Labour’s front bench

December 15th, 2011 at 5:46 am by David Farrar

In my By the numbers blog at Stuff, I suggest a rejuvenated front bench for , which would reduce the average time since they entered Parliament from 15 years to just 6.5 years. My picks are:

  • David Shearer
  • Grant Robertson
  • David Cunliffe
  • David Parker
  • Andrew Little
  • Phil Twyford
  • Carmel Sepuloni
  • Damien O’Connor
  • Shane Jones
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31 Responses to “Labour’s front bench”

  1. Cactus Kate (536 comments) says:

    Totally, I would pick the septic tank, she looks mean and hungry as of late. But O’Connor out, Mahuta in. Mahuta too has looked keener than ever.

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  2. Lee C (2,720 comments) says:

    I think Adern will be promoted on the basis that she is photogenic.

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  3. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    National – good through to 2017 at least.

    Too many nasties there for any unity , implosion coming soon.

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  4. orewa1 (410 comments) says:

    I think Adern will be promoted on the basis that she is very smart, personable, young, and capable of holding an electorate.

    I agree she is photogenic too.

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  5. Chris2 (775 comments) says:

    I don’t think Shearer will promote Septic Tank to the front bench whilst her 11 vote majority risks being overturned by an electoral recount.

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  6. David Farrar (1,437 comments) says:

    I put Sepuloni ahead of Ardern because Carmel managed to win an electorate off a Cabinet Minister in a seat which while left-leaning has in recent history been held by both parties several times.

    Jacinda failed to win back a seat which for 95 years was one of Labour’s safest seats.

    On the basis of performance, you have to go with Sepuloni.

    That is not to say I don’t think Jacinda will not make the front bench eventually. I am sure she will. But whether she has achieved enough to claim a spot in 2011 is another matter.

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  7. sparky (235 comments) says:

    @David Farrar, I absolutely agree with you. Jacinda Ardern is not ready for the Front Bench, mind you I don’t believe Carmel Sepuloni is either. The recount may take the constituent seat away from her yet. Wouldn’t surprise me. 11 Votes are neither here or there. Labur are running very thin on decent MP’s

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  8. sparky (235 comments) says:

    orewa, I don’t think Jacinda Ardern is all that smart. She has a lot of learning to do. She is very inexperienced. I watched her on TV last year at question time, and I didn’t think she was very on to it at all.Nah to early for her. Photogenic pardon.???

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  9. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    Only one woman on the front bench would be sure to give the Greens a boost in the female vote. And maybe even the Nats, for that matter – even they have three.

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  10. sparky (235 comments) says:

    @LC, Promoted for being photogenic, sounds bizarre. You are joking.

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  11. Mobile Michael (476 comments) says:

    The front bench should be more centrist above all. Andrew Little was a pragmatic unionist so isn’t out of plsce. Clayton Cosgrove might sneak in, but Jacinda Ardern sounds too left in her rhetoric to promote a new Labour look.

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  12. Keeping Stock (9,384 comments) says:

    Sepuloni on the front bench? Yeah; bring it on! If that’s the case, National could be a four or even five-term government.

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  13. flipper (4,332 comments) says:

    So how many of that MOB have actually had work experience outside of politics (in its wider sense) – one or is it two?
    Little ?????? Wow! The reverse of septic tank – lost by 4000?
    Surely you were tounge in cheek DPF.

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  14. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    Some weird picks DPF; no offence but you really need to get out of the beltway more often.

    I agree with you about O’Connor, and I suppose the top four names have to be there; the rest are either hopeless or losers. No way Cosgrove would accept demotion – let alone in favour of someone like Sepuloni.

    Your high regard for certain Labour MPs is not shared outside of the beltway, I know this is hard for you to believe DPF but no one, and I do mean no one, has heard of these people where it matters (ie: provincial NZ); even if they had heard of them they would be viewed in the provinces as “too Auckland” – a huge turnoff.

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  15. Elaycee (4,425 comments) says:

    Orewa1 says: “I think Adern will be promoted on the basis that she is very smart, personable, young, and capable of holding an electorate.”

    Ahem….. As she wasn’t capable of winning a traditional Labour stronghold seat, this theory is blown out of the water.

    Orewa1 adds: “I agree she is photogenic too.”

    ‘Beauty’ must be in the eye of the beholder. Or else you are myopic and your red eye patch has blocked out your view. :)

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  16. ephemera (557 comments) says:

    I don’t understand why Sepuloni is being called “septic tank”. She’s not American, is she? (septic tank = Yank)

    Okay, I get how Sepuloni starts with “sep,” but wouldn’t it be better to choose a nickname which wasn’t already in common usage?

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  17. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    Only one woman on the front bench? I doubt it. My guess is a quota of 3.

    @ CK: Septic tank? ~Classy~. I thought Labour’s supposed to be the nasty party.

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  18. Graeme Edgeler (2,972 comments) says:

    Why do you assume Labour will get nine front bench slots? There are 28 spaces (9 clearly government, 9 clearly opposition, 10 cross-benches), and a fair allocation seems to me: National 15, Labour 8, Greens 3, New Zealand First 2 (the first 28 Sainte-Laguë quotients); or maybe National 14 and Maori Party 1 (Sainte-Laguë based on seats won).

