A Labour reshuffle?

May 17th, 2010 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

NZPA report:

leader Phil Goff today confirmed some of his MPs would step down before the next election and signalled a reshuffle.

Speaking on TVNZ’s Question and Answer programme Mr Goff said he had discussions with some sitting MPs about their future.

However he would not give details: “I’m not going to pre-announce how many Labour MPs might stand down at this time.”

A reshuffle later this year would be a smart move for Labour. The front bench stills looks like the last Labour Government – because it is!

So who might be on the Labour front bench after a reshuffle?

There can be no doubt Cunliffe will be there, as well as Goff and King of course.

Dyson has not been a great performer in Health, but she one of the power players in the Caucus. If Goff tried to shift her off the front bench, his own job could be at risk.

It should be time up for Parekura. A possible retirement at the next election also. The problem is Labour has to have a Maori on the front bench. He could arguably be replaced by Nanaia Mahuta, but a really bold move would be to put Kelvin Davis up there. Shane Jones is a possibility (he is currently on the front row of the cross benches, but not core front bench) but I think Shane is too unsubtle about his aspirations for Goff to want to encourage them. Plus some of his colleagues thinks he doesn’t do the hard yards.

Moving Chris Carter off the front bench would have to be the easiest decision for Goff. No Caucus backlash on that one!

Clayton Cosgrove might not win a lot of popularity polls in his caucus, but his portfolios pretty much require him to remain front bench.

Maryan Street is a capable performer, and even a future deputy leader. She will remain.

Trevor Mallard remains a strong symbol of the last Labour Govt, and could well move off the front bench also. But like Dyson he is too powerful to demote. Trevor will only go, if he offers.

The popular Darren Hughes could well be moved to the front benches, but he might prefer his current seat just behind the Leader where he can advise him.

David Parker is on the cross-benches, and has performed strongly this term. Even though he is not much of a fresh face, he could well move to the front bench on merit.

But a couple of others would also be contenders on merit for the front bench, or at least the front row of the cross-benches. Charles Chauvel and Grant Robertson would be the two strongest contenders. Clare Curran won’t make front bench in this term, but is also likely to at least move up to the second row in my opinion.

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47 Responses to “A Labour reshuffle?”

  1. dime (9,805 comments) says:

    yea, those would be massive changes lol

    Labour need to cull some of these.. people

    just reading the names makes me think old and tired.

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  2. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    Labour leader Phil Goff today confirmed some of his MPs would step down before the next election…

    Hope he’s one of them!

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  3. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    A reshuffle will be quite a task. The Labour talent pool is puddle deep and fetid

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  4. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    The popular Darren Hughes could well be moved to the front benches, but he might prefer his current seat just behind the Leader where he can advise him.

    I don’t think Hughes minds if he’s in front or behind.

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  5. Michaels (1,318 comments) says:

    It’s very difficult to cure a dead horse so how about culling all of them and starting totally freash? :)

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  6. big bruv (13,698 comments) says:

    David Parker?

    Please, please put him on the front bench, he is the modern day Bill Rowling.

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  7. big bruv (13,698 comments) says:

    ” Labour leader Phil Goff today confirmed some of his MPs would step down before the next election…

    Hope he’s one of them!”

    Who would you want as Labour party leader Toad?

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  8. OliverI (125 comments) says:

    “Trevor Mallard remains a strong symbol of the last Labour Govt, and could well move off the front bench also. But like Dyson he is too powerful to demote. Trevor will only go, if he offers.”

    If they wanted to appear fresh, they would get rid of Trevor, now that would be a shake up!

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  9. Hagues (711 comments) says:

    Haha rearranging deckchairs.

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  10. Say Goodbye to Hollywood (567 comments) says:

    Regurgitated dog tucker is still dog tucker.

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  11. 3-coil (1,215 comments) says:

    The gormless Labour leader Phil Goff should be more concerned about all those “shuffling” noises he keeps hearing behind his back.

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  12. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “….Who would you want as Labour party leader Toad?..”

    yeah..i’d like the answer to that too…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  13. wreck1080 (3,865 comments) says:

    Mallard must go.

    Not only does he break promises, he is a disgrace to boot.

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  14. Inventory2 (10,265 comments) says:

    For a start, you have Mallard, King and Goff himself (plus Anderton, one seat off the front bench) all of whom are in their FOURTH DECADE in Parliament, having entered in the 1980’s. No amount of reshuffling can hide the fact that those four having been supping from the trough for a considerable period. Then you have Chris Carter who is electoral poison. So what’s left? Cunliffe, Cosgrove, Dyson, Horomia and Street; therein lies Labour’s dilemma.

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  15. slightlyrighty (2,506 comments) says:

    Horomia would be a difficult man to move in any situation…..

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  16. Monty (974 comments) says:

    None of the Labour Caucas will leave voluntarily – in the real world most will be incapable for finding working again as teachers or unionists. That is all they are capable of doing (with rare exceptions)

    Goff will only resign immediately after the 2011 election (after leading Labour to one of their worst defeats ever) I also suspect that while there will be retirements – many will be forced rather than planned.

