Labour’s minor reshuffle

April 5th, 2011 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Claire Trevett in the NZ Herald reports:

has been awarded the front bench slot left empty by the resignation of Darren Hughes and has taken on his education portfolio.

leader Phil Goff announced the mini-shuffle this morning, giving Sue Moroney responsibility for the primary and secondary schooling areas as well as the early childhood portofilio she already held.

That’s a big promotion for Moroney. She’s been fairly low profile since she entered in 2005, so this is her oportunity to make her name. She’s only 46, so if she does well, could be a front bench Minister in a future Labour Government.

Old hand was elected uncontested by caucus to the position of senior whip, a nod to his experience in the role and the desire for stability in the eight months before the election. He was previously a senior Government whip. He will stand down from his role as assistant Speaker to fulfil the whip’s role.

This is quite significant. Barker is turning 60 this year and has been an MP for 18 years. I would have judged him at risk of not having a winnable list place. But now he is their chief whip, they have to give him a winnable spot on the list. So it means one less spot for new candidates.

Barker is a former senior whip, so will beable to do the role easily. But not the best sign for Labour that they had to appoint an MP whom many considered was due to retire, as he lost his Tukituki seat in 2005.

Mr Goff said he would nominate to take on the Speaker position in his lieu.

Which Ross is very good at. When Labour nominated Barker for the role, instead of Robertson, in late 2008 it was taken as a hint that he should retire. But he is also again standing in 2011, which again makes rejuvenation that much harder. Robertson is 62 and been an MP for 24 years.

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10 Responses to “Labour’s minor reshuffle”

  1. georgebolwing (978 comments) says:

    As the Chief Whip is the eyes and ears of the leader in the caucus, I can only assume that Goff had no-one else he could trust.

    And as you say, it is odd to put an old lag into the senior Whips spot; it is normally reserved for up and comers, like Darren Hughes. Michael Cullen was Chip Whip in the fourth Labour Government’s first term. Don McKinnon was senior whip before becoming deputy leader of the National Party.

    Ross Robertson is the sort of MP we need more of; people who take the institution of Parliament seriously. It might not be sexy, but having someone who is prepared to spend the long hours in the chair during debates, and adjuticating fairly is important.

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  2. jaba (2,146 comments) says:

    brilliant .. and sad at the same time. many have been saying for a couple of years now that NZ needs a strong opposition and this shows how low Labour has crashed. A major worry is that Greens will pick up votes, as will Winny1st, so gaffe could be PM by default.

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  3. Inventory2 (10,406 comments) says:

    And Chris Hipkins was bemoaning on Facebook this morning the fact that he is Labour’s only ginga MP now that Hughes has gone. I helpfully suggested to him that Phil Goff must be due for a makeover, which would solve the problem ;-)

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  4. anonymouse (721 comments) says:

    Poor ol’ Shane Jones, being kept off the front bench again….

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  5. BeaB (2,142 comments) says:

    Deckchairs on the Titanic.

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  6. Rich Prick (1,720 comments) says:

    Man, talk about sweeping the dust about. Does Labour have no talent at all? IV2, perhaps hair colour maketh the Labour man ….

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  7. reid (16,632 comments) says:

    Does Labour have no talent at all?

    Apparently not, Rich Prick.

    Distressing though it may be.

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  8. Rich Prick (1,720 comments) says:

    Reid, I’m distressed to my hair roots, as I suspect are much of Labour’s front bench (sorry Clayton). With as much union grunt and the teachers behind them why are they so fucking useless?

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  9. reid (16,632 comments) says:

    why are they so fucking useless

    Personally RP I think it’s their sneering supercilious arrogance which generates so much hubris they’re literally blinded by it and just don’t even notice what their reception is, but I stand to be corrected by even worse news.

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  10. Rich Prick (1,720 comments) says:

    I would have to agree with that reid

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