5 May 2009

Mallard back on front benches after Labour's reshuffle

4:27 pm on 5 May 2009

Labour has announced a reshuffle of its caucus after the departure of former leader and deputy, Helen Clark and Michael Cullen.

The changes see Trevor Mallard return to the front bench in the role of education spokesman.

Mr Mallard, who is a former Education minister, was relegated to the back benches by Miss Clark for scrapping in the lobbies with National Party MP Tau Henare.

Now he's been rehabilitated to the front bench to take on current minister Anne Tolley.

Te Atatu MP Chris Carter will take over the foreign affairs portfolio, held by Miss Clark before she left for the UN.

List MP Darren Hughes will succeed Dr Cullen as Shadow Leader of the House.

Hauraki Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta has given up the environment portfolio, and her place on the front bench, for personal reasons.

Shane Jones will take on the environment and economic development role.

Damien O'Connor returns to Parliament as a list MP to replace Dr Cullen. He will be sworn into Parliament on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr O'Connor lost the West Coast-Tasman electorate he held for 15 years in last year's election to National's Chris Auchinvole.