community” to wave around like a spectre at a banquet.

        • linda

          there will need to be something the last 8 years of national haven’t prepared the country for the automation wave that has started its not just those loosing there jobs its the young who are really being shafted and not being given any chance to move out of poverty at least labour greens and even nzf has some sort of grasp on what’s happening without resorting to bull bluster and blame game national uses to hide the true state of things it wouldn’t surprise me if unemployment hits 9 percent by 2017 winz book cooking is already understating the true figure the drop income tax revenue is a much more accurate measure as bullshit Bill borrows more to cover the short fall

        • linda

          there will need to be something the last 8 years of national haven’t prepared the country for the automation wave that has started its not just those loosing there jobs its the young who are really being shafted and not being given any chance to move out of poverty at least labor greens and even nzf has some sort of grasp on whats happening without resorting to bull bluster and blame game national uses to hide the true state of things it wouldn’t surprise me if unemployment hits 9 percent by 2017 winz book cooking is already understating the true figure the drop income tax revenue is a much more accurate measure as bullshit Bill borrows more to cover the short fall

  32. TTD 32

    rather National leaning giddy Greens???

  33. Northsider 33

    Little said Cunliffe would “do the spade work” on the party’s policy on superannuation for the next election,
    “If there’s one issue that is confronting this country, going totally unanswered by this government, it’s what we need to do on superannuation.”
    Little described the role as an “expression of confidence” in Cunliffe’s ability to tackle what was a vital issue for New Zealand.

    If putting Cunliffe lower in the order than Clare Curran, Ruth Dyson, Clayton Cosgrove and Damien O’Conner is how Little shows his “confidence” in Cunliffe then he has a lot of explaining to do.

    Either Little is stupid, a hypocrite or is owned by the Robertson faction.
    I don’t think he is stupid and I’d never take him to be a hypocrite.

    • Kiwiri 33.1

      Little made his choices and he is now cornered in by the careerists and right faction who are brokered and locked into place by Godmother. The progressives are thrown out, together with several incompetents and has-beens. Will offer a more detailed analysis, maybe after a late dinner.

    • Hami Shearlie 33.2

      Seems like Little wants Cunliffe to “do all the spade work” on super, and then he will step in and take all the limelight and credit. Surprised I am not! The problem for Little and Robertson and many others who would be Leader, is that David Cunliffe just looks like a Party Leader/PM (as was the case at Mandela’s funeral) and Cunliffe also has the oratory skills, and the intelligence to take on any shadow portfolio and make it his own. The Nats FEAR Cunliffe, they are so desperate to see him gone, which is another reason why he should still be Leader. Why are Labour’s Caucus so obtuse that they can’t see that and use it to Labour’s advantage? Probably because most are careerists who are not remotely interested in the general public or even party members , only their future job prospects and pay packets seem to gain their interest.

  34. Mike the Savage One 34

    Demoting Cunliffe to the tail end of rankings is an insult, it appears that Little and others that now control the caucus are anything but forgiving for past mistakes or gaffes. The writing is on the wall, Labour will be anything else but “left”, it is heading to the very vague “centre” ground, shows little interest in getting non voters interested, and is rather trying to compete with Nats for the property owning and property desiring middle class. The rest will be rhetoric and ambiguous, emotive messaging, offering little hope for those that are hard done by under this government.

    For Cunliffe the options are now, leave Labour and consider starting a new left of centre party (if he meant his talk during last election and still may have the ambition also to become PM), where he may join up with truly progressive and inspiring smart minds, or change his career and leave politics.

    His last speech in parliament, hitting out at dirty politics and the press, that was a signal that he will chose either of the above soon, as within Labour he will have NO future. Labour has under Little chosen a dull, shade of itself future, run by apparatchiks who keep their heads down, and settle for the lowest common denominator.

    For me I agree with CV, there is no more hope for Labour with today’s choices, which is admittedly not all bad a shadow cabinet, but which does still leave too much to be desired.

    Nash, Ardern and even Davis are not the kind of front line up that I get excited about, despite of some good work by Kelvin on that Australian NZer deportee issue. That though will not be much of a vote winner, he will return to his more familiar role, being a bit of a Labour right winger.

    And Carmel Sepuloni, in charge of social security, now what has she been doing over the last year, that we should bother taking note of? Damned little, I fear.

    But Litttle leads the party, so little will be the program for 2017, I fear. I am through with Labour.

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