NZ Herald openly continue their support for Little and Labour

In the leadup to the party’s conference, Little told the Herald one advantage that All Blacks coach Steve Hansen had over him was that sports teams could select and de-select at their pleasure. He had to work with what he had.

Little’s basically complaining he’s got to make a team out of players picked from Buller, West Coast and Mid Canterbury.   Crap in, crap out – basically.    Nice one Andy, that will win you friends.

This is a critical reshuffle.

Parliament is about to break up for the year, and the Herald is going on about next year’s Labour reshuffle?   Seriously?

Labour has been criticised for being too oppositional and failing to present as a Government in waiting. This shadow Cabinet has to be of high enough calibre to convince the voters that Labour is ready to take over.

His team is small and he needs his performers to perform. There are precious few of those. Those who got opportunities and made the most of them will do the best, such as Kelvin Davis and Phil Twyford. Beyond those, few of the MPs have stood out in the public eye.

Reshuffling a group of people that are useless isn’t really going to produce a better outcome.

Little has already indicated Jacinda Ardern will be moved up from her ninth position. That is likely to be a shift to fourth in the rankings. Although Labour’s top three are all from Wellington, they cannot be moved given one is the leader, the other the deputy and the third the finance spokesman.

Ardern’s job is to win over Auckland. She is also likely to take on a meaty portfolio in place of the justice portfolio, which is not a natural fit for her. Expect Kelvin Davis to leapfrog over Nanaia Mahuta to be the highest ranked Maori MP and for Mahuta to drop down.

Ardern to win Auckland?   Ha!  

Carmel Sepuloni was one of those Little promoted soon after he became leader – a show of faith which she is yet to repay.

Oohhh burn!  Tug of the leash there.

Little had intended Sepuloni to take over as his deputy after his first year in the job but since then she has failed to fire, partly distracted by personal issues.

Despite that, she is likely to get a second chance and keep the social development portfolio.

Tokenism and union backing bro.  That’s all it is.

While Little has recognised the need for experience in his team he is expected to use the reshuffle to indicate that experience in the Cabinet is no guarantee they will be there again.

The key target for that message is likely to be Cunliffe. Cunliffe has been relatively quiet since the election. Despite that, trust in him is low. He is currently ranked 14th. Little may well use this reshuffle to send a signal to him that there is no road for him into a Labour Cabinet. That in turn would be seen as a hint for Cunliffe to consider a life beyond Parliament.

Here’s the NZ Herald doing Little’s dirty work by getting the word out early and publicly that Cunliffe has little time remaining to find a soft spot to land.

Little’s focus will be instead on bringing forward talented newcomers from the 2011 and 2014 intakes, such as Jenny Salesa, Davis and Stuart Nash.

Davis and Nash.  Two of Lusk’s proteges.  Snigger.

On the money side, after the Herald reported on Labour’s financial records this week, senior members of the party reported an influx of donations – news came through they even raised a toast to the Herald for its inadvertent fundraising assistance.

Inadvertent.   Right.


– Claire Trevett, NZ Herald.

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