20 Dec 2011

Shearer warns new Labour team of review

9:27 am on 20 December 2011

Labour Party leader David Shearer says while he is pleased with his new caucus line-up, there will be at least one performance review during the next term.

The major portfolios have been re-allocated; David Parker has picked up the finance role from Mr Shearer's unsuccessful rival for the leadership, David Cunliffe, who moves to economic development.

Three newcomers have made to to the front bench; the leader himself, deputy leader Grant Robertson who becomes environment spokesperson and Jacinda Ardern at No 4 who is Social Development spokesperson.

Mr Shearer says there will be regular performance checks of his MPs and he is not afraid to make changes to his front-bench team.

"We will review it some time during the course of the term, and that might be more than once, but it will be based on talent and performance."

Mr Shearer told Morning Report he expects his MPs to prove they are performing by delivering in at least two key areas.

"Just getting out there and making making sure that both our vision for the future of New Zealand is articulated well, but also that they expose some of the weaknesses that I think are apparent on the other side."

Time to unite

David Cunliffe acknowledges there has been an effort to unite opposing factions in the caucus and says now is the time to pull together.

"The objective whenever there is a leadership contest is to unite the various groups in the caucus to form a high-performance team. There's certainly been some attempt to do that."

The MP David Cunliffe wanted as his deputy during the contest, Nanaia Mahuta, makes it back to the front bench, becoming education spokesperson.

Mr Shearer has taken the Security Intelligence Service and Science and Innovation portfolios, while Mr Robertson has responsibility for the Environment and Tertiary Education.

Maryan Street has the health portfolio and the front bench is rounded off by Clayton Cosgrove and Shane Jones.