Chippy has reshuffled the Front Bench, and it’s a smart play.
Auckland + Michael Wood: Michael was a real contender for the Leadership and could have forced an election but placed his ambition and ego second for the benefit of the Party. Sometimes the new leader banishes his challenger but that would have ben terrible loss of Michael’s talents. Labour need a strong Auckland presence, Michael will guarantee that.
Māori Caucus: Despite all the claims by the Right that Chippy would turn against the Māori Caucus, Willie and Kiri remain in the top 10.
Local Government: They get a new Minister who they can work with, Nanaia had simply burnt too many bridges with 3 Waters and couldn’t hold onto the role.
Defence: They gain Andrew Little as a Minister at a time when the Military need vast increase in budget and a new fleet of Drones in an ever changing geopolitical situation that is now predicting war in the Pacific in 2 years time.
Unions: They don’t have to face off against Andrew Little, who as a former Union Boss knew all their tricks.
The Nashy: Stuart Nash with Police is a smart move, but needs to be in Auckland more for this to work.
Barbara Edmonds, Ginny Anderson and Kieran McAnulty: Well deserved promotions.
People on Emergency Housing wait lists: Still the same failing policies run by the same Ministers.
Renters: Still the same failing policies run by the same Ministers.
Beneficiaries: Still the same failing policies run by the same Ministers.
Homelessness: Still the same failing policies run by the same Ministers.
The Environment: Still the same failing policies run by the same Ministers.
Chippy had to make the front bench look fresh, he’s done that. This will be the team he takes to the election (barring some tragedy or scandal). I think they still have to use David Parker a hell of a lot more and the front bench have to actively go out to the media to defend the Government’s position more this election and actually explain why we are doing certain things and actually have a vision to sell.
If they can do, and looking at the latest polling, they sure as hell have a chance to do that, Chippy could lead this front bench to a Labour led victory in October.
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