Labour-NZ First coalition deal

The coalition deal between Labour and NZ First was signed today by incoming Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and incoming deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters.

From Stuff Live:

Key points from the NZ First deal:

  • $1b per annum Regional Development Fund
  • Re-establish the New Zealand Forestry Service
  • Review and reform of the Reserve Bank Act
  • Progressively increase the Minimum Wage to $20 per hour by 2020
  • A comprehensive register of foreign-owned land and housing
  • Free doctors’ visits for all under 14s
  • Free driver training for all secondary students
  • A new generation SuperGold smartcard containing entitlements and concessions
  • A royalty on exports of bottled water
  • Commit to re-enter Pike River
  • A full-scale review into retail power pricing
  • MPs allowed to vote on a potential referendum on euthanasia

Most of that looks fine generally.

Regions have been neglected and allowed to run down for the last three decades so could do with more help. However it will be a challenge to help regions help themselves rather that heap them with subsidies.

While increasing the minimum wage will help many low income earners it’s a risk, as it could backfire and result in a significant number of job losses, meaning some get more but some get less.

NZ First portfolios:

  • Foreign Affairs
  • Infrastructure
  • Regional Economic Development
  • Internal Affairs
  • Seniors
  • Defence
  • Veterans’ Affairs
  • Children
  • Forestry
  • State Owned Enterprises
  • Racing
  • Associate Finance
  • Associate Education
  • Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Regional Economic Development

That’s a good haul of portfolios for a 7% party, with some big wins.

MPs who will take the portfolios will be announced tomorrow.

Stuff:   Labour and New Zealand First Coalition Agreement

Green portfolios leaked

The secrecy over the negotiation period and the lack of sharing of information between Labour, NZ First and Greens may have been wise, given how leaky the Greens have been since the government was made public.

Soon after the Green delegates were given information so they could rubber stamp their support of a Labour-NZ First coalition information has become available.

Newshub – Leak: Greens’ ministerial roles revealed

Newshub can reveal which roles the Labour MPs won’t be getting, with the following ministerial positions promised in the Greens’ agreement.

Climate change and associate finance are both expected to go to Greens leader James Shaw.

Climate change for Shaw is no surprise, it is his favourite issue.

Associate finance is also something Shaw would have been keen on getting, but it means Labour and Greens cover finance, and no NZ First there – unless there is a Ministry for Winston like he was created Treasurer in 1996.

The Greens will also have the conservation, women and land information portfolios, and associate roles in environment, transport and health.

Again conservation and women are no surprise, but only an associate role in environment is.

I’d have thought Julie Anne Genter would have been a good candidate for Minister of Transport but it looks like it’s an associate role only, if she is chosen by the Greens to be one of their ministers (she should be).

An associate role in health could be a significant one, if it is the role Peter Dunne has been doing. That covers drugs including cannabis and medicinal cannabis. In another leak Greens claim this policy agreement:

A referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis by 2020. Funding for drug and alcohol addiction services will be increased.

At last it looks like the futile mess of our current drug law enforcement will be addressed, or could be subject to a referendum.

UPDATE: Green ministers named

James Shaw has just named the Green ministers.

  • James Shaw
  • Julie Anne Genter
  • Eugenie Sage

It sounds like Jan Logie will fill the” newly created undersecretary role, focused on sexual and domestic violence” role.

Notably Green #2 Marama Davidson is not included, but this isn’t surprising, she is far less experienced than the others.


Ardern tweaks Labour portfolios

Jacinda Ardern has tweaked the responsibilities of the Labour caucus – this close to an election major changes would have been pointless and disruptive, so minor changes make sense.

Labour Caucus portfolios reallocated

Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern has announced a minor reallocation of Labour spokesperson portfolios.

The new responsibilities are:

  • Jacinda Ardern: Security and Intelligence, retains Children, Arts Culture and Heritage
  • Andrew Little: Justice, Small Business, ACC, retains New Economy
  • Grant Robertson: Assoc. Arts, Culture and Heritage
  • Carmel Sepuloni: Assoc. Children
  • Adrian Rurawhe: Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations
  • Nanaia Mahuta: Assoc. Māori Development

All other existing portfolio responsibilities remain the same.

