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Little announces Labour’s new front bench

Written By: - Date published: 11:09 am, November 24th, 2014 - 170 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, Annette King, labour - Tags:

After a delay caused by a fire alarm going off Labour’s new lineup has been announced by Andrew Little.

Annette King is to be Little’s recommended Deputy Leader and this will be confirmed presumably by Caucus at its meeting tomorrow and Grant Robertson picks up the finance portfolio.

Labour has released the following press release:

“Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience.

“Labour has many new and highly capable MPs who have will have the opportunity to prove their ability. At the same time our senior hands will be on deck to take the fight to the National-led Government and support our upcoming stars,” Andrew Little says.

“I am pleased to announce Annette King will be my deputy for the coming year. In recent weeks she has shown how crucial her wisdom and strength is to Labour.

“Grant Robertson will be my Finance spokesperson and number three. He is one of the best performers in Parliament and is more than a match for Bill English.

“Nanaia Mahuta’s lead role in Labour regaining the Māori seats is recognised in her number four position and her reappointment as Māori Development spokesperson.

“Talented up and comers Carmel Sepuloni, Kelvin Davis and David Clark are taking on key roles and will be important members of my front bench.

“These roles will be reviewed in a year to ensure Labour has the strongest possible team to head into the 2017 election.

“This is an exciting new line up and I’m looking forward to getting down to business,” Andrew Little.

  1. Andrew Little, Leader of the Labour Party, Security and Intelligence
  2. Annette King, Deputy Leader, Health
  3. Grant Robertson, Finance
  4. Nanaia Mahuta, Māori Development
  5. Phil Twyford, Housing, Transport, Associate Auckland Issues
  6. Chris Hipkins, Senior Whip, Shadow Leader of the House, Education
  7. Carmel Sepuloni, Junior Whip, Social Development
  8. Kelvin Davis, Police, Corrections, Domestic and Sexual Violence, Associate Regional Development, Associate Education (Māori)
  9. Jacinda Ardern, Justice, Children, Small Business, Arts & Culture
  10. David Clark, Economic Development, Associate Finance, Associate Health
  11. Su’a William Sio, Pacific Island Affairs, Local Government, Associate Housing (South Auckland), Interfaith Dialogue
  12. Iain Lees-Galloway, Labour
  13. Megan Woods, Environment, Climate Change
  14. David Cunliffe, Regional Development, Tertiary Education, Innovation, Research & Development, Science & Technology, Associate Economic Development
  15. David Parker, Shadow Attorney General, Treaty Negotiations, Trade & Export Growth
  16. David Shearer, Foreign Affairs, Consumer Affairs
  17. Phil Goff, Defence, Veterans’ Affairs, Disarmament, Auckland Issues, Ethnic Affairs”



170 comments on “Little announces Labour’s new front bench”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    No sign of Mallard, or Nash.

    Slightly odd that Auckland Issues is way down the list with Goff at #17.

    • Keir 1.2

      I think Phil Twyford as Transport, Housing, and Associate Auckland issues will tend to take a lead on Auckland transport / housing issues. Goff might be lining up a mayoral run, who knows.

      • GregJ 1.2.1

        Goff might be lining up a mayoral run, who knows.

        Hmmm – there’s a thought.

      • Sanctuary 1.2.2

        Nah, Penny Hulse will be the next mayor – Len Brown is a lame duck, he just hasn’t worked it out yet.

        • Lanthanide

          I think he very well knows. Someone (maybe you?) suggested he was front-footing these unpopular rating changes, to give Penny a clear run next time.

      • Lanthanide 1.2.3

        Ah, didn’t see Phil with Associate Auckland. Yeah, I think that covers it well enough.

        As yes, I’d heard the rumours of Goff eyeing up the mayoralty. I don’t really know enough about Auckland to judge, but I guess if National/Key were out of favour, he might have a shot.

    • Tracey 1.3

      mallard apparently wanted dep speaker and was happy with that.

    • Mr Nobody 1.4

      Does that mean Labour rates the importance of Interfaith Dialogue ahead Auckland?

      • Auckland already gets waaaaay too much attention from Parliament as it is. Just because it’s a quarter of our population doesn’t mean it needs a quarter of the debate time in parliament, given that other issues also effect Aucklanders. 😉

      • Clemgeopin 1.4.2

        Does that comment indicate that you right wing nasty trolls are stupid or just idiots?

  2. left for deadshark 2

    Ah, no Clare Curran,Mallard Ass dp speaker

  3. millsy 3

    King for deputy and Robertson for finance?


    We are still seeing the same old faces.

    Davis should have been given Education given his background, as well as Maori Affairs.

    Still a long way to go to next election though.

    • GregJ 3.1

      I am pleased to announce Annette King will be my deputy for the coming year.

      There may be something more here which might give a clue.

      • Economix 3.1.1

        I’m not sure about this strategy of effectively putting caucus on trial for a year? Would the public not prefer certainty over who will be carrying forward the strategic direction of each portfolio for the next few years. 12 months is not a long time to showcase one’s skills within a portfolio.

        • Lanthanide

          “Would the public not prefer certainty over who will be carrying forward the strategic direction of each portfolio for the next few years.”

          Yes, which is why the current appointments will be confirmed after 12 months, or new appointments, will also be made at that time, ~24 months before the next election.

          • Economix

            I’m not convinced. This gives me the perception that Labour are happy to float in the wilderness for another 12 months whilst the government carries on their merry way. For what it is worth, if I were in Andrew’s shoes I would have named my A Team and said to JK and his ministers we’re coming to get you. Rather than this approach of, give me 12 months to sort this out, & then I’m coming to get you.

            • Lanthanide

              Please, the average voter couldn’t give a crap who the front bench are until 3 months out to the election.

              • weka


                Given the context (the ABC shit, the past few years), triallling people for a year is entirely appropriate.

                • Once was Tim

                  It is (a smart move). AL might be perceived by many as having made to many concessions to ‘the traitors’, however I think he’s actually being quite astute (read cunning – if you prefer). We’ll see if the baby’s pacifier calms the careerist ABCers, shuts up the leakers, satisfies a few egos, and provides them with enough incentive to become a ‘Little’ more solidaristic. What it will do tho’ is provide enough space for AL to determine who is who and who is up to what.
                  I’m not necessarily a fan of AL, nor do I dislike him. A we bit namby pamby and in tune with managerialism and ‘little’ push push gentle shove shove to the left for my tastes (but that’s probably because I’m running out of life). These ‘temporary’ appointments are ekshly quite smart. Let’s just wait and see how they perform over the next few months, AND whether they’re prepared to represent what Labour’s supposed founding principles are, OR whether they choose to guzump them in the interests of their own self interests.
                  I’m pretty sure tho’ that at the end of it all, AL will learn (and be able to prove) who are his/Labour supporters’ allies are and who are it’s enemas.
                  Already ….. I wouldn’t want to be expecting any degree of trust from AL for the fukwit stroking Peddy Gear’s ego.

