Labour reshuffle will fill Jones' portfolios

David Cunliffe.
David Cunliffe.
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 front bench.

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.

 

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