South Auckland in focus
New Labour leader David Cunliffe's portfolio reshuffle has revealed an unexpected focus on South Auckland.
Manurewa MP Louisa Wall has been given the Associate Auckland Issues portfolio which will target the south of the city.
"It partly recognises South Auckland's challenges but also the amazing talent and opportunities," she says.
The new portfolio is Labour's response to the Auckland Council's Southern Initiative which aims to raise the economic and social wellbeing of people in the south.
That means plenty to do for Ms Wall, who will work with the incoming mayor, deputy mayor and southern local boards to make improvements.
"It's about how we . . . can partner more explicitly to help fulfil the potential South Auckland has. It's a very deliberate move."
Employment, housing, healthcare and education pathways will all be major focuses for Ms Wall in the role.
"It sends a very clear message to the South Auckland community that we have a huge contribution to make."
Mr Cunliffe credits Ms Wall for coming up with the idea of the new portfolio.
"She's really going to be a champion for South Auckland."
Ms Wall's other roles, including youth affairs, the community and voluntary sector and associate roles in social development and sport and recreation, fit well with her South Auckland responsibilities, he says.
"I'm expecting out of her what I've already seen in her - vision, courage and the ability to think outside the box."
Ms Wall's new ranking in the Labour caucus is 16, just behind Mangere MP Su'a William Sio who sits at number 14.
"The two of them will be a dynamic team," Mr Cunliffe says.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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