                  Btw….. can’t bear to listen to the regular gal’s RNZ “From the Right and From the Right” on Nine to Noon. If anyone listened, did the Hooter do a spin hissyfit mentioning “The Standard”?. After yesterdays Hooten outburst on Open Mike, I was expecting him to use his opportunity to regain some cred (aided and abetted of course by the Mike I-tend-To-Agree-With-You Williams lump-of=intellectual-lard, down-with-Labour-movers-and-shakers people).
                  Fuck! It’s quite pathetic when you stop to think about it – I try not to too hard.
                  Labour will get my vote again (Party Vote) AFTER proving themselves – if they still exist

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      This is a 1 year trial.

      I’m expecting Cunliffe will move up the ranks after a year in the bushes, Parker might choose to move up as well. I think King and Grant are just seat-warmers here.

      • Skinny 3.2.1

        I read things pretty much the same, I expect the odd by-election Ruth D, Shearer, Goff. Moroney will go out bringing in someone off the list. She will be a handy contender for Hamilton Mayoralty and i’d say she will win. which is good the woman is charge currently is a fruit loop.

      • leftie 3.2.2


        I hope you are right.

      • Apples 3.2.3

        I think it is a decent line-up and most of it should be retained in a year.

        Grant can be expected to do very well in finance. He’s a better communicator than Parker, with better political instincts. I think he will build credibility. King is good choice for a year, but hopefully someone else will step up in a year – maybe Jacinda, Carmel or Nanaia?

        Good to see Cunliffe in the mid-bench. He’ll make a solid mid-bencher and might even be able to earn his way back up. Might. Or maybe we can get a team-player in New Lynn next election. Rejuvenation and all that.

        Cosgrove, Wall, Moroney, Curran all appropraitely take a dive. They can prove themselves if they want to. Not holding my breath.

        And the new people get a chance to show what they have for a year. Especially looking forward to seeing what Jenny can do.

    • DoublePlusGood 3.3

      Uh, Davis should have been vented out an airlock for his part in losing two seats from the left bloc in winning Te Tai Tokerau. He shouldn’t be anywhere any responsibility.

      • Tracey 3.3.1

        will watch with interest his chosen focus and tone on his various portfolios

      • ghostwhowalksnz 3.3.2

        The message of Kelvin Davis and the Labour party was to vote electorate and party vote for labour.
        Did you not hear the consistent message about no coat tails.
        Hone lost his seat because of his miscalculations.

      • millsy 3.3.3

        He would have been more of a match for Parata.

    • boyonlaptop 3.4

      Education is a huge portfolio it wouldn’t be right to mix it with something else. Also, Hipkins has done a great job in education so far and Robertson is hardly an old face being elected in ’08.

  4. Saarbo 4

    Personally I would like to see Cunliffe take over Primary Industries to go with Regional Development…maybe on review at the end of next year. I presume OConnor has Primary Industries?

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 4.1

      Check out the second half of the press release which has portfolio allocations for other MPs.

      I copied and pasted at (5) below but it is being held at the moment under moderation for some reason.

    • ankerawshark 4.2

      Cunliffe has been given some meaty stuff though that will use him well and he will make a good fist of. Not like when Shearer gave him fisheries.

      Its not what I would ideally want, but I think its quite skillful and tactical, given Little has to unite caucus. They all know after a year there will be a review, so need to work their buts off.

      I still want to know who is the leaker???? Mallard. He appears to be the one with the least to lose.

    • greywarshark 4.3

      I think Damien O’Connor is felt to have connections to the rural regions that David Cunliffe hasn’t.

  5. Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 5

    Should also point out here the portfolio responsibilities for the ‘unranked’ Labour MPs as set out in the press release:


    Trevor Mallard, Assistant Speaker, Internal Affairs (excluding Gambling), Sport & Recreation, Animal Rights, Parliamentary Reform

    Ruth Dyson, Conservation, Senior Citizens, Disability Issues, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery

    Damien O’Connor, Primary Industries, Biosecurity, Food Safety

    Clayton Cosgrove, Revenue, State Owned Enterprises, Building and Construction, Earthquake Commission, Associate Finance

    Sue Moroney, ACC, Immigration, Women’s Affairs, Associate Labour

    Clare Curran, ICT, Broadcasting, Open Government, Associate Justice, Associate Commerce

    Kris Faafoi, Commerce, State Services, Racing, Assistant Whip

    Louisa Wall, Youth Affairs, Associate Auckland Issues (South Auckland), Associate Sport and Recreation

    Stuart Nash, Forestry, Energy, Land Information, Statistics

    Rino Tirikatene, Fisheries, Associate Regional Development, Customs

    Meka Whaitiri, Water, Associate Regional Development, Associate Finance, Associate Primary Industries

    Poto Williams, Community & Voluntary, Associate Housing (Christchurch), Associate Justice (Family), Associate Education (Christchurch Schools)

    Peeni Henare, Tourism, Associate Māori Development (Employment & Te Reo Māori)

    Adrian Rurawhe, Civil Defence & Emergency Management, Associate Internal Affairs (Gambling), Associate Treaty Negotiations

    Jenny Salesa, Employment Skills & Training

    • greywarshark 5.1

      Just a thought on looking at that list of government shadow jobs.

      When ACT was newly active one of my relations said he thought they had good ideas like cutting down the size of government and having a panel of 9 people running the country.
      (How would they have understood about their own part, much less everyone else’s so as to have a good overview and judgment?)
      I said it didn’t sound very democratic as an off the cuff remark. An effective rejoinder though.

  6. hoom 6

    Looks like a lot of the same old names in the same important positions but just ranked lower for all the practical impact that has…

  7. Tangled_up 7

    No Mallard or Curran up there, excellent. Davis up to 8 is very good. Not sure about King as deputy yet and I hope to see Cunliffe moved up again next year.

    • AmaKiwi 7.1

      I can understand Little’s choice of King as deputy because of her vast experience and because she is no threat to the leadership.

      • Northsider 7.1.1

        Amakiwi, Annette King is the camp mother of the gang behind Robertsonm who have destabilised the party over the past six years. Trevor Mallard is the life president of the gang, Clayton Cosgrove, chief plotter, David Shearer, general-secretary, Stuart Nash, head of communications, Phil Goff, is gang kaumatua, and the errant ABC kids are Jacinda Ardern, Chris Hipkins and Kris Faafoi.

        Annette was Deputy from 2008 to 2001 under Phil Goff when the destructive behaviour became teh unpunished norm in the caucus room. She did fuck all about it then and will now continue as before.

        This is not a good day. Little is not performing like a strong leader.

        • weka

          given that caucus not Little has the final say on deputy, what do you think he should have done instead?

          • Northsider

            anoint Nanaia.
            The deputy is effectively anointed by the leader and confirmed by the Caucus.

            • lurgee

              Why would he ‘anoint’ someone who has little support in caucus or the wider party? It would be setting the leadership up for conflict and yet more division and squabbling. King as deputy and Robertson at finance makes a unified team. Caucus can get behind this. And even the Labour caucus must have learned its lesson b now …

              Best that could be done with the limited resources available.