It’s standard for the Leader of the Opposition to be responsible for Security and Intelligence. And being a lawyer Little is a logical Justice spokesperson.

The pecking order has also just been rearranged slightly. I think Andrew Little has been slotting in where Kelvin Davis had been.

They party list will need to be changed with Ardern elevated obviously, and Davis added (all Maori electorate MPs opted out of the list).

Here is the current order as per the Labour website, with their list position in brackets:

  1. Jacinda Ardern (2)
  2. Kelvin Davis (Maori)
  3. Grant Robertson (3)
  4. Phil Twyford (4)
  5. Megan Woods (5)
  6. Chris Hipkins (6)
  7. Andrew Little (1)
  8. Carmel Sepuloni (7)
  9. David Clark (8)
  10. David Parker (9)
  11. Nanaia Mahuta (Maori)
  12. Stuart Nash (10)
  13. Meka Whatiri (Maori)
  14. Ian Lees-Galloway (13)
  15. Aupito Su’a William Sio (15)
  16. Sue Moroney (retiring)
  17. Damien O’Connor (17)
  18. Kris Faafoi (19)
  19. Jenny Salesa (18)
  20. Peeni Henare (Maori)
  21. Clare Curran (22)
  22. Adrian Rurawhe (Maori)
  23. Annette King (retiring)
  24. Trevor Mallard (32)
  25. Ruth Dyson (23)
  26. Rino Tirikatene (Maori)
  27. Poto Williams (24)
  28. Lousia Wall (25)
  29. Clayton Cosgrove (retiring)
  30. Michael Wood (26)
  31. Raymond Huo (12)

On current polling the top 12 or so might make it into a Cabinet if Labour form a coalition and allocations are proportional. Just 4 of the top 12 are female, and 7 of the top 20.

Quiet Labour reshuffle

Andrew Little has have reshuffled his caucus’s speaking roles after David Shearer’s resignation and Annette King’s stepping down as deputy.

It seems that Jacinda Ardern’s elevation to deputy has not been matched with an elevation in speaking roles. She has been spokesperson for Justice, Arts, Culture and Heritage, Children, and Small Business Associate Spokesperson for Auckland Issues, none of which are heavy hitting roles.

Dunedin MP David Clark has been given King’s Health portfolio. Clark has been an MP since 2011 and was quickly rated as a good future prospect, but has not been prominent for some time. Health will be a step up and a big test for him.

According to NZ Herald Megan Woods has been bumped up from 10 to 5 in the pecking order.

Ardern has retained all her portfolios, including Children, Arts, Small Business and Justice.

She will also pick up the extra duties of deputy, although Little said she would not fill the usual mould of deputy and would instead help him campaign.

That starts immediately – Ardern will accompany Little on a series of public meetings this week, including in Wellington, Hawke’s Bay, and Auckland.

They are keeping these changes low key, with one Tweet but I can’t see anything yet on Labour’s or Little’s Facebook pages and the Labour website still lists King as deputy.

And their website home page does not list the reshuffle under ‘Latest’ nor under ‘Latest Headlines’. I had to hunt for information.

David Clark takes over health role

Dunedin North MP David Clark succeeds Annette King as Health Spokesperson as part of a minor reallocation of portfolios announced today by Labour Leader Andrew Little.

“David has been Associate Spokesperson for some time and has worked closely with Annette in this important portfolio so I’m very confident he will do well in this role.

“A Labour Government will reverse National’s health cuts and David’s skills and experience will be invaluable in communicating to the electorate how Labour will fix the health system.

“Stuart Nash takes over David’s Economic Development (including Regional Development) portfolio and David Parker picks up his Trade and Export Growth role.