    Besides there will be little space for “new blood” as sitting members will seek to look after their own self interest above that of the party. Of course Phil announcing that he will work with Winston should he return will ensure that Labour are another 3% off what they may have acheived without Winnie.

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  17. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    ‘Full moon” King should make us all happy by announcing her immediate retirement.
    The intellectual giant she is would leave a vacuum very hard to fill, only comparable to Horomia’s or Hawking’s.

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  18. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Monty, you may well be right. While your prediction may have illuminated me 18 months ago, today the prospect of Mr Smile & Wave Key being handed a open ticket to continued rule is quite frightening. His eagerness to stay in power is costing NZers $250m per week, and I’ll be paying for that for the rest of my working life. His brand of ‘care’ for our future is not what I voted for.

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  19. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    whereas you..man-so-low…in this forum have given every indication of being a walking ‘brains-trust’..eh..?

    ..(you don’t like/are scared of ‘smart’/academic-people..eh..man-so-low..?

    that’d be yr inferiority-complex kicking in..eh..?

    and also part and parcel of the fears that wrack/rule all rightwingers…eh..?

    ..(they do so suffer..the poor luvvies..!…eh..?)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  20. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    No, Phil Goff hinted indirectly that his party will merge with the National Party to form NationaLabour since the 2 parties have the same policies. That’s good, since some disgruntled National supporters will then vote ACT in the next election.

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  21. kevin_mcm (152 comments) says:

    krazykiwi – The $250m a week includes rolled over borrowings – I am not sure what the actual figure is – the budget will tell us, but the $250m is quickly becoming urban ledgend.

    Not that I ma happy – at worst case they should be aiming for a nil increase in absolute dollar spend for the next year, and ideally be looking to cut off a couple of billion each year. Hoping that the economy will grow and it will all balance in 5 years is unacceptable economic management.

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  22. sweetd (125 comments) says:

    “Falafulu Fisi (475) Says:
    May 17th, 2010 at 11:04 am
    No, Phil Goff hinted indirectly that his party will merge with the National Party to form NationaLabour since the 2 parties have the same policies. That’s good, since some disgruntled National supporters will then vote ACT in the next election.”

    That is the end result of MMP, everyone and everything gets pushed towards the middle. To capture govt you have to capture the middle, and to stay in govt you have to keep the middle happy, end result is nothing of much will ever be done again.

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  23. bwakile (757 comments) says:

    “the popular Darren Hughes”

    Yep, so popular that he is now a list MP.

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  24. RRM (9,773 comments) says:

    [krazykiwi]: A reshuffle will be quite a task. The Labour talent pool is puddle deep and fetid [/quote]

    lul wat?

    Labour’s problem is the old hard layer on top, not the depth of the talent pool beneath…

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  25. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Someone from the illustrated dictionary just called to ask if it’s ok to take a picture for the entry on”futile”

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  26. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    I’m looking forward to a Little Shearer lead Labour party.

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  27. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    But what the country needs right now is a Shear-er Little party.

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  28. Paulus (2,597 comments) says:

    Boring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Shearer and Street to take over after the next election loss. Not sure Little’s heart is in it?

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  29. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Shearer and Street to take over after the next election loss. Not sure Little’s heart is in it?

    Then they would be the SS good call.

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  30. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    Then Labour could say they were about little government unlike National.

    Philu: re: Labour leader: Shane Jones is too brash at present to be leader, and I’m not sure that will ever change. Andrew Little needs to be behind the scenes, although I suppose he could make a decent deputy leader for Labour. He’s always going to be too much about the causes and the small picture to be a leader. Too much baggage from the unions as well.

    They need somebody relatively young who’s not able to be linked towards all the negatives about Labour. They also need a strong manifesto, rather than just apparently making policy on the fly and opposing for the sake of opposing. They need to be able to say “This is what’s being done wrong. This is what we want to do about it.” but most importantly, they need to be able to say “This is why what we want to do will work AND is better.” They don’t really have anybody like that or the policies at the moment, which is a pity.

    I say that not because I support Labour. I don’t support any party: I’ll take it on a policy by policy basis, and vote for the party I do based on a number of factors, policy and what the party brings to the composition of Parliament being important facets. I say it because a strong opposition keeps government honest and provides a genuine alternative (inasmuch as alternatives are found in a system which is premised on entrenching itself) for voters meaning government has to work in the people’s interest, at least to a degree.

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  31. tknorriss (327 comments) says:

    Two words are apt for this article:

    Deckchairs
    Titanic

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  32. Positan (386 comments) says:

    @krazykiwi “The Labour talent pool is puddle deep and fetid.”

    “Talent” and “Labour” aren’t usually found in such close proximity, unless it’s the party’s abysmal lackings which are being described. A Labour caucus isn’t so much a conjunction of like-minded, politically-philosophic souls focused on a common goal – as a conjunction of public-teat-sucking gain-seekers obsessed with the furtherance of their own individual status and advancement. For years Labour has never been more than a vehicle for the pretence of their collective grandstanding.

