Long-serving Labour MP Annette King has been confirmed as
the party's new health spokeswoman in David Shearer's reshuffle
of Opposition portfolios. She replaces Maryan Street who
becomes environment spokeswoman.
In other major changes in the Labour line-up, deputy leader
Grant Robertson has been given the lead role in making jobs
one of Labour's big four themes in the run up to next year's
The other areas are health, education and housing, the latter
job briefing handed to Auckland MP Phil Twyford.
Ms King and Mr Twyford are both moving to the front bench.
Senior whip Chris Hipkins will take over the shadow education
portfolio from Nanaia Mahuta, who will instead take on
responsibility for Maori development.
Kris Faafoi will take over Corrections, and Shane Jones, if
cleared by the Auditor General, will get regional
development, forestry and associate finance.
"He is a talented politician with an important contribution
to make," said Mr Shearer about Mr Jones.
Mr Shearer said his decisions were based on choosing the best
person for each job.
"My shadow Cabinet includes a mix of new talent and
experienced hands. They are raring to go and keen to get
stuck into tackling the issues that matter most to Kiwis."
Amongst other promotions, first-term Dunedin North MP David
Clark leaps to number 12 in Labour's rankings and takes on
economic development, while former party president Andrew
Little will take over the justice role from the departing
Charles Chauvel and will also take on tourism. Sue Moroney
will take on Mr Little's current ACC portfolio. Former leader
Phil Goff keeps his foreign affairs role, but adds state
Two other long-serving Labour MPs - Lianne Dalziel and Trevor
Mallard - have been moved out of the top 20 into the unranked
portion of the caucus - Labour only ranks its top 20 MPs by
number. Mr Mallard has been allocated the Internal Affairs
Mr Shearer said although Mr Mallard and Ms Dalziel had been
moved out of the Shadow Cabinet, they would retain
significant roles and had recognised the need for
- By John Armstrong of the NZ Herald