Andrew Little has played his caucus reshuffle cars well, with some risks (there’s always risks).
1. Andrew Little
Leader of the Opposition
Security and Intelligence
2. Annette King
Good move having King as deputy, keeps some continuity with a lot of experience and should help get the Caucus onside and supportive.
3. Grant Robertson
A big play. Robertson wanted a top job, this isn’t what he wanted but this is perhaps next best. It will be a real test of his ability. If he doesn’t measure up Little has a couple of ex Finance spokespeople sulking but in a year may be ready to perform.
4. Nanaia Mahuta
Reward/conciliation here. Mahuta needs to show she can perform far more visibly and effectively than she has so far.
5. Phil Twyford
Not sure about this one, maybe he’ll be good enough. There’s one way to find out.
6. Chris Hipkins
Shadow Leader of the House
Early Childhood Education
A good promotion of new blood, Hipkins has to learn to lead and not work in the shadow of fellow henchmen.
7. Carmel Sepuloni
I have no idea how she will go with this sort of promotion and only just back in Parliament.
8. Kelvin Davis
Associate Justice (Sexual and Domestic Violence)
Associate Education (Maori Education)
Associate Regional Development
A good move. One Labour candidate/MP with fairly wide support and respect and he eliminated a pesky Mana left flank for Labour.
9. Jacinda Ardern
Arts, Culture, Heritage
Nowhere near where she wanted (deputy to Robertson) but lucky to get a chance under Little, she’s been a bit lightweight. If she performs she could replace King in a year – is she being mentored for this?
10. David Clark
Associate Health (Mental Health)
Maybe in his second term he realises that hard work is necessary and he’ll be prepared for serious debate.
11. Su’a William Sio
Pacific Island Affairs
Associate Housing (South Auckland)
Reward for PI support. I don’t know if he otherwise deserves it.
12. Iain Lees-Galloway
Could be part of the new wave but needs to improve.
13. Megan Woods
Some rate her but I haven’t seen it. Her demeanour in Parliament hasn’t impressed, too angry/snarky.
14. David Cunliffe
Research and Development
Science and Innovation
Associate Economic Development
A fair placement for him. He needs to prove he can work hard with a team.
15. David Parker
Trade and Export Growth
Shadow Attorney General
Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations
Also fair placement after his sulking in failure. He has to prove he wants to help the cause or drop out.
16. David Shearer
Seems to be good with Foreign Affairs but not so good with party affairs.
17. Phil Goff
About here he should be, if he wants to put the effort it.
Internal Affairs (excluding Gambling)
Sport and Recreation
He might be better with his Assistant Speaker role requiring a more responsible performance – if he can leave his dirty politics in the past.
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery
There for experience, not for future prospects.
Not likely to rise to greater heights.
Building and Construction
Significant demotion deserved. He campaigned for electorate vote and blatantly ignored party responsibilities, and a fairly toxic brand that Labour needs to leave on the past.
She hasn’t been stellar but I don’t know why she’s been slid backwards so much. Mustn’t be seen as a future prospect.
Little has made some major changes. Labour needs major change.
Putting them on notice that all positions are up for review in a year is smart – Little needs to change things but needs to not aggravate old and recent wounds too much as he gets himself established.
If the polls have recovered enough he will be able to assess things and then act decisively this time next year to prepare a credible team for the election in 2017.
Little has played his first hand with a good balance of old and new, carrot and stick. It’s up to all of them to step up.