Trust-dumping 'slip-up' further insult to Cunliffe

Last updated 05:00 11/12/2012

Relevant offers


Trans-Tasman roll call - the best and worst of the 2015 political year Faces of Innocents: Too many children are dying, are we about to break another promise? Prime Minister John Key defends 'green' credentials ahead of major summit Andrew Little to unveil Labour's shadow Cabinet New Zealand and Australia condemn Japan for resuming Southern Ocean whaling Jenny Shipley: Why we need a silver fern flag Children's flag referendum views are being heard by voters in their families 'Our job is not to censor. We're not serving the political elite, business or corporations' Stacey Kirk: Strewth! Join Australia? They're a bunch of flaming galahs! 'I don't want to be prime minister' – Jacinda Ardern

David Cunliffe was unceremoniously stripped of his portfolios - and he faced further ignominy last week when the Labour Party replaced him on a parliamentary trust.

In an incident described by a witness as "humiliating", Mr Cunliffe arrived at a meeting of the Business and Parliament Trust on Wednesday to find fellow MP David Parker in his place.

A staffer from the office of leader David Shearer decided to replace the New Lynn MP after his front-bench demotion - but no-one thought to tell Mr Cunliffe.

He refused to comment yesterday, saying he was bound by a agreement that only Mr Shearer would talk on caucus matters.

But after calls from Fairfax yesterday, Mr Shearer reinstated him - insisting it was just a slip-up that he was unaware of until afterwards.

"The confusion arose when the trust queried if Mr Cunliffe would continue in his role as a trustee," Mr Shearer said.

"There was an incorrect assumption in my office the position was linked to the economic development portfolio and the invitation to attend last week's meeting was passed on to David Parker."

He confirmed Mr Cunliffe was not advised and said it was "an unfortunate oversight". Mr Cunliffe is believed to have arrived a few minutes' late at the meeting and was visibly shocked to find Mr Parker there.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Where do you stand on political coat-tail riding?

If it gets marginalised voices into Parliament, I'm for it.

I'm against it - if you don't get the votes, you shouldn't be there.

It's just part of the political game.

Vote Result

Related story: Voters reject riding on the coat-tails

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content