New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & Cunliffe managed in 6 years



New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone.

Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip on many NZers shoulders that someone is smarter than them breeds contempt not respect. A passionless people so laid back they burn books on their BBQ.

Why Andrew Little has a chance of beating Key is because he appeals to this muddle Nu Zilind cultural cringe far better than Goff, Shearer or Cunliffe ever could. Little’s ease within his own skin and the confidence of his bluntness resonates with Muddle Nu Zilind and he has managed in 6 days since his win to have built more political capital than the 3 previous leaders had managed in 6 years.

Little’s new line up is a clever mix of keeping the factions happy while pitching hard for middle NZ with voices who won’t spook them.

TDB Recommends
  • Andrew Little, Leader of the Labour Party, Security and Intelligence
  • Annette King, Deputy Leader, Health
  • Grant Robertson, Finance
  • Nanaia Mahuta, Māori Development
  • Phil Twyford, Housing, Transport, Associate Auckland Issues
  • Chris Hipkins, Senior Whip, Shadow Leader of the House, Education
  • Carmel Sepuloni, Junior Whip, Social Development
  • Kelvin Davis, Police, Corrections, Domestic and Sexual Violence, Associate Regional Development, Associate Education (Māori)
  • Jacinda Ardern, Justice, Children, Small Business, Arts & Culture
  • David Clark, Economic Development, Associate Finance, Associate Health
  • Su’a William Sio, Pacific Island Affairs, Local Government, Associate Housing (South Auckland), Interfaith Dialogue
  • Iain Lees-Galloway, Labour
  • Megan Woods, Environment, Climate Change
  • David Cunliffe, Regional Development, Tertiary Education, Innovation, Research & Development, Science & Technology, Associate Economic Development
  • David Parker, Shadow Attorney General, Treaty Negotiations, Trade & Export Growth
  • David Shearer, Foreign Affairs, Consumer Affairs
  • Phil Goff, Defence, Veterans’ Affairs, Disarmament, Auckland Issues, Ethnic Affairs

Grant gets finance, not because he’s particularly good at Finance, but because Grant’s faction needs to be pacified while Parker is sulking. Nanaia and Carmel are rewarded and Little kicks Cunliffe a bit to keep the ABCs happy and with that factions leader, Annette King, promoted to Deputy, Nash won’t be starting any leadership bids before 2017.

Jacinda gets pushed down for not wanting Deputy and Kelvin gets all the space he needs to start criticising Maori for violence.

It’s the perfect mix of safe voices that are just dull enough to win over the middle ground. Well played by Andrew Little. Left wing activists have no where else to go, so they just have to lump it.



  1. And then a reshuffle in 12 months if people don’t measure up, …it will be a test of the backing of Little ,his support, …and an exposure potentially of those neo libs who have other agendas.

    It might be easier to have a reason to give the axe to anyone causing unnecessary divisions…hence giving justification for Litte to do some surgical removals..sending a clear message to others and strengthening his position. And maneuvering to get his people lined up for the future -or those willing to play ball.

  2. Arghhhhhhh…..

    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are alive and well, not dead as they should be. Andrew Little might as well go into coalition with John Key, two fellow neo-liberals hell bent on serving the top 1% at the expense of the rest of us.

      • Yes indeed , ….so now we see Slater , Tucker , de Joux and Ede playing dirty games, now , do we?…

        Interesting….we can now follow John XkeySCORE ‘S latest excuse for his party machines corruption…..

        But the really interesting thing is this : will Andrew Little be vocal into calling John XkeySCORE to account?

        This will be a litmus test for any residual neo liberal’s Little has placed in a position of trust with major portfolio’s….sorting the wheat from the chaff….,so to speak.

        So the question is : which side do they REALLY belong to?

        • This hot on the heels of John XkeySCORE and his mates wanting to push through legislation to justify making people ‘stateless’…according to Russel Norman…

          The 48 hour surveillance and cancellation of passports of up to three years –

          Oh yes,…this latest issue is a coat hanger for all of John XkeySCORES skulduggery over the last 3 terms of office.

          Perhaps now it will all start to come crashing in around his head. He’s had his day.