“Megan Woods has been a strong performer in her Climate Change and Canterbury Issues roles and picks up Stuart’s Energy, Innovation and Science, Research and Development portfolios.”

Among other changes:

  • Peeni Henare gains State Owned Enterprises
  • Raymond Huo, who is expected to join the Labour caucus next week, takes over the Land Information Role
  • Adrian Rurawhe moves into the Shadow Cabinet
  • Annette King takes over State Services

“This completes changes triggered by Michael Wood’s election as Mt Roskill MP. Earlier this year Kris Faafoi was elected Senior Whip and Adrian Rurawhe, Caucus Secretary.

“The team I lead into this year’s election is strong and determined. We will be working hard to show New Zealanders that there is a better way that provides fairness and opportunity for all,” says Andrew Little.


Raymond Huo is set to return to Parliament soon to replace Ardern on the list and will do the Land Information portfolio.

That gives him some work in the area of foreign buyers – Land Information includes the Overseas Investment Office, as well as data collected on foreign buyers by the Government.

Is this an attempt to dampen down the fallout from their controversial ‘Chinese sounding names’ debacle?

Collins happy with new portfolios

Judith Collins has been move to three new portfolios – Revenue, Energy and Resources, and Ethnic Communities. Some have described it as a demotion, but Collins says otherwise.

And so does Bill English who denies ‘payback’ behind Judith Collins, Jonathon Coleman demotions:

Bill English says Judith Collins and Jonathan Coleman weren’t demoted as “payback” after they challenged him for the leadership of the National Party.

“It isn’t payback time. Look, we have been focusing on refreshing the Cabinet – that means moving some people up. They can’t all sit in the same seat. So a number of the ministers who’ve been around a while have found their individual rankings dropped a bit.

“But look, it’s what this Cabinet does rather than the intricacies of who’s sitting in number nine and who’s sitting in number 11.”

Collins seems happy (and is probably grateful) to have new challenges.

NZ Herald: Judith Collins speaks out after Prime Minister Bill English’s reshuffle: ‘I’m not wounded at all’

It has been portrayed as a demotion but Collins said she had long been interested in taking on more business-focused portfolios.

“I’m not wounded at all. I’m actually interested that so many people think I would be.”

Although she had made a name for herself in the Police and Corrections portfolios, Collins said she had long wanted a business-related portfolio and believed serving in a range of areas was important to become a well-rounded minister.

“The problem is you get terribly pigeon-holed and I’ve always really enjoyed them, and I’ve really enjoyed the people. But I do have a lot of law and tax experience and as Bill rightly said, it hasn’t really been used in the past.

She is a former tax lawyer and is currently studying health and safety so said both portfolios fitted well with her.

“I’m probably one of the few people in Government that gets excited about areas like tax policy.

I’m very pleased to have the Revenue and the Energy and Resources portfolios because they are such important business portfolios, economic portfolios. They are both areas that are incredibly important to New Zealand’s future so I’m very happy to have those. And Bill has asked me to really run with them and get right into them and I will be.”

Although Revenue tends to be a low-profile portfolio, she will have some problems to sort out. Top of the list is Inland Revenue’s $2.6 billion ‘Business Transformation’ programme upgrading its ageing IT infrastructure which is at risk of getting bogged down in delays and cost blowouts.

Collins said English had also given her the Ethnic Affairs portfolio which she had held previously. “He said he wanted me to do that because I’d done such a good job last time, which I took as a compliment.”

There’s a lot of consideration that has to be given to decide who gets which portfolio. It sounds like Collins has quite an appropriate set to work with – and that’s what she has to do, do her best with them in her service to Government and to the country.

Labour reshuffle their pack

Andrew Little has announced a bit of a reshuffle of portfolio responsibilities for the labour caucus to cover the departures of Phil Goff and David Shearer.

There’s nothing much surprising.

Curiously Little has created a new role for himself, New Economy, explaining this with a fairly vague “Labour is committed to growing wealth in the economy through greater innovation and productivity”. Sounds quite similar to what the current Government talks about, and also looks compatible with Green rhetoric.

