Little, King and Wellington

Andrew Little had to rush an announcement that Annette King will remain as duputy leader despite saying when he became leader that her appointment will be for one year only.

It started with a bit of disarray.

Andrew Little botched the announcement of his deputy. Gave it to a journo over coffee, then coms team scrambled together a press conference.

The conference followed this report on Stuff: Labour leader sticking with Annette King for deputy

Labour leader Andrew Little says rising star Jacinda Ardern didn’t want the deputy leadership.

This comes after he confirmed on Wednesday veteran MP Annette King will stay in the role through to the next election in 2017.

“[Jacinda] hasn’t sought the role. The nature of the role means there’s a lot of back office stuff that has to be done. Jacinda’s strength is of course her outreach and getting out there, especially in Auckland, where I need her to be the most active,” Little said.

From Geneva, where King is leading a New Zealand delegation at the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly, she said she was “very happy to do whatever Andrew and the caucus want and happy to carry on in the role”.

This isn’t surprising. Ardern doesn’t look like solid deputy material, lacking in experience and in Caucus gravitas.

King looks to be about the only Labour MP capable of doing a good job as deputy.

But this creates a problem for Little and Labour. Little also announced that Grant Robertson would remain spokesperson on Finance.

So the top three Labour MPs remain as:

  1. Andrew Little (Wellington)
  2. Annette King (Wellington)
  3. Grant Robertson (Wellington)

Ardern has to be bumped up to 4 to give some sort of a nod to youth and to Auckland. Nanaia Mahuta is currently at four but she is virtually anonymous so has to drop down.

So next currently:

  1. Nanaia Mahuta (Waikato)
  2. Phil Twyford (Auckland)
  3. Chris Hipkins (Wellington)
  4. Carmel Sepuloni (Auckland)
  5. Kelvin Davis (Northland)
  6. Jacinda Ardern (Auckland)
  7. David Clark (Dunedin)

So that balances things a bit down the order but still Wellington 4 and Auckland 3 plus 2 from well up the North Island.

The first from the South Island is Clark at 10 and he has hardly been prominent (neither have most of the others).

But the biggest imbalance is four of ten Wellington MPS that are top heavy on the line up.

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  1. traveller

     /  21st October 2015

    I have to give Little and McCarten the credits for more smarts than I might have thought. Good decision. Nanaia is completely off the radar and her #4 is preposterous.

  2. Brown

     /  21st October 2015

    Its a great top 10 – if you are measuring incompetency.

  3. Zedd

     /  21st October 2015

    I’ve always believed seniority should be counted.. therefore I think the Labour party have made the correct decision.
    i’m certain that Ms Ardern & other more junior members time will come.. in due course, as long as they hang around long enough.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  21st October 2015

    Doing nothing is what politicians do best – and also when they do the least damage.

  5. So which safe Wellington seat is Andrew Little going to run in now he has kept Auntie Annette in number 2 slot to manage the caucus that never wanted him as Leader?

    Or will Annette just do the job of holding the factions together until such time as Andy has managed to bring more loyal unionists on to the list and purged the likes of Mallard etc from the party – then she can be pensioned off in 2017 in time for the election with Andy sliding into her electorate?

    What is Annette getting promised as a sweetener to make her stay loyal to Little – some nice roles post retirement being offered on some government entity boards?

    And the cardigan faction must be pretty annoyed their show pony has not been elevated in to No 2 slot… will gracinda start plotting and try and get the unions onside for a nice coup detat in the new year?


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