Whatever happened to Cunliffe? Thanks to a TV3 list of Labour losers, we can tell you…

The Herald’s John Armstrong was probably in a bit of a rush to get his story posted, and hence missed out the bit that Alf was looking for.

Where did Cunliffe finish up after the Labour rabble’s front-bench reshuffle?

The Herald report (here) affirmed that Alf won a small wager in the Eketahuna Club.

He had backed Annette King to get the health job.

And sure enough –

Long-serving Labour MP Annette King has been confirmed as the party’s new health spokeswoman in David Shearer’s reshuffle of Opposition portfolios. She replaces Maryan Street who becomes environment spokeswoman.

Armstrong noted other major changes in the Labour line-up, starting with deputy leader Grant Robertson being given the lead role in making jobs one of Labour’s big four themes in the run up to next year’s election.

The other areas are health, education and housing, the latter job briefing handed to Auckland MP Phil Twyford.

Ms King and Mr Twyford are both moving to the front bench.

Senior whip Chris Hipkins will take over the shadow education portfolio from Nanaia Mahuta, who will instead take on responsibility for Maori development.

Kris Faafoi will take over Corrections, and Shane Jones, if cleared by the Auditor General, will get regional development, forestry and associate finance.

Labour leader David Shearer for some curious reason said his decisions were based on choosing the best person for each job.

What else?

Oh, yes. This is the Labour Party, and things like sexual orientation and connections to the trade union movement might be apt to influence a leader’s thinking.

So who else got shifted – and where?

Amongst other promotions, first-term Dunedin North MP David Clark leaps to number 12 in Labour’s rankings and takes on economic development, while former party president Andrew Little will take over the justice role from the departing Charles Chauvel and will also take on tourism. Sue Moroney will take on Mr Little’s current ACC portfolio. Former leader Phil Goff keeps his foreign affairs role, but adds state services.

Two other long-serving Labour MPs – Lianne Dalziel and Trevor Mallard – have been moved out of the top 20 into the unranked portion of the caucus – Labour only ranks its top 20 MPs by number. Mr Mallard has been allocated the Internal Affairs portfolio.

Well, well, well. Mallard and Dalziel have been moved out of the Shadow Cabinet.

But to salve their bruised egos, perhaps, Shearer said they would retain “significant roles” and had recognised the need for rejuvenation.

At the TV3 website things are more simply broken down (here) into winners and losers, which is the sort of analysis Alf was looking for.

Mallard and Dalziel are listed as losers.

The biggest surprise sees Trevor Mallard dumped from the shadow cabinet but remain as shadow leader of the house

Lianne Dalziel, who was a key member of Camp Cunliffe, slides out of the shadow cabinet but stays on as Canterbury earthquake recovery spokeswoman

Nanaia Mahuta loses education after being missing in action during her time in the role, but stays in the top 20

And thanks to TV3, Alf learned that David Cunliffe stays out of the shadow cabinet (no surprise there) but has been given the revenue and associate finance roles, along with fisheries.

On the “winners” list is someone Armstrong didn’t mention: Megan Woods enters the shadow cabinet in the tertiary education job.

But here at the Eketahuna Club Alf has taken another bet – we Nats will govern again after the next election, no matter how much Shearer reshuffles and rejuvenates his line-up.

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