New portfolio for Lees-Galloway

Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway has had a mixed result in the Labour caucus reshuffle announced this afternoon by party leader David Shearer.

Mr Lees-Galloway has lost the defence portfolio to former Labour leader Phil Goff but has picked up responsibility for transport.

The two-term MP had been an associate transport spokesman and has been outspoken about the proposed axing of the Capital Connection and National's roads of national significance.

Mr Lees-Galloway has also retained an associate health spokesman role with responsibility for drugs and alcohol policy and is the party's spokesman for veteran's affairs.

Mr Lees-Galloway is still ranked outside Labour's top 20 after the reshuffle.

In other moves Annette King has been confirmed as the party's new health spokeswoman replacing Maryan Street who becomes environment spokeswoman.

Grant Robertson has been given the lead role in making jobs one of Labour's big four themes in the run up to next year's election.

Senior whip Chris Hipkins will take over the shadow education portfolio from Nanaia Mahuta, who will instead take on responsibility for Maori development.

Kris Faafoi will take over Corrections, and Shane Jones, if cleared by the Auditor General, will get regional development, forestry and associate finance.

Among other promotions, first-term Dunedin North MP David Clark leaps to No 12 in Labour's rankings and takes on economic development, while former party president Andrew Little will take over the justice role from the departing Charles Chauvel and will also take on tourism.

Sue Moroney will take on Mr Little's current ACC portfolio.

Former leader Phil Goff keeps his foreign affairs role, but adds state services.

Two other long-serving Labour MPs - Lianne Dalziel and Trevor Mallard - have been moved out of the top 20 into the unranked portion of the caucus.

Manawatu Standard