        • Once was Tim

          ” Annette King is the camp mother of the gang behind Robertsonm who have destabilised the party over the past six years. Trevor Mallard is the life president of the gang,……..”

          But wait Northsider – believe me – I’m probably more impatient than thee to see a good outcome – OR at least a positive trend towards what Labour purports to stand for.
          These temporary appointments give AL the opportunity to decipher who is not only committed to LP principles, BUT ALSO a desire to attempt to represent the welfare of approx 4.5 million people FAIRLY, OR ….. to discover who it is that wants to remain being the ‘fag hags’ of the apologists, the careerists for 1987 neo-liberal; student loan; mid-life-crisis-Harley-Davidson-riding-white-muddle-class;- privatisation-bizz-is-better; trickle up; managerialist, corporatist; 3rd-way; bullshit artist folk in a world where their policies are now crumbling everywhere (or only surviving on debt and kicking aluminUM cans down the increasingly expensive toll road

          • Jenny Kirk

            I tend to agree with you OwTim – Andrew Little has said he’s put up a mix of old hands and newer MPs, and it looks to me like some of the older hands will be “training” the newer ones for important roles in the future, while Andrew figures out just where everyone sits on the left spectrum.

            It looks like a good line-up to me.

            Finance will give Robertson something to get his teeth into. Attorney-General shadow and Treaty affairs will use Parker’s legal background. Nanaia is being acknowledged for her part in bringing Maori back into Labour. And Annette King will be experienced enough to take over in The House at Question-Time when Andrew Little is out in the community.
            Bully Cosgrove has been given the task of putting the boot into Brownlee, (so it’ll be interesting to see if he can) while Mallard presumably will toe the line now he’s deputy speaker seeing he’s had an ambition for a while to be actual Speaker !

            Note that Andrew has put the three former leaders together, with Cunliffe at the front. That’s an interesting little line-up in itself.

        • Apples

          Northsider – I think your attitude is rubbish. The team is good. Time to take the fight to National not within the Labour Party.

  8. AmaKiwi 8

    I am very disappointed with Robertson at finance. I doubt he has the economic background and imagination.

    • leftie 8.1

      @Amakiwi @8
      Agreed, and I am very disappointed with the lineup, full stop. Little has done nothing new here at all.

      • Olwyn 8.1.1

        I’m not disappointed with the line-up. Little looks to me to be out to get a working caucus up and running, as opposed to a line-up that plays to some perception or other. And I am OK with Grant Robertson in finance – it will give him the chance to come to grips with a challenging portfolio. Labour’s connection with the arts is a valuable one, and I want to see Jacinda make a really good fist of it, now that someone else has corrections. And I very much hope that between them, Andrew & Annette can at last bring the malicious leaking to a halt.

        • Anne

          Agree with your analysis Olwyn.

          I think you will find Annette King will be stepping down from politics at the next election. In the meantime she can spend a year holding the fort for Little as he traverses and re-traverses the country getting himself known (and liked) by prospective voters. She’s mature, experienced and dependable. I think between them the 2As can unify the caucus and stop the debilitating nonsense we have had to endure for far too long. And this time around they have three years to do it all. Cunliffe never had that luxury.

          • Olwyn

            I wonder if Andrew and Annette will come to be known as A1 & A2 🙂

            I agree that they the have the luxury of time, that was lacking for Cunliffe. I also get the impression that the election aftermath and the leadership contest have brought about a level of sobriety that was not there earlier.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2

      Doubt he has the economic background ?
      And Parker has ? . Of course Ruth Richardson, another lawyer had no economic background either. Nor did Bill Birch, surveyor.
      Another ‘non economic background’ was Michael Cullen, but he was an academic in Economic History.

      So in general, Finance Ministers or opposition spokesman dont have a predestined economic background.
      The main prerequisite is to talk to the public in a convincing way. not too hard when its ‘where did my surplus go, again’ Bill is the main target.

      • AmaKiwi 8.2.1

        @ ghostwhowalksnz 8.2

        David Parker came up with what I thought were two very imaginative election policies.

        First, the NZ Power plan for the government to be the wholesale buyer of electricity effectively undercut the selling off of the power companies and placed power prices under a form of government control.

        The second was the housing plan where Labour would effectively be the contractor who built inexpensive houses and then sold them. The cost of that plan was simply lending money from the start of construction to time of sale.

        “The main prerequisite is to talk to the public in a convincing way.” I disagree. Labour needs to relegate neo-liberal economics to the dustbin of history. After decades of neo-lib brainwashing, that will be a challenge.

        • Nic the NZer

          David Parker came up with 2 election policies which had a strong distinctive neo-liberal smell, CGT and raising the retirement age. These policies both cost labour dearly at the election. He then announced his entry into the leadership contest when one or both these policies looked to be rejected by most of the other candidates. David Parker is not the finance spokesperson you are looking for to relegate neo-liberal economics to the dustbin of history.

    • Hami Shearlie 8.3

      Totally agree AmaKiwi – still it may see him stuff up badly and get relegated to a lesser place!! He sure doesn’t impress me!

    • lurgee 8.4

      People said the same about Cullen, and he seemed to do okay. Bill English seems to be doing okay, by his lights.

      Robertson, as the outright winner of the caucus and membership vote was always going to be the number two, deputy or finance. Only the factionalists intent on carrying on with the division and squabbling couldn’t see this.

      King fine as deputy leader – one of the few members of caucus people might actually recognise and like.

  9. GregJ 9

    [Off topic]

    Both my comments have gone into moderation. Is there a problem at the moment?

    [r0b: Yes – heaps is going to moderation – not sure what’s up!]

    [lprent: Nor do I. Had a problem with the server earlier today, but it is unlikely to be related to that. It does to that when it has problems talkinmg to one of the bot checking services. ]

  10. AmaKiwi 10

    I wonder what Cunliffe will do. His ranking is not good but he has so many portfolios he has enormous opportunities to embarrass the government and thus pave the way for moving up in next year’s review.

    • alwyn 10.1

      The problem Cunliffe will have is that he won’t get very many chances to ask questions in the house. The slots are pretty much allocated by rank and he is rather low down the list.
      His only real chance is if he can come up with a juicy scandal or two on his own and I don’t think he has the drive to do his own research. He won’t have the leader’s office to do the work for him any more.
      Incidentally have there been any resignations in the staff yet?

    • aaron 10.2

      If I were Little I’d keep Cunliffe out of sight for a while until everyone’s forgotten about him and then gradually bring him back in to the action – He’s going to be invaluable in government.

  11. Anne 11

    From Stuff – latest tweets

    Steven Joyce@stevenljoyceCongrats @annetterongotai on deputy Leader (again). Always said u were the up and coming talent in Labour Party #campaignmanager #king4queen

    A bit of puckish humour…

    • Tracey 11.1

      he is jealous of the up and coming part


      • alwyn 11.1.1

        Well she certainly has a much better head of hair than he does.
        On the other hand he might not want to swap his 51 years for her 67.
        Personally I would do it instantly. Oh to be as young as Annette again.

