Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Labour Party: Cunliffe reveals front bench reshuffle

Labour leader David Cunliffe. Photo / Paul Taylor
Labour leader David Cunliffe. Photo / Paul Taylor

Sue Moroney and Nanaia Mahuta have stepped up in prominent roles in new Labour leader David Cunliffe's frontbench reshuffle.

Ms Mahuta takes Treaty negotiations and Maori development portfolios Mr Cunliffe announced this afternoon.

However, unsuccessful leadership contender Shane Jones retains the Maori affairs role.

See the new list of the reshuffled caucus here

Chief Whip Ms Moroney moves up three places in Labour's rankings to number 10 to pick up Jacinda Ardern's social develoment portfolio. while Ms Ardern drops two places to number six taking the police and corrections portfolios.

Mr Cunliffe said Ms Ardern took was given those roles "because she asked for them''.

As expected new Deputy Leader David Parker as finance spokesman will lead a ``beefed up'' economic team including Mr Jones as economic development spokesman and Grant Robertson as spokesman on employment skills and training.

"They will be at the core of the next Labour Government, delivering policies that will make a real difference to people's lives,'' Mr Cunliffe said.

Former leader David Shearer takes foreign affairs from Phil Goff.

Annette King retains the health portfolio and rises two places to number four while Chris Hipkins, who last year criticised Mr Cunliffe as speculation arose over his leadership aspirations, retains the education portfolio and rises two places to number eight.

Mr Cunliffe said Mr Hipkins did not now stand by that criticism.

"He has been promoted because he is a very able colleague and I personally believe that he belongs on the front bench to take the fight to the Government in a portfolio in which he does extremely well."

Mr Cunliffe said it hadn't proved difficult to embrace people who hadn't supported him as leader.

"The day I got the job I became the servant of the whole caucus and I'm here for the whole party."

Less fortunate was Dunedin North MP David Clark who, having already lost his economic development portfolio to Mr Jones, drops down eight places to number 20, just inside Mr Cunliffe's shadow cabinet where he has the revenue portfolio.

"He's been given some very serious portfolios where he can demonstrate his economic worth and I'm sure that David is a man for the future."

Fellow Dunedin MP Clare Curran, previously at number 18 has dropped out of Labour's top 25 and has lost her Communications and ICT portfolios.

Mr Cunliffe said his shadow cabinet was "a fighting unit that's ready to go we've put the very best people in the front row so that we can take the fight to the Government".

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