          Lets hope this isn’t pushed to the sidelines…..somehow I don’t think it will be, this time…

          • Well said as usual Wild Katipo. Always enjoy your posts 🙂

            I like the fact that Little has his shadow cabinet on 12 months notice. That should see them head down, bum up, with no time for back stabbing.

            The passport issue you mention should cause alarm for ALL Kiwis. I wouldn’t put it past this Natsy government to use the new legislation as reason to withdraw/cancel passports of ANY NZer who dares challenge #TEAMKEY! The action of a despot!

  3. “the left has nowhere to go so they will just have to lump it”? How do you think Labour can win 2017 without Left wing support? And how will you motivate the 27% who didn’t vote, when you have just demonstrated that voting really is a waste of time?

  4. I like what Little is doing, but he has such a dearth of talent to work with it makes his job that much more difficult. The biggest mistake he has made is giving Ribertson finance. Robertson knows nothing about finance, he’s never had a ‘real’ job or run a business, and he will have zero credibility when it comes to framing an alternative economic picture to the current formula.

      • Its true both haven’t had valid economics degrees…not that a degree says much these days…but the proof of the pudding is what economic ideology they subscribe to….broadly speaking ,…is it a neo liberal one?…or a more Keynesian social democratic one?

        Thing is about Robertson, – he’s a basic neo liberal at heart. So no matter what tinkering around with policy he does…it ‘s always going to be geared towards what we have had for the last 35 years.

        No thanks.

        As for John XkeySCORE….well ,…his lies and deciet are open to all the public arena for all to see. Poor public…they need educating but cannot suffer anything more regards politics than a 30 second soundbite.

    • Could it possibly be Little is thinking in the long term and setting Robertson up to fail? 🙂

      I think we have a strategist here ….if the guy ( Robertson ) cant lead with a reasonable economic plan , if he cant put an economic , workable plan together….then what use is he having a front bench position?

      Its called … ‘ calling someones bluff’…..

    • Several people have pointed out that some of our best Ministers of Finance have had nothing to do with ‘sums’; there are others to do that for them. It is a political position.

      • Of course its ‘political’. But we like to see the fruits of their labours, and if those fruits are geared towards steering policy and economics in a way to bolster up what we’ve endured for the last 35 years….

        – more of the same neo liberal theft,……

        Then out they go and dont let the door hit them in arse on the way out, please.

        • You speak as if the “steering of policy” is the responsibility of the Minister of Finance alone, when the policies adopted and the direction the party takes is the responsibility of the entire team.

    • Why do you all think he made the point of saying they would be replaced in a year if they didn’t shape up. As for Annette King as Deputy, if he hasnt got her number I would be very surprised. Keep your enemy’s close so you know what they’re up to. Why hasn’t John F Key said anything? He’s up against a lawyer now. He should be worried.

  5. Good wrap Martyn,

    I am warming to Andrew Little he has a canny coolness to himself.

    The there is our mighty Union movement behind the leader, and I feel good that at least we might now have a power base emerging to rise up and upset the Government finally.

    Our powerbase had been whittled away the way it was going so it all was a brilliant move to get the union backed caucus members in front of this line-up.

    In history every time the right wing became reckless the unions rebelled so John Key wont sleep so well any more now or at least he will need to watch his back now.
    Union folk are everywhere thank god. Like the peoples army don’t you think?

    • Every time a govt becomes belligerent and arrogant,…it always takes the public to start to mobilise and oppose it. When that happens,…and it will,…

      That govt is on borrowed time.

    • Easy…those neo liberals to the left, Keynesian social democrats to the right.

      That’d make a change with the Left being on the right, now, wouldn’t it.

      It aint hard to read what a persons all about once you get to see them preform,…which is precisely what Little is doing.

      Wise man.

      • ? no, no, I mean – to whom would you give which portfolio? And why? If you disagree with the way Little has done it?

  6. The idea that someone should be respected for their intelligence is as stupid as the idea of respecting someone for their eye colour. I respect people for what they do with the intelligence they have. Little is not doing much with his by trying to appease the class enemies in the Labour caucus. Cunliffe didn’t do much with his when he let Key dictate the terms of the election.

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