  12. Ovid 12

    Everybody’s going to be looking at this in terms of who’s in and out, up and down. But remember, Andrew Little was very much a compromise candidate – anyone who would have won on third preferences would be. So his main role in the next couple of months is to calm the horses and get everyone in line. He’s done well to blend some old and new talent.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      “anyone who would have won on third preferences would be”

      That’s actually a strange statement, if you consider what it means.

      GR also would have won on third preferences – by definition, since he didn’t win on 1st or 2nd.

  13. fisiani 13

    Little is a genius.
    Making Grant Robertson finance spokesperson is a masterstroke.
    Robertson has not got a clue about finance. Not a Scooby.
    Robertson will be routinely humiliated by Bill English.
    No amount of remedial reading over summer will help.
    Robertson can barely add up the cost of 6 $4.50 mince and cheese pies.
    Absolute masterstroke by Little.
    I laughed and laughed when I heard.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 13.1

      You should ask Bill English hows his adding up skills are. Hes lost the surplus -again.

      • sabine 13.1.1

        how could he have lost something he never had?

        oh, its mr. 19 % Bill English, the man who makes it up as he goes along. 🙂

        • AmaKiwi

          “how could he have lost something he never had?”


          $60 billion borrowed against my kid’s future.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            There’s no problem with that as long as the money is spent on Kiwi kids today. What you see happening across the rest of the western world is debt run up, the resulting money created transferred to the 1%, and everyone else expected to work until they drop to pay off the loans.

            • millsy

              A lot of households are in ‘deficit’ as well. They need to be there so the bills get paid.

      • Nic the NZer 13.1.2

        Criticizing Bill English for not achieving a surplus is pretty stupid in fact. We should be telling him about the unemployment rate, and the need to stimulate the economy, not worrying about if the budget is in surplus or deficit. Its largely out of the governments control anyway, it largely depends on the amount of tax revenue provided by the private sector (far more than the actual tax rate), and the level of social welfare payments. Both these are called automatic-stabilizers because they are largely out of the governments control and adjust automatically.

        • Lanthanide

          “Its largely out of the governments control anyway”

          Yeah, ’cause National haven’t blown $10B on roads of Notional Significance, or massive tax cuts for the wealthy. Nah uh.

          • Nic the NZer

            I think you will find the $10B were also income for people who built the ‘roads of Notional Significance’. You are basically suggesting it would be better if those people were un-employed for the period they were working on this. Well done!

            The tax cuts for the wealthy were also a stimulus, the issue you should be critical of is the raise in GST that went with it, not the fact that National were cutting some taxes at this time.

            I also hope that they eventually decide to can Novopay, and re-write the whole thing from scratch, because that’s likely to get real expensive. Maybe the new implementer can do a better job at the same time. Though there are probably more useful ways that people could be employed.

            • Draco T Bastard

              I think you will find the $10B were also income for people who built the ‘roads of Notional Significance’. You are basically suggesting it would be better if those people were un-employed for the period they were working on this. Well done!

              Yes, it would have been. Doing something uneconomic like built National’s Roads of their Ideology makes us worse off. Just because something employs people doesn’t make it a good idea.

              The tax cuts for the wealthy were also a stimulus,

              No they weren’t and never have been.

              Study: Tax Cuts for the Rich Don’t Spur Growth

              A study from the Congressional Research Service — the non-partisan research office for Congress — shows that “there is little evidence over the past 65 years that tax cuts for the highest earners are associated with savings, investment or productivity growth.”

              Congressional Research Service Report On Tax Cuts For Wealthy Suppressed By GOP

              Republicans told the Times they had issues with the tone, wording and scope of the report, but they clearly objected most strongly to its findings, which undermine the governing fiscal philosophy of the party, that tax cuts for the wealthy will spur growth and benefit everybody.

              The Numbers Don’t Lie-Why Lowering Taxes For The Rich No Longer Works To Grow The Economy

              If the theory ever worked in the past—and there is substantial disagreement among economists as to whether or not supply side ever did succeed—the numbers in recent years, as evidenced by the following chart published in the New York Times as provided by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, via Haver Analytics, make it clear that what may have worked once does not appear to be working any longer.

              My own opinion arrived at from reading the statistics and articles over the years is that tax cuts for the rich induce recessions and depressions. Hence we had the Great Depression and the GFC which came about after sustained cutting of taxes upon the rich.

              • Nic the NZer

                “Yes, it would have been. Doing something uneconomic like built National’s Roads of their Ideology makes us worse off. Just because something employs people doesn’t make it a good idea.”

                So you can explain how building ‘roads of Ideology’ has made you (or others) worse off, and how that outweighs the benefit received as income by the people who worked on them? Remember your suggesting these people would be receiving below the minimum wage, that is your alternative. It better be a real significant harm that these particular roads are doing you by existing.

                “No they weren’t and never have been.”

                I didn’t at any stage say it was a particularly large stimulus, or that this would have had a measurable impact of benefiting everybody. Unless you are suggesting that wealthy people are technically different in some way to everybody else, its hard to see how you could construct an argument that giving them more income is actually not stimulatory. On the other hand I agree that giving tax cuts to trees doesn’t stimulate the economy. Or on a more pertinent note giving reserves to banks doesn’t seem to very much either.

                • greywarshark

                  Surely the point is that the money spent on the National roads was money that should have been spent elsewhere, supplying jobs and wages where they were equally needed – in the regions mainly – and providing better infrastructure such as roads that are weather proof, not glamorous highways to tootle along with few hills, twists and turns like the rest of us have to deal with.

                  It’s not that motorways are completely wrong at present, more that on a priority list to help the country maximally, they were a luxury, a ‘want to, nice to have’ not a need.

                  I can’t see what you two are arguing about except taking points at the absolute end of the argument.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    We were discussing the need for a deficit, while the government is trying to run a surplus, to begin with, so I don’t think there is much point discussing alternative spending proposals. Nationals roading plan is far from optimal in my opinion, but it is employing people which is helping them out tremendously.

                    Criticizing Bill English is particularly dumb because any good alternative is likely to be more expensive still, at least I hope so, this will lead to higher income and that’s the point basically.

                    As I explained elsewhere, providing income to people with a larger deficit doesn’t ‘cost’ the government anything (unless it causes inflation, which is only likely if the economy is near full capacity).

                    • aaron

                      Nic, notice how hard it is to talk about economics with any degree of common sense? I’m not trying to insult greywarshark here either, it’s just that constant attempts to discuss the economy in terms of a household budget has reduced general economic literacy to a point where nothing makes sense any more.

                      If I could steal a Keynesian quote from elsewhere:

                      If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with banknotes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coalmines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again (the right to do so being obtained, of course, by tendering for leases of the note-bearing territory), there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of the repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth also, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is. It would, indeed, be more sensible to build houses and the like; but if there are political and practical difficulties in the way of this, the above would be better than nothing.
                      [JM Keynes, Book 3, Chapter 10, Section 6 pg.129 The General Theory]

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Nic, notice how hard it is to talk about economics with any degree of common sense?

