Labour leader David Shearer says he will take time to reshuffle his caucus after David Cunliffe was demoted last week.
Mr Cunliffe, the opposition party's fifth-ranked MP and the spokesman for economic development, was stripped of his portfolios and banished to the back bench after undermining Mr Shearer's position at Labour's annual conference last weekend.
Mr Shearer told TV3's The Nation programme today that he would chat to caucus members in the next few days and "see where they think their talents are best used".
He said he was not in any great hurry to reshuffle the caucus.
"I'll take it in my own time and I'll do it in my own way," he said.
He said Mr Cunliffe was talented but he needed to "put his head down and work for the team".
"I would love to have him in a higher position and that door is certainly open to him."
The leadership issues detracted from a housing policy announcement at the conference.
"The big issue about what I was putting forward in my speech at the conference was very much about if you are going to be in government you have to be a hands-on government.
"It is no good anymore being hands off - leave it to the market," Mr Shearer said.