Labour’s mini-reshuffle

David Cunliffe announced:

“I am pleased to announce that Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford will join the front bench and pick up the transport portfolio. It shows the importance places on affordable housing for all New Zealanders.

That’s a sensible appointment. Twyford has been a solid performer for them, and transport is a good portfolio for him.

“Grant Robertson has the Economic Development portfolio. Grant is a senior member of Caucus and will take on one of the most crucial roles of the campaign of jobs and economic growth.

Grants knows a lot about economic growth. He’s read lots of textbooks on the private sector.

“Grant will be supported by Trevor Mallard who moves to the second bench and takes on Associate Economic Development as well as Immigration.

Having failed to get Trevor to quit, this is a belated attempt to get him back in the tent pissing out, rather than vice-versa. Hopefully as Immigration spokesperson he’ll steer Labour away from their recent flirtation with anti-immigration policies to steal votes back off Winston.

“Nanaia Mahuta will take on Māori Affairs and move up one place. She will lead the Māori Caucus and oversee the job of winning the Māori seats back for Labour.

No real choice there.

“Jacinda Ardern also moves up one to five.

“Other big movers are Andrew Little, who has done the heavy lifting in the Justice and Labour portfolios, and returning MP Kelvin Davis who comes in at number 22 and takes on associate roles in Regional Development, Education, Corrections and Police.

A promotion for Little is deserved and sensible portfolios for Davis.

“Labour is refreshed, united and ready to fight this election,” David Cunliffe says.

No one believes they are united, any more than we believe we have always been at war with Eastasia. But the reshuffle is a sensible one, which will help them move forward.

On Stuff they report:

Cunliffe said the top 10 would now meet as a group replacing the former caucus strategy committee, which was the top five.

Not sure that is a sensible move. Having almost a third of your caucus in the strategy group is pretty unwieldy. Few groups that have more than single figure membership are particularly effective at nimble decision making.

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