                      ‘Common’ sense isn’t.

                      It’s not common sense to suggest giving tax cuts to the rich is stimulatory. In fact it’s the exact opposite as the facts show.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Giving money to people whose natural propensity is to hoard it not spend it was never going to be stimulatory to the general economy.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      Nic, actually giving tax cuts at the lower income end, increasing the wages and incomes of at the lower ends will stimulate spending and the economy. The top tax rich dudes will either save in their banks or speculate in the money markets or spend it abroad.
                      National, English, Key and the RW economic philosophy is skewed against the ordinary majority of the people and is in favour of the wealthy minority that primarily suck the nation’s wealth to themselves and is quite stupid.

                    • greywarshark

                      Thanks for explaining that. I came in and brought another point up which turned out to be irrelevant. I appreciate your courtesy in replying as you did.

                      By the way if regions had local currency which was generally used in the area, could that bring about more economic activity, increase the amount of cash in that area, and feed onto enabling exports from there to the rest of NZ,?

                    • NicTheNZer

                      Thanks for the general pilorying. I am well aware that tax cuts in the upper brackets tend not to be as stimulatory as tax cuts in the lower brackets, however I still think it’s important to be consistent about what you are saying. To not do so is confusing and many people are confused about economic matters, and bewildered into thinking that the government ought to run a surplus, government debt is a major problem or something like that. As such I still insist that any tax cut is going to be to some extent stimulatory. This is true for Nationals tax cuts unless every cent was saved and not invested which is ridiculous. Nobody is suggesting it was a particularly good policy just trying to be clear about what is going on with the economy.

                    • NicTheNZer

                      I don’t know a lot about local currency systems. The seem to be popular is places where they are used, but I think the main effect is to keep spending circulating in a local area, rather than to promote exporting. They are usually just fixed exchange rate for national currency and not a separate credit system so I don’t think there would ever be a big effect from them however.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      As such I still insist that any tax cut is going to be to some extent stimulatory. This is true for Nationals tax cuts unless every cent was saved and not invested which is ridiculous.

                      Sure, they were “stimulatory”. For Wall St, for Auckland house prices, for luxury car yards. Not much good, and some harms, for the rest of us however.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  So you can explain how building ‘roads of Ideology’ has made you (or others) worse off, and how that outweighs the benefit received as income by the people who worked on them?

                  The cost benefit ratios on them made them uneconomic. That means we spent more building them than we’ll get in returns. Relatively simple.

                  Unless you are suggesting that wealthy people are technically different in some way to everybody else, its hard to see how you could construct an argument that giving them more income is actually not stimulatory.

                  Just the facts as listed. Cutting taxes for the rich has never produced a simulatory effect on the economy.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    It can produce a stimulatory effect on narrow sectors of the economy. Importers of Italian marble for custom architecturally designed mansions for instance. 5 star restaurants. Fashionable boutiques. Etc.

            • Tracey

              citation for tax cuts for the top earners acts as stimulus ease

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Its the result English wants to be measured by.

          Youve heard of the self proclaimed rock star economy. ? Its just more Key-English bullshit.

          • Nic the NZer

            If you let National pick the objectives by which they will be measured, its no wonder that they keep on winning (so much support). You are basically validating the idea that ‘National are the sound financial managers of the economy’. Don’t forget to applaud heartily when they eventually grind out a surplus!

            • Draco T Bastard

              If you let National pick the objectives by which they will be measured, its no wonder that they keep on winning (so much support).

              Except that every time they do pick the stats it’s soon shown that what they did achieved a different result usually in line with what the Left said would happen at which point National move the goal posts.

              You are basically validating the idea that ‘National are the sound financial managers of the economy’.

              No we’re not.

              Don’t forget to applaud heartily when they eventually grind out a surplus!

              They won’t as they’re incapable of doing so.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Bill English needs to run deficits at this time. Big deficits. We might disagree with exactly where and how he is spending the $$$, but he is doing the right thing as long as NZ continues with its consistent large current account deficit.

          Lefties need to stop with the “govt surpluses are good, govt debt is bad” ideology. If you really want English to run a govt surplus, he can do that, by forcing the entire private sector (businesses and households) into deficit. That’s called “austerity” by the way.

          If you don’t like how the government is sourcing large amounts of NZD from debt, maybe we should start talking about how the govt can spend NZD into existence without having to borrow it all the time.

      • David H 13.1.3

        Blinglish must have forgotten to take off his shoes and socks again!

    • halfcrown 13.2

      Remind me again, what is the debt under English’s watch?

      • left for deadshark 13.2.1

        Try this 88 billion,I could stand to be corrected(na,i’ll sit) starting point of 22 bil

    • Clemgeopin 13.3

      English sure knows how Double Dipton Dipping adds up.
      And he knows how to burden our future generation with ever increasing massive debt and pulls BS over our eyes by claiming that we have a ‘Rock Star’ economy! Ninety Billion dollars ($90,000,000,000) and rapidly growing every second! What a clueless dangerous dork of a finance minister!
      So, Don’t be too silly, fisiani.

    • Tom Gould 13.4

      Whatever the motivation, the markets and the banks will render their verdict on Grant, and that will largely determine whether he survives in the role, whether he and his colleagues like it or not. Little is no fool.

      • fisiani 13.4.1

        Little is no fool, he is a genius. He must have read ‘Team of Rivals’ about the political genius of Abraham Lincoln. Obama reckons it is an amazing book.
        The best way to neutralise Grant is to swamp him with work and if he fails it’s all Grant;s fault. If he somehow succeeds it’s all Little’s genius.
        Little knows that Robertson is renowned for laziness and will never be able to master the portfolio.

        • Clemgeopin

          You sound, think and spin like Steven Joyce!

          P.S : I hope you don’t consider that as a compliment!

  14. Little missed the opportunity to make a clear statement of change and put Shearer, Goff and King onto the back benches and into the waiting room to retirement.
    Robertson Hipkins and King in the top positions means that the same group who manipulated Shearer and undermined Shearer and Cunliffe will continue as before.
    And Cunliffe at 14!

    All in all a big opportunity missed and a big disappointment to those who voted for Little and did not want Robertson.

    • Policy Parrot 14.1

      I think you will find that unity is more important right at this moment. If Little is allowed (by the MSM) to close off the constant leadership speculation that dogged his two predecessors, then he will be able to elevate after the next annual review based on loyalty and talent.

      However, there is a message here to some senior Labour MPs – that is – your best days are behind you. I expect there will be a new deputy before the next election.

    • SDCLFC 14.2

      In case you missed it there was a large amount of support for Robertson in the caucus and membership – more than there was for Little. So there is a lot of support out there in Labour for Robertson and who seem him, along with others, as part of the solution.
      In the words of John McLean “you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem, quite being part of the problem.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 14.2.1

        A lot of that would be soft support, based on ‘what Grant can do for me’

        Robertson has been lining up his ducks ever since Cunliffe won. In the end he was only ONE MP short, that was all it would have taken for him to win

  15. Chooky 15

    I think it is a good lineup!…good choice for Deputy ….Annette King is a tough old chook and a highly competent one….she will hold the Parliamentary fort while Andrew Little is away drumming up support around the provinces and upping his media profile

    ….Mahuta as fourth has the chance to shine …maybe eventually climb even further up the ranks to Deputy?

