Labour’s reshuffle

Details from tweets (and now the release) are:

  • Grant Robertson picks up Health and moves to front bench
  • Darren Hughes gets education
  • Trevor Mallard Shadow Leader of the House and Associate Finance
  • Shane Jones moves to No 13, but only has Associate Maori Affairs, plus  Transport, Infrastructure & Fisheries
  • Dyson stays No 5, gets conservation, state services and immigration
  • Parker moves to No 4
  • Chauvel & Moronery move up rankings
  • Sio gets Pacific Island Affairs
  • Twyford gets Local Government
  • Ardern gets Employment
  • Shearer, Nash, Fenton, Hipkins, Davis and Burns get rankings

The Robertson move is the best part of the reshuffle. Tony Ryall will have a more challenging time with Grant against him. Health is traditionally a strong area for , and the fact they have performed so dismally in this area has to change, for them to be competitive. It also marks the high regard Robertson is held in, to get it in just two years. He is a future Labour Prime Minister in my opinion.

Darren replacing Trevor in Education is also a good move. Trevor has all the union and teacher links, but his public persona is bad, and seen as part of the past. Darren will bring a more friendly image, and being young in this portfolio is not a bad thing.

Jones has a chance to redeem himself. He is very talented but notoriously lazy also – if he wants to be Leader, he now has to put in the hard work in his portfolios.

Mallard has basically been the de facto Shadow Leader anyway, so no real change there.

With Ruth Dyson, I can’t do better the copy Danyl Mc”s tweet: “Not enough liquid nitrogen in Thorndon to remove Dyson from front bench”

Goff has made a mistake in keeping Dyson on. While what he has done is generally good, it doesn’t go far enough. The front bench is still comprised of all Clark era Ministers with the sole exception being Grant – who instead was in the PMs Office. But the reality is Goff’s leadership is not strong enough that he could denote Dyson.

Parker going up to No 4 reflects performance. And if Labour loses the next election, I would expect Parker to move to No 2 or 3 and be Finance Spokesperson., with Cunliffe as Leader.

Annoyingly Labour have not put out a full list of portfolios and rankings, so can’t comment in detail on the other moves.

Overall Goff gets positive marks for the reshuffle – the new lineup will put more pressure on National. But I don’t think it will be a circuit breaker in its attempts to reconnect with the public.

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