MP Jenny Salesa sole bright light for Pasifika in new Labour line-up
The new Labour line-up announced earlier this week has one Pasifika MP, Mrs Jenny Salesa, advancing up the Labour ranks. Of the others, two were demoted and two remain unranked in the backbenches.
The mid-term shuffle is essentially a rejig of Labour’s MPs based on a report card rating performance, and an eye to who has what it takes to take Labour to a 2017 election victory.
“Labour had an impressive intake of fresh faces after last year’s election and newest MPs have now had a year to show what they’re made of,” Mr Little said in his announcement.
“This reshuffle rewards hard work and continues my drive to renew our Caucus line up.”
He added, the reshuffle was “the blueprint” for a future Labour government.
With that Andrew Little perspective, then Carmel Sepuloni and Su’a William Sio both falling down the ranks by one and four respectively; and Poto Williams and Kris Faafoi unranked as backbenchers, the outlook for a strong Pasifika presence in a future Labour-led government leaves a lot to be desired.
The very clear message from Mr Little’s mid-term report card, Mrs Salesa aside, is that Pasifika MPs are not performing to the standards expected if Labour is to win the 2017 general elections.
In that light, first term parliamentarian Mrs Jenny Salesa, MP for Manukau East certainly has ticked the boxes. Her efforts have have seen Mr Little promoting her, unranked from the backbenches, straight into the shadow cabinet ranked 21.
She retains her Skills & Training portfolio and has been given heavy responsibilities to take on the Associate Spokesperson in the large portfolios of Health, Education and Employment.
In a statement, Mrs Salesa said she is looking forward to new responsibilities as they are all areas she holds “very high aspirations for the people of South Auckland as well as for Pacific people and Māori”.
Andrew Little (1) – leader, Security and Intelligence
Annette King (2) – deputy leader, Health
Grant Robertson (3) – Finance. Gets Employment.
Chris Hipkins (6) – Education, senior whip. Adds tertiary education to portfolio.
Phil Twyford (4). Up from 5. Auckland Issues, Housing, gets Building and construction, loses Transport.
Jacinda Ardern (5). Up from 9. Keeps Justice, Children, Arts and Small Business.
Kelvin Davis (7). Up from 8. Picks up Maori Development, keeps Corrections, loses Police.
David Clark (9). Up from 10. Picks up Trade. Keeps Economic Development.
Megan Woods (10). Up from 13 to front bench. Canterbury Issues, Climate Change. Loses Environment.
David Parker (11). Up from 15. Picks up Environment, Water, SOEs and ICT as well as Regulatory Reform. Loses trade.
David Shearer (13). Up from 16. Keeps Foreign Affairs, associate Defence.
Sue Moroney (16). previously unranked. Picks up Transport, keeps ACC, loses Immigration.
Damien O’Connor (17) – previously unranked. Primary Industries, Biosecurity.
Clayton Cosgrove (18) – previously unranked. Commerce, Veterans’ Affairs, Tourism. Loses Revenue, SOES, Building and Construction.
Stuart Nash (19) – previously unranked. Picks up Police and Revenue, keeps Energy and Forestry. Loses Land Information.
Meka Whaitiri (20) – previously unranked. Picks up Local Government. Loses Water.
Jenny Salesa (21) – previously unranked. Skills and Training. Assoc Education. Assoc Health. Assoc Employment
Peeni Henare (22) – previously unranked. Urban Maori and Maori Broadcasting. Loses Tourism.
David Cunliffe (unranked). Down from 14. Disarmament, R&D, Science, Land Information. New role as Under Secretary to the Leader on Superannuation Issues.
Carmel Sepuloni (8): Down from 7. Keeps Social Development, junior whip. Assoc Education. Assoc Pacific Island Affairs
Nanaia Mahuta (12): down from 4. Loses Maori Development, gets Conservation, Treaty Negotiations and Whanau Ora.
Iain Lees-Galloway (14): down from 12. Picks up Immigration, keeps Workplace Relations and Safety.
Su’a William Sio (15): down from 11. Pacific Island Affairs. Interfaith Dialogue. Assoc Foreign Affairs (Pacific Climate Change). Assoc Ethnic Communities
OUTSIDE SHADOW CABINET (unranked backbenchers)
Trevor Mallard: Assistant Speaker, Sport, Animal Welfare.
Ruth Dyson: Senior Citizens, Women’s Affairs, Statistics.
Clare Curran: Broadcasting, Open Government, picks up Civil Defence, loses ICT.
Kris Faafoi: State Services, Racing, picks up Consumer Affairs. Loses Commerce. Assoc Broadcasting. Assistant Whip
Rino Tirikatene: Fisheries, Customs.
Poto Williams: Community and Voluntary. Disability Issues. Assoc. Justice (Sexual & Domestic Violence)
Louisa Wall: picks up Courts, keeps Youth Affairs.
Adrian Rurawhe: picks up Internal Affairs, loses Civil Defence.
Phil Goff loses Auckland issues but keeps Defence.