24 Nov 2014

Annette King new Labour deputy

5:46 pm on 24 November 2014

Long-serving Labour MP Annette King is the new Labour Party deputy leader, but only for the coming year.

New party leader Andrew Little's announcement this morning was delayed when Parliament buildings were evacuated because of a fire alarm.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little (left) and new deputy Annette King.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little (left) and new deputy Annette King. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Mrs King, who was deputy to Phil Goff from 2008 to 2011, will hold the job for a year before stepping aside.

She said she was confident MPs would be much more disciplined than they have been in the past six years.

Mrs King, the MP for Rongotai, keeps the health portfolio.

Grant Robertson

Grant Robertson becomes finance spokesperson Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson, who narrowly lost the leadership contest to Mr Little, is at number three and will take on the finance portfolio.

He said he believed he could challenge Finance Minister Bill English.

"I think Bill English is vulnerable in the fact that he's made big promises to New Zealanders about wages going up, about exports increasing and they haven't been delivered on and we need to hold him to account for that."

Another of the leadership contenders, Nanaia Mahuta, has been promoted to number four and has been reappointed as the party's Maori development spokesperson.

Former deputy David Parker is at number 15 and has the new portfolio of trade and export growth.

Two former leaders, David Cunliffe and David Shearer, have dropped down the rankings, at 14 and 16 respectively.

Jacinda Ardern drops four places to number 9, and picks up the justice and small business portfolios. She loses Corrections and police, but retains responsibility for the children portfolio.

Chris Hipkins keeps education and his position as senior whip; he also becomes shadow Leader of the House.

Carmel Sepuloni, Kelvin Davis and David Clark have been promoted onto the front bench.

Ms Sepuloni is the junior whip and social development spokesperson. Mr Davis will be spokesperson on Corrections and police and takes associate roles in justice, education and Maori development. Mr Clark picks up economic development and associate finance.

Unranked MPs - below number 17 - include assistant Speaker Trevor Mallard, Ruth Dyson, Damien O'Connor, Clayton Cosgrove, Sue Moroney and Clare Curran.

Mr Cosgrove was number 7 in the last caucus under David Cunliffe, and Sue Moroney number 10.

Mr Little said the caucus line-up would be reviewed in a year, to prepare for the 2017 election.

Labour 'seething backbench of misery'

Prime Minister, John Key lashed out at Labour's new lineup, saying it will have a seething backbench of misery and discontent.

Mr Key said he could not imagine they would be terribly happy.

And he said long-serving MP Ms King was hardly the face of the future.

(From left) Chris Hipkins, Andrew Little, Annette King and Jacinda Ardern wait outside Parliament.

Andrew Little (second left) waiting outside Parliament alongside new deputy Annette King (third left). Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

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