The Herald reports:
The Labour Party has announced a reshuffle of its caucus this morning following the departure of MPs David Shearer and Phil Goff.
The party has also created a new portfolio, called New Economy, which will be held by leader Andrew Little.
What does that mean? Normally when you have to call something explicitly it means the opposite – as in any country that calls itself a democratic republic is invariably a dictatorship. So I presume a portfolio of new economy means “1970s economy”.
David Parker has taken Shearer’s foreign affairs portfolio and Michael Wood, who won Goff’s Mt Roskill seat, will be Labour’s spokesman for consumer affairs, ethnic communities and revenue.
Imagine the outcry if National announce a European MP as the ethnic communities spokesperson or a man as the spokesperson for women!
Chris Hipkins will relinquish the senior whip position to focus his energy on the education portfolio. He will take over the tertiary education role, which was held by departing New Lynn MP David Cunliffe, who is leaving Parliament to do consultancy work next year.
This is a very sensible move. Having the one MP do education and tertiary education makes sense. Bill English should do the same with his reshuffle and give Tertiary Education and Education to the same Minister.
He said Parker was Shearer’s pick to replace him as Foreign Affairs spokesman, and as a senior MP was widely respected and brought “intellectual grunt” to a portfolio that needed it.
Parker is a fine choice there.
Kris Faafoi would pick up the whip’s job and would also be whip if Labour went into Government after 2017, a role Little said was a pathway into Cabinet.
A pathway into Cabinet means he won’t be there at first, if at all.
In other changes, Clare Curran will take on the ICT role and move into Labour’s shadow Cabinet.
Also sensible as Curran knows the area well.
Nash will also take the state-owned enterprises portfolio previously held by Clayton Cosgrove. Nash will also be the new spokesman for Innovation and science and for research and development.
Iain Lees-Galloway is Labour’s new defence spokesman, a role previously held by Goff. Megan Woods will become state services spokeswoman.
Good portfolios for Nash and defence works well for ILG as he has lots of NZDF interests in his electorate.
Michael Wood will take on consumer affairs, revenue and ethnic communities, which Little said reflected the diverse population in the Mt Roskill electorate.
So would you make a man the spokesperson for women because he has a lot of women in his electorate?