25 Feb 2013

King back on Labour's front bench but not Cunliffe

9:39 pm on 25 February 2013

The Labour Party reshuffle is a mix of the old and the new, with the return of a former deputy leader to the front bench, and the promotion of some less experienced MPs.

Annette King, Phil Twyford and Chris Hipkins will now occupy front bench positions, while senior MPs and Cabinet ministers, Trevor Mallard and Lianne Dalziel slip down the ranks.

David Shearer announces the reshuffle.

David Shearer announces the reshuffle. Photo: RNZ

Annette King, a former health minister, takes over the portfolio from Maryann Street, who retains her number nine position.

Nanaia Mahuta loses her front bench position and the education portfolio to Chris Hipkins.

David Cunliffe, who was demoted last year following speculation of a leadership challenge, remains unranked, but has been given three portfolios - fisheries, revenue and associate finance.

Lianne Dalziel holds onto her portfolios, but goes from number 14 to an unranked position.

Long-serving MP Trevor Mallard has dropped out of the top 20, but says he's happy with that, as he's been told by the party leader that he will be the next Speaker of the House under a Labour-led government.

Mr Shearer has left a space on the front bench for Shane Jones but that will depend on the outcome of an Auditor General's report on an immigration decision he made as a Minister in 2008.

David Clark, who entered Parliament at the last election, has gone from being unranked to 12th in the lineup, and picks up economic development.

In other portfolio changes, Maryan Street takes on environment, Sue Moroney ACC and Andrew Little the justice portfolio.

Ms Street loses the health portfolio but keeps her position at number nine in the caucus.

Nanaia Mahuta slips down the rankings and loses education.

She picks up two new portfolios of youth affairs and Maori development.

Deputy leader Grant Robertson keeps the portfolio of employment, skills and training but has now been asked specifically to take the Government on over its record on jobs.

Jacinda Ardern retains her number four position and the social development portfolio.

Annette King, David Clark, Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson at the reshuffle announcement.

Annette King, David Clark, Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson at the reshuffle announcement. Photo: RNZ