It will be interesting to she whether Labour try build their campaign around ‘New Economy’. It will need to be explained as more than going back to pre-neoliberalism.


Labour will need to do a lot more than shuffle a few speaking roles.

Labour readies for 2017 election

Labour leader Andrew Little today announced a reallocation of portfolios in his shadow cabinet following the retirements of David Cunliffe, Phil Goff and David Shearer and the arrival of new Mt Roskill MP Michael Wood.

“These changes will help sharpen Labour’s focus on some core areas. We know we can do so much better as a country and the team I lead into next year’s election will be working as hard as ever to show New Zealanders Labour has a plan for the future.

“I am underlining how important this is by creating the New Economy portfolio. Labour is committed to growing wealth in the economy through greater innovation and productivity.”

In other changes Michael Wood will be the spokesperson for Consumer Affairs, Ethnic Communities and Revenue.

Chris Hipkins adds all the associate delegations of Tertiary Education held by David Cunliffe to his overall Education duties.

“Education is a crucial area for Labour because of the funding freeze on schools and declining performance, and we’ll be increasing pressure on the Government on this. Chris will be focusing all his energies on this important area and so will be stepping down from the Senior Whip role. I will be nominating Kris Faafoi to be the new Senior Whip with the vote taking place at the first Caucus of 2017. Chris will retain the Shadow Leader of the House role.”

David Parker also takes over Foreign Affairs from David Shearer. Stuart Nash gains State Owned Enterprises and will also be the new spokesperson for Innovation and Science, and Research and Development.

Iain Lees-Galloway will be the new Defence spokesperson. Dr Megan Woods adds State Services to her duties while Clare Curran takes over ICT and moves into the Shadow Cabinet.

“We’re really looking forward to 2017 and spending time talking to New Zealanders up and down the country about how a Labour led Government will restore the Kiwi dream,” says Andrew Little.


Greens reshuffle spokesperson roles

The Green party has announced a reshuffle of spokesperson roles following the election of James Shaw as new co-leader.

Shaw has taken on Climate Change, with Metiria Turei continuing her focus on Inequality.

Most notable is the promotion of Julie Anne Genter to the Finance role, taking over from Russel Norman. Genter has been one of the Greens’ most capable and prominent spokespeople in her previous role on Transport (which she retains).

Interestingly Genter is still only ranked ninth in the Green pecking order, having dropped a place from last year’s list after the promotion of Shaw.

New portfolio line-up for the Green Party

New portfolios
MP Portfolio
Metiria Turei Inequality

Building and Housing (inc. Social Housing, HNZ)

Maori Affairs

James Shaw Climate Change

Economic Development

Russel Norman Trade

Justice (electoral)

National Intelligence and Security (inc. NZSIS, GCSB)

Kevin Hague Health (inc. ACC, Sport & Recreation)


Rainbow Issues

Eugenie Sage Environment

Primary Industries

Land Information

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery

Earthquake Commission

Gareth Hughes Energy and Resources

Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

Science and Innovation



Wellington Issues

Catherine Delahunty Education (inc. Novopay)


Human Rights

Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Kennedy Graham Foreign Affairs (inc. Defence, Disarmament, Customs)

Veterans Affairs

Senior Citizens

Julie Anne Genter Finance (inc. Revenue, SOEs)



Mojo Mathers Commerce and Consumer Affairs (inc. Regulatory Reform)

Disability Issues

Animal Welfare

Jan Logie Social Development (inc. Women, Community and Voluntary Sector)

State Services

Local Government (inc. Civil Defence)

Rainbow Issues

Dave Clendon Tourism

Small Business

Criminal Justice (inc. Courts, Corrections, Police)


Denise Roche Workplace Relations and Safety


Immigration, Pacific Peoples, Ethnic Affairs

Internal Affairs (inc. Statistics, Arts Culture & Heritage, Ministerial Services, Racing, Gambling)

Auckland Issues

Steffan Browning Organics




Food Safety