Dunedin North MP David Clark has been identified as a
"rising star" by Labour leader David Shearer who elevated the
first-term MP to economic development spokesman in today's
Mr Clark will work with David Parker who retains the finance
role for Labour along with assuming the role of shadow
Mr Clark's former role as revenue spokesman has been given to
David Cunliffe who still languishes on the backbenches.
In a surprising move, Mr Shearer has appointed Shane Jones to
number 7 on the front bench, subject to a pending Attorney
Chris Hipkins, who has made life tough for Education Minister
Hekia Parata becomes education spokesman at the expense of
Nania Mahuta, a supporter of Mr Cunliffe.
Former deputy leader Annette King returns to the front bench
with health and Phil Twford moves to the front bench with
Labour leader David Shearer will this afternoon reveal his
new caucus line-up with much of the focus on how he treats
David Cunliffe, who was demoted last year after failing to
rule out a challenge for the leadership.
Mr Cunliffe, now a backbench MP, was the party's economic
development spokesman and the MP most likely to cause grief
for Government ministers because of his sharp questions.
Mr Cunliffe is identifiable with the left of the party
despite living in one of Auckland's wealthiest suburbs.
If Mr Cunliffe is left to stew on the backbench, Mr Shearer
might face some further pressure to step down if poll numbers
continue to remain low for Labour and his own personal
The reshuffle has been made somewhat easier for Mr Shearer
with the resignation of list MP Charles Chauvel but some
long-serving non-performing MPs are expected to be removed
from the front bench to make room for a fresher looking