Phil Goff said that Grant Robertson had been promoted to the front bench, but in reality he is not. The front bench is traditionally the nine seats that are front row opposite their counterparts. Grant, who is ranked no 12 only, is on the cross-benches in between the Progressives and the Greens.
The nine front benchers for Labour are still all 100% former Ministers from the Clark Government. On average they entered Parliament 17 years ago. Three entered in the 1980s, four in the 1990s and only two after 1999.
Until that changes, they will struggle to be seen as a forward looking alternative.