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Labour readies for 2017 election

Labour leader Andrew Little today announced a reallocation of portfolios in his shadow cabinet following the retirements of David Cunliffe, Phil Goff and David Shearer and the arrival of new Mt Roskill MP Michael Wood.

“These changes will help sharpen Labour’s focus on some core areas. We know we can do so much better as a country and the team I lead into next year’s election will be working as hard as ever to show New Zealanders Labour has a plan for the future.

“I am underlining how important this is by creating the New Economy portfolio. Labour is committed to growing wealth in the economy through greater innovation and productivity.”

In other changes Michael Wood will be the spokesperson for Consumer Affairs, Ethnic Communities and Revenue.

Chris Hipkins adds all the associate delegations of Tertiary Education held by David Cunliffe to his overall Education duties.

“Education is a crucial area for Labour because of the funding freeze on schools and declining performance, and we’ll be increasing pressure on the Government on this. Chris will be focusing all his energies on this important area and so will be stepping down from the Senior Whip role. I will be nominating Kris Faafoi to be the new Senior Whip with the vote taking place at the first Caucus of 2017. Chris will retain the Shadow Leader of the House role.”

David Parker also takes over Foreign Affairs from David Shearer. Stuart Nash gains State Owned Enterprises and will also be the new spokesperson for Innovation and Science, and Research and Development.

Iain Lees-Galloway will be the new Defence spokesperson. Dr Megan Woods adds State Services to her duties while Clare Curran takes over ICT and moves into the Shadow Cabinet.

“We’re really looking forward to 2017 and spending time talking to New Zealanders up and down the country about how a Labour led Government will restore the Kiwi dream,” says Andrew Little.