    Now I know each party will get at least one front bench seat, and National will probably be willing to give up one of its so that both Maori Party co-leaders will each have a front-row seat, but why should the Greens or New Zealand First give up one so that Labour can have the whole of the left-hand side?

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  19. ephemera (557 comments) says:

    @Scott Chris

    Labour are still a party. Whatever Cactus Kate belongs to, isn’t.

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  20. adamsmith1922 (724 comments) says:

    What a horrible lot if that is all Labour have

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  21. Elaycee (4,425 comments) says:

    toad’s latest gem: “…..give the Greens a boost in the female vote.”

    Bwahahahaaaaaaaa…

    toad’s theory is based on the fantasy that women across NZ will ditch their current support and flock to the Gweens in opposition because Delahunty is on the Gween front row. Or because the former candidate for McGillicuddy Serious is the co-leader.

    Sure, toad. That’ll work….

    Jesus wept…..

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  22. side show bob (3,410 comments) says:

    So this is the dream team? Looks about as useful as tits on the bull, I shan’t loss any sleep worrying about the immanent return of the lunatic left.

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  23. Martin Gibson (248 comments) says:

    We all know that one female Labour MP on the front bench ain’t gonna play, so who’s out to make way for who?
    Not sure who, but probably a woman who can provide a steady stream of stories about poverty in New Zealand with wobbling chin and misty eyes, making the smirks of National’s front bench look callous and un-caring.
    I know she has lost the election three times, I know she sort of inherited the role off her mum, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Moana Mackey sneak in there.
    She is tenacious, speaks well in the house irritates Anne Tolley, and upped the ante at the last election.

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  24. Martin Gibson (248 comments) says:

    Or Sue Moroney . . . such moral outrage, such an imposing bosom.

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  25. leftyliberal (651 comments) says:

    Ardern lost Auckland Central because of it’s changing demographic. Same reason that Waitakere of recent times has become a swing seat rather than always Labour. Same as most of the country is slowly turning blue/green and the hints of red are fading. This is because National governments of late have been progressively more centrist, and similarly the Labour governments have tended to start out well but towards the end overstep their bounds (WFF, interest free loans etc.)

    As for my picks, I’d drop Twyford for Mahuta and Sepuloni for Ardern.

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  26. Chris2 (775 comments) says:

    Bring back Georgina Beyer and put her on the front bench and that would cover the whole male/female/maori/rural/urban/local body mayoral experience/ prostitution/ actor/actress poltically correct quota requirements with just one person !

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  27. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    A better way to settle this would be for all the Labour MPs to dance around the room in time to music. I’ve seen them dancing on YouTube… it wasn’t pleasant to see, but they can do it. Len Brown can play the music and rap. When the music stops they all rush to the allocated seats and the first to sit in the front bench are the new front benchers. Except Horomia gets a front bench seat regardless, and there is a by-election for whoever sat in that particular seat before Horomia crushed them.

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  28. dime (10,222 comments) says:

    toad – thats pretty sexist of women. i hope women dont vote like that.

    if judith collins became the national leader i wouldnt think – shit! i need to vote for a bloke, ill change my vote.

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  29. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    Not a bad list. I’d probably drop Sepuloni to the second row – she’s completely new – put her in arelatively influential ‘associate’ something role and see how she performs – there will be a reshuffle in 2014 prior to the election I’d think so she can always be promoted then if she’s good. In her place I’d put Nanaia – she’s got some experience and will perform fairly well. She was going to be part of Cunliffe’s bid so it brings together the caucus and she holds a Maori electorate with a massive majority.

    I’d also rank Little much lower – he’s a union hack who got soundly rejected by the electorate. I don’t think he represents the image of the future that Labour wants to project. I have heard him speak and don’t rate him. Give that place to Moana Mackey – she’s a science geek and the current spokesperson for research and development and science and technology – that’s the kind of face Labour should be showing if they want to sell NZ on an alternative vision of the economy. Plus she’s a girl – so that keeps Toad happy :)

    BTW – what’s the big deal with the front bench of nine people – do they have extra rights and powers in the legislative system or is it some lame ego thing about getting to sit in front of everybody else and get more airtime on TV?

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  30. shady (246 comments) says:

    DPF, I can not understand why you rate Phil Twyford? He seems like a Mr Cellophane man to me. I went to a candidate meeting before the 2008 election on the North Shore and he was the most unimpressive of all the speakers! He was reading off the Helen Clark cue sheet, had no charisma whatsoever, and his responses to questions lacked any sign of a competent brain that wasn’t preprogrammed by party propoganda. Having said that – Wayne Mapp was barely any better – and struck me as arrogant and totally disinterested in the locals that attended.

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  31. calendar girl (1,259 comments) says:

    How could Little justify a front bench position? Apart from being totally without experience in Parliament, Little is dull, uninspiring, and represents the unattractive face of the union movement that Labour should be seeking to distance itself from in political terms.

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