    …Cunliffe is in the VERY important portfolios of Tertiary Education, R@D, Regional Development

    ….Robertson will be kept VERY BUSY…. with his Finance portfolio…and he better show he can perform

    ….Ardern is well placed at 9th with roles which suit her diligence…Justice, Children, Small Business, Arts & Culture

    and even better this list is only for Year …it is just a holding pattern but a very good short term one…..i am beginning to think Little is very savvy indeed!

    • Rodel 15.1

      Little’s choice of deputy is good. Annette King is certainly ‘a tough old chook’.
      Little has the ability to be pleasantly blunt and King has the ability to scoff affably at silly questions from the gowers of the media world.
      As far as handling the media (and their political opponents in debates)I think King and Little complement each other.

  16. northshoreguynz 16

    Is Hipkins up to the education portfolio? Seemed lightweight to me. Someone ought to be able to savage Parata.

  17. Karen 17

    Annette as deputy makes sense. Little needs someone reliable and experienced while he travels around NZ rebuilding the Labour Party. The job is for a year only and the position can then go to someone else. Possible contenders get a chance to prove they are up to the job.

    Grant will be kept very, very busy getting up to speed in a high status role. He is smart enough, and I don’t see his lack of economic background as a major impediment.

    Cunliffe is ahead of Shearer, Parker and Goff in the rankings, but not so high that those who dislike him can feel aggrieved enough to stage a revolt. He has been given several portfolios which I am sure he will excel at, thereby justifying an move upwards at the next reshuffle.

    I would have liked to see Louisa Wall higher but very pleased to see Cosgrove dropped significantly.

  18. greywarshark 18

    I was pleased with the info that came over on the Matthew and Mike show this morning. Both were giving good coverage and background and I felt their judgments were soundly based.

    Perhaps some political punter could as part of their studies, do a chart with also a 1 to 10 measure as to political critiques. Then keep it up for three years and compare how things change and become hectic when there is diminishing time to an election and partisan politics break through the objectivity barrier.

    • SDCLFC 18.1

      Enjoyed it too – the interesting one was what Mike said about Parker – that having done a lot of the heavy lifting over the past 3 years he wanted to step back, but still got the portfolios he wanted. Expect him to return to the front bench in 12 months time.

      • Anne 18.1.1

        Yes. Williams said Parker wanted a break. I shouldn’t be surprised if Cunliffe came to a similar conclusion. I note Cunliffe is 14 and Parker 15. It also leaves both of them in a position to make a career change sometime in the next 12 mths. should they so desire.

        • SDCLFC

          Thought Cunliffe had made noises that he was keen for a front bench position.
          I expect the portfolio mix to be very different come 2017 and agree with a lot of the commentary today that this about opportunity and discovery.
          See Parker returning to the front but see Cunliffe lacking the Caucus support to get him back there.

      • left for deadshark 18.1.2

        What,and Parker wanted to lead the the party last week. 👿

  19. KJS0ne 19

    Nanaia should have been deputy. ‘Tis a shame he picked King. Someone please explain to me the logic there (not being entirely facetious).

    • Lanthanide 19.1

      King will have the deputy slot for 1 year, in order for the media speculation over leadership to die down. At that point, a new deputy will be appointed, one that has shown their worth for the position in the past 12 month. Given their rankings at 3 and 4, you’d have to think that both GR and NH are possible contenders at this early stage.

    • les 19.2

      King is clearly a caretaker deputy.She is heading for retirement and wont be deputy in 2017 or even 2016 most likely.

    • SDCLFC 19.3

      Mike and Matthew covered this off this morning on the Nine to Noon.
      Little wants to be spend less time in Parliament over the next 12 months so he can do the work required outside of Parliament, drumming up support, connecting etc.
      With that in mind King is the best bet to hold down the fort rather than leave it someone who needs to learn the job.
      Added to that is that she’s expected to only remain for a year, she’s not seeking the top job herself and Little himself doesn’t have a great deal of Parliamentary experience.
      The majority in Caucus didn’t want Mahuta and forcing that on them would’ve created division.

  20. I’m reserving judgement on the line up. I’m not sure about the message that’s been sent out by pushing Cunliffe down to 14 in the rankings – it’s hardly a conciliatory gesture to those in the party who supported him and seems to be more of a conciliatory gesture to those who wanted to see him cast out into the political wilderness.

    I can see the logic of ‘keeping your enemies closer’ but the other bit of that is you’re supposed to keep your friends close.

    Still, will wait to see how they perform as a team but I’m not expecting to be amazed – pleasantly surprised would be good but I’m not holding my breath on that one either.

    What I want to know is who leaked to Gower?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 20.1

      Thats politics, when you are on the up, theres grovelling.

      When you are down, its why are you still here.

    • leftie 20.2

      Good question, and yes, the leaks haven’t stopped have they?

  21. up North 21

    This line up strikes me as a long term plan, it appears like he is thinking of 2017 and the steps to get there very strategically – Some good experience and a chance for some newer MP’s to step up and shine, but leaving enough talent in the unranked pool to keep a healthy pressure on and to provide options in a years time. Kind of like a good sports team needing a strong reserves bench.

    I like it and so far Andrew is showing a very different kind of leadership to what we have seen from Labour in a long time. May it continue through to 2017 and beyond.

  22. Richard29 22

    I disagree that it would be helpful to try and force retirement of certain factions this early on but I suspect that Andrew plans to stage the renewal over the coming couple of years.
    He needs to show fairness and balance, which is why we see Cunliffe drop way down but Shearer, Goff, Cosgrove and Mallard drop even further. I hope Cunliffe sticks around to be a great minister for innovation, but I would understand if he chose to leave. Parker will be a great AG the role suits him. Disappointing to see Nanaia not get a bigger portfolio to go with her high ranking. But it may be part and parcel of showing that he is not ‘owned’ by his backers (Nanaia’s second preferences were every bit as crucial to Andrew winning the vote as the unions were)
    In terms of renewal, Key has shown how important it is to find a pathway out for people if you want to renew caucus.
    Goff leaving mid term to challenge for the Auckland mayoralty would be ideal. He has instant name recognition a strong organising base in Auckland and he doesn’t have a voting record on council. Mallard seems to be positioning himself for speaker, that’s not a bad outcome if it gets him out cabinet and paves a way to retirement. Bringing Annette in close is powerful for drawing caucus together and leveraging her experience, but the reality is that Labour will be seeking to form a coalition government and that Deputy and Health are likely to be held by others outside of Labour (Winston, Metiria or Russel will probably get deputy in negotiations and Kevin Hague would have to be a shoo in for Health) so it sets the scene for Annette to exit gracefully somewhere during the first term.
    In terms of Grant in Finance. It could really work. On the campaign trail he will come across as way more personable than English. He’s going to be cast as the underdog which is exactly where you want to be. In government he is likely to be working in partnership with Russel Norman as a very capable and hands on associate minister. Nobody expects the finance minister to literally write all the policy all by themselves, it’s about filling an office with the right people in the right places and having the right personality to front it. Grant’s experience in Helen Clarks office is his best skill for the job. I think and hope that he’s buried his ambitions for leadership and instead wants to build his legacy through being part of a truly powerful leadership pairing along the lines of Clark/Cullen…

  23. felix 23

    Dig a hole behind the barn for Hipkins and it doesn’t look like a bad line up.

