Labour leader David Cunliffe will do a minor reshuffle of
his caucus tomorrow to fill Shane Jones' roles - a move
expected to see the start of rehabilitation for Trevor Mallard.
Mr Cunliffe will reallocate Mr Jones' portfolios of economic
development, Maori Affairs, forestry and building and
construction. It is likely that Nanaia Mahuta will take over
Maori Affairs and could also shift into Mr Jones' seat on the
It is understood Mr Mallard will benefit from the changes as
Mr Cunliffe tries to harness his heavy- hitting style. Mr
Mallard was put on the backbenches and given minor portfolios
after Mr Cunliffe's appointment as leader.
He has played a fairly low-key role since then, other than
his crusade against animal testing for synthetic drugs.
Andrew Little is also likely to get a promotion. Others
expected to pick up some of Mr Jones' responsibilities
include Clayton Cosgrove, who has taken over the Countdown
supermarket issue, and possibly Damien O'Connor in forestry.
Mr Cunliffe had a meeting of his shadow Cabinet - the top 20
ranked MPs - in Hamilton yesterday. Mr Jones will deliver his
valedictory on May 21 and his fellow Northlander Kelvin Davis
will take his place in Parliament.