Labour leader David Shearer has unveiled his new shadow-Cabinet lineup at a press conference this afternoon.
MPs Annette King, Phil Twyford and David Clark have shot up the party’s rankings, while Trevor Mallard and Lianne Dalziel have been bumped out of the top 20.
Mr Shearer says the shuffle is a mix of “fresh talent and experienced hands” and those being demoted “understand the importance of renewal for political parties”.
Unranked Mr Clark flies up the ranks to number 12 with the Economic Development and Small Business portfolios, taking on the Government’s ‘everything minister’ Steven Joyce.
Former deputy leader and Health Minister Annette King has returned to the front bench in sixth place with the responsibility for health.
“[She is] passionate and formidable and will do a fantastic job of standing up for Kiwi’s access to quality healthcare,” Mr Shearer says.
Ms King’s housing responsibilities have been allocated to Mr Twyford, who jumps three places to number eight.
The party’s chief whip Chris Hipkins has ousted Nanaia Mahuta from her education role but Ms Mahuta stays in the top 20.
Shane Jones has a place reserved for him on the front bench provided he is exonerated in the Auditor General’s investigation over his granting a Chinese millionaire citizenship while associate immigration minister.
If cleared, Mr Jones will take on Regional Development and Forestry portfolios as well as Associate Finance responsibilities.
Deputy leader Grant Robertson will lead a team of MPs setting out Labour’s job creation plan with a Jobs and Employment portfolio.
David Parker keeps his number three spot, holding on to finance and adding shadow-Attorney General responsibilities.
“There is no one else in this Parliament who has the depth of understanding of the challenges we are facing,” says Mr Shearer. “[He] will make a superb Finance Minister.”
Mr Clark takes on the Economic Development portfolio, while former Housing spokesperson Annette King picks up the Health portfolio.
Jacinda Ardern keeps her Children and Social Development portfolios and stays at number four.
Maryan Street, despite being stripped of the Health portfolio, stays in the shadow-Cabinet, picking up the Environment portfolio.
Andrew Little – Labour’s former party president – and Megan Woods have each picked up portfolios and entered the top 20.
Mr Little takes on Justice and will go head-to-head with Prime Minister John Key with his Tourism portfolio.
Ms Woods picks up Tertiary Education, while continuing to support Mr Shearer on Science and Innovation.
Sue Moroney picks up the ACC portfolio, Ian Lees-Galloway takes Transport and Chris Fa’afoi has been allocated Corrections.
David Cunliffe is back in the ranks - although out of the top 20 - following an unsuccessful attempt at challenging the party’s leadership, picking up the Revenue and Fisheries portfolios, along with Associate Finance.
This gives him the “opportunity to play a constructive role in the Labour team”, Mr Shearer says.
“These decisions have been driven by the need for us to be firmly focussed on the crucial challenges facing New Zealand,” Mr Shearer said.
These challenges include jobs, growing the economy, providing a world class education for children, housing affordability, protecting the health of Kiwis and giving them the opportunity to get ahead, he said.
“The Government’s hands-off approach to these issues has failed; job losses are mounting, people are leaving in droves, housing is unaffordable, the education system is in turmoil and too many children are in poverty.
“It’s time for a change,” says Mr Shearer.
“We will hold National to account, but you will hear more from us this year on what we will do in Government. We will be hands on, we will be innovative and positive.”
- David Shearer - Party Leader, Security Intelligence Service, Science and Innovation
- Grant Robertson - Deputy Leader, Employment, Skills and Training, Arts Culture and Heritage
- David Parker - Finance, Attorney-General
- Jacinda Ardern - Social Development, Children, Associate Arts Culture and Heritage
- Clayton Cosgrove - SOEs, Commerce, Trade Negotiations, Associate Finance
- Annette King - Health
- Shane Jones - REgional Development, Forestry, Associate Finance (pending final Aud-Gen)
- Phil Twyford - Housing, Auckland Issues, Associate Environment
- Maryan Street - Environment, Disarmament and Arms Control, Associate Foreign Affairs
- Chris Hipkins - Education, Senior Whip
- Nanaia Mahuta - Youth Affairs, Maori Development, Associate Education
- David Clark - Economic Development, Small Business
- Sue Moroney - ACC, Early Childhood Education, Women's Affairs
- Su'a William Sio - Local Government, Pacific Island Affairs, Inter Faith Dialogue, Associate Foreign Affairs
- Phil Goff – Foreign Affairs and Trade, State Services, Defence
- Darien Fenton – Labour (including Health and Safety), Immigration, Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage
- Damien O’Connor – Primary Industries, Food Safety
- Clare Curran – Communications and Information Technology, Broadcasting, Open Government, Associate Economic Development
- Andrew Little – Justice, Tourism
- Megan Woods – Tertiary Education, Associate Science and Innovation, Associate Transport (Christchurch)