February 25, 2013
Mahuta loses front bench slot
Shane Jones has kept his place on the front bench for now, but Nanaia Mahuta has lost her education role and slipped down Labour’s caucus rankings.
Labour leader David Shearer today unveiled his new line up without waiting for the release of the Auditor General's report on whether Mr Jones acted properly as associate immigration minister in approving citizenship for Chinese businessman Bill Liu.
The report, which is imminent, is expected to clear the Northland list MP.
Mr Shearer says Mr Jones is a talented politician with an important contribution to make, so his place is being held depending on the outcome of that report.
Senior whip Chris Hipkins, who as associate education spokesperson has been badgering Minister Hekia Parata about her performance, takes on the main education role and the number 10 slot, with Ms Mahuta dropping from eight to 11 and having responsibility for Māori education, youth affairs, and Māori development.
Parekura Horomia, who has been unranked since the last reshuffle, retains his Māori Affairs and treaty negotiations shadow roles.
Louisa Wall will voice Labour's positions on community and voluntary sector policy, Associate Health (Inequalities) and Associate Sport and Recreation, while Rino Tirikatene will speak on Customs and Associate Māori Affairs.
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