Labour MPs Phil Twyford, Andrew Little and Trevor Mallard are the biggest winners of Labour leader David Cunliffe's reshuffle, while Maryan Street and Darien Fenton have slipped down.

Mr Cunliffe outlined the changes of his 'mini reshuffle' today, prompted by the resignation of Shane Jones.

Phil Twyford will pick up the transport portfolio from Darien Fenton and move onto the front bench, leapfrogging several of his colleagues into 6th ranking. Nanaia Mahuta has also picked up Mr Jones' Maori Affairs portfolio and has been moved up one space in Labour's rankings from 9 to 8. The shift will mean the party's education spokesman Chris Hipkins moves off the physical front bench - but Mr Cunliffe said that was nothing to do with his abilities. It was required because it was important for the Maori Affairs spokesperson to be sitting in one of the eight front bench seats allocated to Labour in Parliament.

Mr Cunliffe said the technical front bench was the top ten MPs and Mr Hipkins remained in that.


Grant Robertson has picked up Mr Jones' most significant other portfolio of economic development. Mr Cunliffe said that was a reward for Mr Robertson's "general excellence" rather than for his efforts on driving the attacks on Judith Collins over her Oravida links.

Ms Street has gone from 12 to 16 but picks up the tertiary education portfolio. Darien Fenton has slipped from 25 to 26 - the last of the ranked MPs. The 8 MPs below here are unranked. Ms Fenton has also lost the most significant of her portfolios: transport.

Mr Little has moved to 11th in the rankings, up from 17. Mr Cunliffe said that was because of his work "doing the heavy lifting in Justice and Labour."

Mr Mallard has also been rehabilitated after he was shunted to the back bench following Mr Cunliffe's election as leader last year. He has moved back to the second bench in 15th slot from being unranked. He also picks up the immigration and association economic development roles as well as the new specific portfolio of animal rights following his campaign to halt animal testing for legal highs. Mr Cunliffe said the promotion reflected the confidence he had in Mr Mallard, despite his earlier demotion of him.

"He is returning to a role where his considerable skills and firepower will be brought to bear on a Government that is looking increasingly shaky."

Kelvin Davis will replace Mr Jones after he leaves on May 21 and has been ranked at 22, getting associate roles in regional development, education, police and corrections.