    It’s been said many times that Labour members have more friends in other parties than they do in their own – they’ll backstab any of their own kind to advantage themselves whenever opportunities are presented. Which is why Goff’s statement that there’ll be “changes” may be true. However, it won’t happen as a result of any action for which he’s been responsible. Labour MPs are the grossest of leeches in every respect. They’ll cling to office and advantages because individually they need them to uphold that they’re a lot more than just paper cut-outs. Without their comforting baubles, they’re nothing – and they know it. Most of them are never again heard of once they’re dumped from parliament. Few remain involved afterwards with their party.

    Are such cretins going to make sacrifices “for the good of the party?” They’d rather have teeth pulled without anaesthetic.

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  33. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    Positan: I hope you appreciate that krazykiwi was stating that Labour has very little talent in its ranks, and what talent it does have is tainted.

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  34. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Kitty@2:38 pm .. I agree with you on everything but Little.
    Little is relatively young and has a smart outward thinking mind not closed at all and interviews well.
    The union thing these days is just a red hearing left over from the Muldoon days.
    It shows he has the management leadership skills reqiured, is in sink with bossess and the everyday working class common bloke, and the reason he is also now the Labour party president.

    You say you don’t support any party: you take it on a policy by policy basis.
    Would you support a independent candidate with no policy’s but goes by the wishes of his/her electorate on each issue.

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  35. Positan (386 comments) says:

    Jivekitty – Indeed I did appreciate what krazykiwi was stating. I’d hoped to add to it.

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  36. big bruv (13,698 comments) says:

    Street is not the person to make deputy, the people of NZ have had a gutsful of the hard left feminist agenda.

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  37. Positan (386 comments) says:

    big bruv – Street was also said to be closely involved with the person of Clark – but I never quite understood the triangular relationship when it came to Tizard.

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  38. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    I hope they all stay, good comedy is hard to come by these days.

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  39. john.bt (170 comments) says:

    I have watched Parekura in parliament and I found him embarassing. The fact that this idiot could really be a Cabinet Minister is mindblowing. Darren Hughes lost his safe Labour seat because he didn’t do the hard yards in the electorate. Too busy carrying Dear Leaders handbag and setting up his tenure. As for poor old Trevor…….. someone should just tell him to move along.

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  40. BlairM (2,317 comments) says:

    Labour’s big problem is that the next generation are Clarkists. Her stamp on the party is such that the Arderns and Hughes of this world are now out of date and part of the past, despite their youth. There’s very few people in Labour coming through that can present something new to the electorate in the same way that John Key did with National.

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  41. jaba (2,120 comments) says:

    gee, I wish I could post the sound of a chainsaw here .. you are being very generous here David with some lame ducks (sorry Daffy) they have. Goff has soooooooooooooooooooooo little (oops, no mention of Andrew 2 jobs yet) room to move.
    I’m just checking their MP’s now .. wow. I don’t want to be rude but bloody hell, they are all mad. When they do eventually get back into power, they will no doubt be joined by the Greens with no Fitzsimmons or Rob D. My goodness.

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  42. rouppe (962 comments) says:

    Seems like there were more options put for moving up to the front benches than for moving off the front benches.

    Trevor Mallard will never voluntarily move seats. He’s so full of his own importance that any attempt to move him should be accompanied by metal detectors at the front door.

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  43. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    @RK Bee: They’d need to have a track record, which implied policy, and the electorate is pretty much never completely 100% behind any proposal, so it would potentially be down to whether I agreed with the majority of policy gone to bat for by the electorate MP on behalf of the electorate perhaps. My electorate could be filled with ignorant idiots, for example, who could potentially back ridiculous policies not in the long run interest of the region. I wouldn’t back the MP as I don’t countenance that kind of populism. If they do go against the majority of the electorate though, I want to be damn sure they have good reasons: reasons other than “I was toeing the party line” – they’re not in there to toe a party line on regional issues, although the party is representative to a degree of the policies they will implement.

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  44. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    Oh, @Positan, you did indeed add to it.

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  45. jaba (2,120 comments) says:

    Big Bruv 9:29 .. I thought the same about Parker .. the bloke fiddles more than the Pogues in concert. he doesn’t know what to do with his arms/hands

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  46. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    JiveKitty@5:16 pm

    You have 2 votes a party vote and a candidate vote..
    so you can still vote for a party’s track record and policy’s.
    as well as a Independent that you believe will work hard for the electorate.
    under MMP the Independent if elected will no doubt go with the coalition govt in power.
    so if the party you voted for does not get to hold power your electorate still has someone in the coalition rooting for them.
    They can make deals for their electorate for the independents seats support for confidence and supply.
    Which has more clout than a electorate list or constituent MP from the same party in power.
    I don’t think voters understand the power that a Independent can have for their electorate under MMP.
    And still party vote as well as vote for the party’s candidate as if it was still FPP not MMP.

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  47. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    Yeah, sorry, kind of flicked over the independent line. I’d have no problem voting for an independent if their policies for the region fit what I think is best for the region, and they also add a good mix to Parliament. I don’t think I could really vote for somebody with no policy platform.

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