    [lprent: Close to and possibly over the advocating criminal activity boundary. Don’t repeat it. ]

    • felix 23.1

      Apologies, I could have phrased that better.

      To be clear it was entirely metaphorical and I don’t wish Hipkins or anyone else put in an actual hole.

  24. Clemgeopin 24


    1. Andrew Little, Leader of the Labour Party, Security and Intelligence
    2. Annette King, Deputy Leader, Health
    3. Grant Robertson, Finance
    4. Nanaia Mahuta, Māori Development
    5. Phil Twyford, Housing, Transport
    6. Chris Hipkins, Senior Whip, Shadow Leader of the House, Education
    7. Carmel Sepuloni, Junior Whip, Social Development
    8. Kelvin Davis, Police, Corrections, Domestic and Sexual Violence, Associate Regional Development, Associate Education (Māori)
    9. Jacinda Ardern, Justice, Children, Small Business, Arts & Culture
    10. David Clark, Economic Development, Associate Finance, Associate Health
    11. Su’a William Sio, Pacific Island Affairs, Local Government, Associate Housing (South Auckland), Interfaith Dialogue
    12. Iain Lees-Galloway, Labour
    13. Megan Woods, Environment, Climate Change
    14. David Cunliffe, Regional Development, Tertiary Education, Innovation, Research & Development, Science & Technology, Associate Economic Development
    15. David Parker, Shadow Attorney General, Treaty Negotiations, Trade & Export Growth
    16. David Shearer, Foreign Affairs, Consumer Affairs
    17. Phil Goff, Defence, Veterans’ Affairs, Disarmament, Auckland Issues, Ethnic Affairs

    Unranked (listed by time served as an MP):

    * Trevor Mallard, Assistant Speaker, Internal Affairs (excluding Gambling), Sport & Recreation, Animal Rights, Parliamentary Reform
    * Ruth Dyson, Conservation, Senior Citizens, Disability Issues, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery
    * Damien O’Connor, Primary Industries, Biosecurity, Food Safety
    * Clayton Cosgrove, Revenue, State Owned Enterprises, Building and Construction, Earthquake Commission, Associate Finance
    * Sue Moroney, ACC, Immigration, Women’s Affairs, Associate Labour
    * Clare Curran, ICT, Broadcasting, Open Government, Associate Justice, Associate Commerce
    * Kris Faafoi, Commerce, State Services, Racing, Assistant Whip
    * Louisa Wall, Youth Affairs, Associate Auckland Issues (South Auckland), Associate Sport and Recreation
    * Stuart Nash, Forestry, Energy, Land Information, Statistics
    * Rino Tirikatene, Fisheries, Associate Regional Development, Customs
    * Meka Whaitiri, Water, Associate Regional Development, Associate Finance, Associate Primary Industries
    * Poto Williams, Community & Voluntary, Associate Housing (Christchurch), Associate Justice (Family), Associate Education (Christchurch Schools)
    * Peeni Henare, Tourism, Associate Māori Development (Employment & Te Reo Māori)
    * Adrian Rurawhe, Civil Defence & Emergency Management, Associate Internal Affairs (Gambling), Associate Treaty Negotiations
    * Jenny Salesa, Employment Skills & Training

  25. ankerawshark 25

    Just read Paddy Gower and he is giving Little and his shadow cabinet very high praise.

    Whatever my opinion of Gower, this has to be helpful, very helpful to Labour.

    • KJS0ne 25.1

      Gower is up and down like a yoyo. Few days ago he was crying like it was a bloody train robbery. Now he singing the praise. Man can’t make up his mind.


      For want of journalistic integrity in this country.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 25.1.1

        One answer would be to think about whats good for Robertson.

        When Robertson misses out by nose due to union votes, paddy says its a union takeover.

        When Robertson gets a major portfolio in new lineup, paddy says its field of dreams.
        It would be likely Robertson is a fount of inside knowledge for paddy. This is how these guys work.

    • David H 25.2

      But I would’nt trust Gower as far as I could spit against a Hurricane. He will go back to his usual games and make it up crap sooner or later and I’m bettinf sooner. Or his ‘insider’ / leaker has been given a good place.

  26. Michael 26

    I think people outside the Labour beltway won’t even notice this. It’s up to the new spokespeople to make their mark, inside and outside the House, by taking the Nats on and persuading people that the Labour Party actually represents them. A big task, given recent performances, but there’s really nothing else that can be done. The Labour caucus will either win people over or the Party will become even more irrelevant and replaced by another political grouping that is.

  27. Karen 27

    One portfolio the Labour Party needs to take more seriously is broadcasting. I see it has been given back to unranked Curren, who was hopeless last time she had it, as was Faafoi who had it up until this reshuffle.

    In the Clark government Marion Hobbes made a complete hash of it before it was eventually handed to Maharey, who was better, but still did not seem to understand that the Rogernomic reforms needed to be completely overturned, not fiddled with at the edges.

    If the Labour Party want a better informed public then public broadcasting is the way to go. This could be a good portfolio for Jacinda as she has a lot of contacts in the industry.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 27.1

      Sorry karen, but you may have heard of that thing called online media?

      Broadcasting is going the way of the evening newspaper

      • KJS0ne 27.1.1

        Not sorry but I completely disagree. Prime time television still holds an important sway over the voter public. It is not about to die off anytime soon.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Indeed – “I saw it on TV so it must be true” is a common sentiment. People take anything online with a much bigger grain of salt.

      • The Lone Haranguer 27.1.2

        Maybe one day it will, but for now, broadcasting is the only game in town.

        Online media (excluding the newspaper & TV portions) belongs to a generation who dont care to vote. (the fabled 800,000 from 2008 grew to 1,000,000 in 2011) o even if they are on twitter etc, they arent on their bikes heading to a polling station.

        And if traditional media was dead, then there wouldnt be so much gnashing of teeth here each day bleating on about the media dumping on Cunliffe.

        Labour need to win the media war. The one thing they really have in their favour now is that the media will be sick and tired of Key government by 2017.

        Its a cyclical thing, and the Nats will be at the end of the cycle by election 2017.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          I tend to disagree. Waiting for the ‘tide to go out’ on National no longer works because the electoral game has undergone a secular change thanks to both MMP and dirty politics. Labour has not kept up with new MMP strategies and is missing innovative ways of working with communities on the ground in between elections.

