Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

Faafoi elevated into Labour's shadow Cabinet

Kris Faafoi's elevation is a reward for his work in the State Services portfolio, in which he has had a number of hits on Government spending. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Kris Faafoi's elevation is a reward for his work in the State Services portfolio, in which he has had a number of hits on Government spending. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Labour MP Kris Faafoi has been promoted into Labour leader Andrew Little's shadow Cabinet after MP Clayton Cosgrove announced he would not stand again in 2017.

Mr Little has just announced changes to his lineup, including the boost up the rankings for Mr Faafoi who will also get Mr Cosgrove's tourism portfolio on top of his current portfolio of state services.

In turn, David Shearer takes over Mr Faafoi's consumer affairs portfolio.

Mr Cosgrove moves out of the shadow Cabinet but keeps his commerce and associate finance portfolio and has also been given a "business outreach" role. "Clayton has excellent links with business and will lead the push in working with industry."

Mr Cosgrove is one of Labour's most business-friendly faces and the role is an acknowledgment that relations with business are critical as Labour formulates new policy to take to the 2017 election.

Mr Faafoi's elevation is a reward for his work in the State Services portfolio, in which he has had a number of hits on Government spending.

Mr Little also hinted that his previous career as a reporter at TVNZ was a factor: "He is instantly recognisable to many New Zealanders and connects well when he's on the road -- an invaluable skill when working with the tourism industry."

Mr Little said the changes provided "new strength" to a lineup he described as having "an excellent mix of wise heads and new blood".

Mr Cosgrove is the second MP in Labour to opt against standing again in 2017 -- Phil Goff is standing for the Auckland Mayoralty but announced he would not stand in 2017 even if he was unsuccessful in that bid.

Mr Cosgrove has not ruled out leaving earlier than the 2017 election -- the next in line to replace him on Labour's list is Maryan Street, followed by Moana Mackey and Raymond Huo.

- NZ Herald

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