The Shearer Reshuffle: Fresh Talent, Experienced Hands
Labour Caucus Reshuffle - 25 Feb 2013
By Mark P. Williams
Today David Shearer announced his reshuffle of the Labour caucus. He called it a mixture of fresh talent and experienced hands to get the best out of his team. He said that his decisions were driven by his desire to address the central issues of jobs, economic growth, 'delivering a world-class education', 'protecting the health of our people' and 'giving all kiwis the opportunity to get ahead'. He stated that the National Party's 'hands-off' approach had failed and said that Labour would have a 'hands on approach' to guide New Zealand forward.
The highlights include:
- Grant Robertson taking responsibility for jobs and employment
- David Parker would continue to head Labour's economic team, joined by the 'rising star' of David Clark
- Annette King will be taking on the health portfolio
- Phil Twyford will take on housing
- Jacinda Adern will continue to lead on social development
- Chris Hipkins will take on the full education portfolio
- Maryam Street will take on the environment portfolio
Mr Shearer then took questions from the press gallery.
After the main press conference, David Parker, Phil Twyford and Annette King then spoke to the media about their new roles.
David Clark - On Steven Joyce's "Soft Underbelly"
David Clark said that he was looking forward to taking on Steven Joyce, saying that he had seen some weaknesses that he wanted to challenge him on.
Phil Twyford - On Housing Affordability
Phil Twyford described the current National Party policies as 'floundering around' and searching for something to blame for the current situation in housing affordability; he called it a 'market failure' and said that the government do not have a clear plan whereas Labour does.
Annette King - Health is about stories: Challenging Tony Ryall On Community Health
She described a 'climate of fear' in the health sector, of health workers requesting anonymity to prevent possible consequences for speaking out. Asked if it could be the case that Tony Ryall was doing a very good job for the health sector, Annette King said that she felt sure that he was doing a 'very good political job'.
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