          4 National terms remains a distinct possibility.

          • The Lone Haranguer

            Well I hope you are wrong there Colonial R.

            The tide went out big time for the Clarke govt in 2008 after nine years, and just as surely, it will go out big time for the Key govt by 2017, after nine years.

            Well thats my view in any case 🙂

    • Chooky 27.2

      re ” If the Labour Party want a better informed public then public broadcasting is the way to go. This could be a good portfolio for Jacinda as she has a lot of contacts in the industry”.

      …..Jacinda Ardern’s so called contacts did not do David Cunliffe or Labour much good in the last Election !

      ….imo….a far better person would be Phil Goff …He has considerable experience with broadcasting and television …..He is a very good concise ,to- the- point, speaker . He is a trained lawyer. He has gravitas. He is well organised and has been a very competent Minister in every portfolio he has been in…in other words he has good form. He has the skills and experience and would be ideally suited to conduct the important reforms needed in public broadcasting and television.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 27.2.1

        Hes not a trained lawyer, hes a smart able guy but not a lawyer

        • Chooky

          Ok thanks …..but he did win a prize for law ie the Butterworth Prize ( guess this is where I thought he was a lawyer)..

          …”By working as a freezing worker and a cleaner, Goff was able to fund himself through university, gaining an MA (with first class honours) in political studies at the University of Auckland. In 1973, he was Senior Scholar in Political Studies, and also won the Butterworth Prize for law….”


      • Karen 27.2.2

        Chooky, Adern’s contacts are not with parliamentary journalists but people who work in the production industry who understand the problems with the present state of broadcasting.

        Goff would be completely useless. He was part of the Labour government that turned TVNZ into a SOE, thereby starting the decline of public broadcasting.

        • Chooky

          well i agree that it is a priority that there needs to be a review and revolution in State Broadcasting…but who to do it?…….needs to be someone with considerable experience , preferrably legal and media…. and clout

  28. tc 28

    Agree that broadcasting needed a better home as curran is both dim and divisive so give little credit for exposing potential weaknesses early.

    DC up against bovver boy joyce in r&d is a good call.

  29. Draco T Bastard 29

    And the Right-wing MSM are continuing National’s attack lines of the election:
    Little’s Labour line up: attack, rather than policy, is the priority

    Still trying to paint Labour as having no policies despite it being National that hasn’t published theirs.


  30. Richard29 30

    “What I want to know is who leaked to Gower?”
    Interesting that the new look portfolio for the new Labour leadership was characterised by the early leaking that Cunliffe was dumped from the front bench.
    I’m guessing this means either:
    A) Little can’t stop the leaking even for an early announcement like this where only a handful of people had known. Conclusion – Little is toast.
    B) Little leaked the Cunliffe ranking himself to get it out of the way early as he knew that much of the media speculation centred around it and he didn’t want it to detract from the big announcement. Conclusion – Little is a safe pair of hands who knows how to play the media to his advantage.
    C) Little told three suspected ABC leakers that Cunliffe was going to be ranked on 1) the front bench 2) the second bench with minor portfolios 3) unranked with no portfolios, then he sat back and waited for them to reveal themselves. Conclusion – Little is a Machiavellian political genius destined to rule the seven kingdoms…

    • Clemgeopin 30.1

      LOL. Good points!

      • greywarshark 30.1.1

        The trouble is, I should think the leakers are a tight five or some number above zero, and would consult each other. The system could backfire. Conclusion – Little is wise not to try this and assume success without considering relevant human behaviours.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Wake up and smell the coffee.

          This is how it works. In the scheme of things its just an advance peek in the currency of information.
          If you think this not how it works or that its going to change, you are living in a dreamland.

          It Paddy got it first, my guess it would be Robertson.

          Then again its a dog eat dog world and unless you are putting something in dog bowls, they will start munching on you.

    • northshoreguynz 30.2

      I really hope its C, suspect B, pray its not A.

    • ankerawshark 30.3

      I love the idea of C Richard. God that would be clever beyond belief.

      • Murray Rawshark 30.3.1

        It’s a completely standard counterintelligence move that I’ve used several times in different situations. As long as the targets believe they’re the only one getting the truth, it can work very well.

  31. Treetop 31

    Anything that is coming apart at the seams Labour has to attack e.g state housing being eroded, hospital surgery lists, funding for decile ratings, right to receive ACC, police not recommending a case goes to trial and funding cuts,

    Being a strong loud opposition is what is now required from the Labour caucus. Little won fair and square and he cannot show any weakness when it comes to his leadership on his terms.

    • Colonial Rawshark 31.1


    • tc 31.2

      Agreed treetop, be great to see the obvious nat weaknesses laid out right now so muddle nz gets over 2 years to wake up to the facts about the nact true priorities.

      Charter schools is waiting to be shoved down their gobs along with gisborne rail and ryalls failed healthalliance. Education and health have been wilfully hobbled by team shonkey.

    • Anne 31.3

      <blockquote. Little won fair and square and he cannot show any weakness when it comes to his leadership on his terms.

      Yep, and he’s showing signs of strength already. Eg. his stance on Hugh Rennie.

      As a former public servant, I wasn’t the least bit surprised by the attitude of the senior public servants, Rennie and Kibblewhite. Twenty-three years ago a psychopathic manager set out to terrorise me out of the office – in part because I was a woman in what was then a men only office. I was forced by Wellington management to write a letter of apology to that manager for complaining about his behaviour. I was also forced to sign a caveat agreeing not to talk about the matter for a period of time which successfully prevented me from taking it further.

      Imagine if that happened today. The sky would fall in, but 20 plus years ago they could still get away with it.

  32. Blue 32

    Little seems to be playing the long game on this. In the short term it looks slightly mad, but hopefully it will pay off in a few years.

    King as deputy is an awful clanger – picking someone who should have retired two elections ago and will probably retire at the next is hardly inspiring. But the time limit at least makes it clear that she won’t be the one he goes into the election with. I’m divided about this – I think the combination of leader and deputy is important and the public need to get used to a leader/deputy combo, which should ideally go the full three years to give them solid experience together.

    But it’s good politics in appeasing the ABCs and King is a safe pair of hands until Little finds a more appropriate deputy. I worry that at the moment it doesn’t look like there is any obvious choice for this position, and I hope one emerges with time.

    Robertson as Finance is another jarring note, but it gives Parker time to come to his senses and is another sensible ABC sop.

    The fact that almost the entire front bench are relative newbies is another bold move, but it gives a few people a signal that it’s time to move on and it will give the newbies experience and hopefully they will be battle-hardened by 2017.

    It’s a sensible programme for stepped change, so overall pretty good job from Little.

  33. Ad 33

    Just relieved Little passed his first test.

    Feels like a good team behind him on these media calls.

  34. newsense 34

    Bold. Balanced. Nuanced.

    Like it.

  35. Murray Rawshark 35

    The list is ok down until No. 2. Hipkins deserves nothing after his disgraceful exhibition against Cunliffe, and Shearer and Robertson deserve less. I bet the knives are being sharpened already.

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