Morning reading

In advance tomorrow’s commission opening of Parliament, and Wednesday’s state opening, David Shearer will today unveil Labour’s new lineup.

It’s going to be interesting. Firstly, to see how Shearer balances experience with new talent: on Goff’s last front bench team of 12, there were only two people (Robertson and Chauvel) who were not ministers in the Clark government. Secondly, it’s going to be interesting to see how he deals with David Cunliffe and Nanaia Mahuta – and a good measure of that will come down to what they will accept. I’ll post my thoughts on the new lineup later in the day.

Labour readies new front bench (Adam Bennett, NZ Herald)

The final shape of new Labour leader David Shearer’s front bench will be announced this afternoon but a question mark remained over what role defeated leadership challenger David Cunliffe would take.

“We want to reflect that there’s change and it’s fresh faced and I think people will see that tomorrow,” Mr Shearer said yesterday.

Shearer to chart new direction for Labour (Tracy Watkins & John Heartvelt, Stuff)

Mr Shearer will unveil his lineup today and says it will signal that Labour “has turned a page” and is ready for a fresh start – a nod to the number of new faces on his front bench.

Mr Shearer has made it clear he wants Mr Cunliffe to occupy one of the eight frontbench slots and expects to give him a senior role. He confirmed yesterday that he was looking for Mr Cunliffe “to play a senior role in a senior position”.

Other MPs tipped for the front bench include deputy Grant Robertson, high-profile Maori MP Shane Jones, who is likely to pick up an economic role, David Parker – who dropped out of the leadership race early – in finance and second-term MP Jacinda Ardern.

Mr Cunliffe’s running mate, Nanaia Mahuta, is another possibility for the front bench, potentially in the Maori affairs portfolio.


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