Will our Labour MPs shuffle up?

EDITORIAL

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has signalled that embattled Housing Minister Phil Twyford is safe in this challenging role, in laying the groundwork for a “relatively minor” Cabinet reshuffle on Thursday.

That suggests his equally important role as Transport Minister could go to someone else, so he can focus on salvaging KiwiBuild and getting other settings right for a big step up in house building wherever demand is high.

Kris Faafoi could be the MP for this job. He has performed well in his various roles and is tipped by many to be brought inside Cabinet to fill the seat left vacant last September by Clare Curran, possibly with a meaty new ministerial role.

Likely first in line to fill Faafoi’s vacancy outside Cabinet is said to be Roskill MP and parliamentary under-secretary Michael Woods.

It is about here that our two East Coast-based Labour MPs come into the frame.

Ardern will be keen to address a gender imbalance in her ministerial line-up due to the loss of Curran, to blunders, and Meka Whaitiri to alleged bullying.

While some say Whaitiri — from Manutuke and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti — has blown her chances by mounting a media campaign to regain her ministerial role and to deny she laid a hand on her staffer, the original interview was sanctioned from above. So the question remains whether the allegation continues to rule Whaitiri out of a front-line position in Ardern’s “kinder” Government.

Poto Williams, MP for Christchurch East and a Cook Islander, is one name suggested for a ministerial role outside Cabinet.

Whakatane-based first term list MP Kiri Allan has also been tipped for promotion, possibly to an under-secretary role, by several political commentators.

The Dominion Post’s Stacey Kirk says the minor nature of this reshuffle will be frustrating for Ardern, as she has no option: “If she had the depth to play with, now would be the opportune time to do something truly revitalising.”

Allowing rising talent a little more time to prove themselves could explain the delays to the reshuffle — which was originally planned for the start of this year, then after the Budget, then late June/early July.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has signalled that embattled Housing Minister Phil Twyford is safe in this challenging role, in laying the groundwork for a “relatively minor” Cabinet reshuffle on Thursday.

That suggests his equally important role as Transport Minister could go to someone else, so he can focus on salvaging KiwiBuild and getting other settings right for a big step up in house building wherever demand is high.

Kris Faafoi could be the MP for this job. He has performed well in his various roles and is tipped by many to be brought inside Cabinet to fill the seat left vacant last September by Clare Curran, possibly with a meaty new ministerial role.

Likely first in line to fill Faafoi’s vacancy outside Cabinet is said to be Roskill MP and parliamentary under-secretary Michael Woods.

It is about here that our two East Coast-based Labour MPs come into the frame.

Ardern will be keen to address a gender imbalance in her ministerial line-up due to the loss of Curran, to blunders, and Meka Whaitiri to alleged bullying.

While some say Whaitiri — from Manutuke and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti — has blown her chances by mounting a media campaign to regain her ministerial role and to deny she laid a hand on her staffer, the original interview was sanctioned from above. So the question remains whether the allegation continues to rule Whaitiri out of a front-line position in Ardern’s “kinder” Government.

Poto Williams, MP for Christchurch East and a Cook Islander, is one name suggested for a ministerial role outside Cabinet.

Whakatane-based first term list MP Kiri Allan has also been tipped for promotion, possibly to an under-secretary role, by several political commentators.

The Dominion Post’s Stacey Kirk says the minor nature of this reshuffle will be frustrating for Ardern, as she has no option: “If she had the depth to play with, now would be the opportune time to do something truly revitalising.”

Allowing rising talent a little more time to prove themselves could explain the delays to the reshuffle — which was originally planned for the start of this year, then after the Budget, then late June/early July.

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