Hard News by Russell Brown


No Red Wedding

Three things stand out to me about David Cunliffe's new shadow Cabinet. One is that the partisan bloodbath confidently forecast by some of the bolder pundits has rather failed to happen.

Clayton Cosgrove has been bumped down but two places, Annette King keeps Health and is promoted to fourth in the rankings and Chris Hipkins keeps education and rises two places to eighth ranking. Trevor Mallard, unranked since David Shearer's last reshuffle, stays unranked.

Another is the strong emphasis on jobs, the economy and development: four of the five top places go to related portfolios, plus Cosgrove's associate finance role.

And the third is that Cunliffe has relieved Clare Curran of the Information and Communications Technology portfolio and taken it for himself. No previous government has ranked ICT so highly, and there has probably never been an MP as well-equipped for its demands as Cunliffe. So that's a win. Curran, who is clearly out of favour, also loses Broadcasting to Kris Faafoi.

David Shearer departs the front bench, but picks up Foreign Affairs. His Science and Innovation portfolio seems to have been split up and given to Megan Woods (Innovation, Research and Development) and Moana Mackey (Science).

The full list of MPs and portfolios is here.


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