David Clark demoted in Labour list

Health Minister David Clark. Photo: ODT files
Health Minister David Clark. Photo: ODT files
Dunedin MP David Clark has been demoted down the Labour list, while a University of Otago academic and go to voice as Covid-19 reached its peak is the party's rising star.

Otago University infectious disease specialist Dr Ayesha Verrall has been giving a prominent spot on Labour's list.

Verrall has been placed at number 18, which means she is all but certain to be an MP after September's election.

She is one below Health Minister David Clark in the list, who dropped from ninth ahead of the 2017 election to 17th in the list released today.

Dr Ayesha Verrall. Photo: supplied
Dr Ayesha Verrall. Photo: supplied

It comes after Dr Clark came under fire for lockdown breaches - mountain biking at Signal Hill and driving to Doctors Point - and has been criticised as a weak link by the National Party.

This morning Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed Dr Clark would stay in his role as Health Minister, despite saying earlier he would have been sacked for lockdown breaches if the country was not in the middle of dealing with a pandemic.

"I deem it necessary for him to be the Minister of Health," Ardern said today.

"I stand by the decision I made at that time.

"We have had a very successful response and David Clark has been part of leading that."

The country was also about to unveil health reforms that he needed to lead.

"If you are asking me if, because we are out of lockdown, I am revising that decision [not to sack him], I am not."

Labour's Taieri candidate Ingrid Leary, who was picked as Clare Curran's replacement for the new electorate which replaced South Dunedin, is at 61 on the list, which means she will need to win the seat to get into Parliament unless Labour wins a majority on its own.

The Labour Party this afternoon revealed its list for the election – its lineup of which candidates would make it into Parliament if they don't win their electorate.

As expected, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is number 1, followed by Kelvin Davis then Grant Robertson – all three are electorate MPs expected to win their seats.

The highest-ranking MP without an electorate is Andrew Little – he has been placed at number seven.

Phil Twyford has been moved up a place, and is at number four – he was number five before the 2017 election.

Labour Party president Claire Szabó said the list shows Labour has harnessed the broadest range of New Zealand with the right skills as the country rebuilds and recovers from Covid-19.

"Our list boosts our existing team with new talent from a range of different backgrounds including health, law and business to help us rebuild in the years to come."

She said September's election will be the "most important election for a generation" as the country recovers from the impact of Covid-19.

Although at number 18 on the list, Verrall is effectively at number five, given the 13 candidates ahead of her will most likely win their seats.

According to Labour's profile of her: "Verrall is an infectious diseases specialist who led the work to improve the Government's contact tracing programme to protect New Zealanders from Covid-19."

She is an elected member and deputy chair of the Capital and Coast District Health Board and works as an infectious disease doctor at Wellington Hospital, the profile said.

Other new candidates include human rights lawyer Vanushi Walters, employment lawyer Camilla Belich and director of a business consultancy firm Naisi Chen.

1. Jacinda Ardern

2.Kelvin Davis

3.Grant Robertson

4.Phil Twyford

5.Megan Woods

6.Chris Hipkins

7.Andrew Little

8.Carmel Sepuloni

9.David Parker

10.Nanaia Mahuta

11.Trevor Mallard

12.Stuart Nash

13 Iain Lees-Galloway

14.Jenny Salesa

15.Damien O'Connor

16.Kris Faafoi

17.David Clark

18.Ayesha Verrall

19.Peeni Henare

20.Willie Jackson

21.Aupito William Sio

22.Poto Williams

23.Vanushi Walters

24.Michael Wood

25.Adrian Rurawhe

26.Raymond Huo

27.Kiri Allan

28.Kieran McAnulty

29.Louisa Wall

30.Meka Whaitiri

31.Rino Tirikatene

32.Camilla Belich

33.Priyanca Radhakrishnan

34.Jan Tinetti

35.Deborah Russell

36.Marja Lubeck

37.Angie Warren-Clark

38 Willow-Jean Prime

39.Tamati Coffey

40.Naisi Chen

41.Jo Luxton

42.Jamie Strange

43.Liz Craig

44.Ibrahim Omer

45.Duncan Webb

46.Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki

47.Ginny Andersen

48.Rachel Brooking

49.Paul Eagle

50.Helen White

51.Barbara Edmonds

52.Angela Roberts

53.Shanan Halbert

54.Neru Leavasa

55.Tracey McLellan

56.Lemauga Lydia Sosene

57.Steph Lewis

58.Dan Rosewarne

59.Rachel Boyack

60.Arena Williams

61.Ingrid Leary

62.Soraya Peke-Mason

63.Lotu Fuli

64.Sarah Pallett

65.Gaurav Sharma

66.Emily Henderson

67.Terisa Ngobi

68.Kurt Taogaga

69.Kerrin Leoni

70.Reuben Davidson

71.Zahra Hussaini

72.Janet Holborow

73.Romy Udanga

74.Ala' Al-Bustanji

75.Glen Bennett

76.Monina Hernandez

77.Claire Mahon

78.Jon Mitchell

79.Nathaniel Blomfield

80.Nerissa Henry

81.Mathew Flight

82.Shirin Brown

83.Liam Wairepo

84.Georgie Dansey

With ODT


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