30 Nov 2015

Labour leader to announce reshuffle today

5:39 am on 30 November 2015

Labour Party leader Andrew Little will today announce the line-up he intends to take into the 2017 election.

Labour Party Leader, Andrew Little.

Andrew Little (file) Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

This follows the confirmation from one of his senior MPs Phil Goff that he intends to contest the Auckland mayoralty next year.

Mr Little has now been in the leadership for a year and he said that had given him the opportunity to see his caucus perform.

"I've been able to see up close how each caucus member has been working, how they've worked together, how the caucus as a whole has been working.

"So this caucus reshuffle has been an opportunity to make, in some cases, some fine tuning, and in other cases a few more sort of bold moves to build the team that is going to take us through to 2017."

Annette King was recently confirmed as deputy leader and is likely to retain the health portfolio, as is Chris Hipkins in education.

However, David Clark is expected to be brought forward in an understudy role to Mrs King in the health portfolio.

Grant Robertson is likely stay in the number three spot and as finance spokesperson.

Some casualties are expected, including Nanaia Mahuta who currently holds the number four position, although there could still be discussions about her prospects in the party over the next few years.

Former leader David Cunliffe lead the party to a disastrous election defeat last year and there is still some bitterness among the caucus about that result, and his performance as leader.

He is likely to be demoted, to send a clear signal about his future with the party.

Kelvin Davis is likely to be promoted, along with the likes of Jacinda Ardern, Peeni Henare, David Clark, and Jenny Salesa.

Sue Moroney and Phil Twyford are also likely to be recognised for their work on paid parental leave and housing respectively.

Mr Little said the next phase would be doing the "grunt work" behind policy development.

"Getting the new ideas, the definitive ideas for Labour out there, ready for 2017."

Mr Little has already said the party's whole policy platform was under review.

At the recent annual party conference he confirmed three policies, a specific capital gains tax, a change to the age of entitlement for New Zealand superannuation and New Zealand Power, were off the table for the 2017 election.

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