Street may slip back in reshuffle

Labour leader David Cunliffe is set to reshuffle his shadow cabinet today to replace departing MP Shane Jones.

There was speculation last night that Nelson list MP Maryan Street will be demoted to allow another MP to come up through the ranks.

She would only say she is "fine with it" and would "take it as it comes".

Cunliffe informed senior colleagues of the reshuffle at a shadow cabinet meeting in Hamilton yesterday.

The changes are expected to be minor, as Jones' key economic development, Maori affairs and forestry portfolios are shared out.

Jones is to be replaced by former MP Kelvin Davis, but as of last night no date had been set for his departure.

His shock exit last month rocked the party.

Jones was poached to be a Pacific ambassador by Foreign Minister Murray McCully.

He later admitted he was reluctant to go into government with the Greens, who he considers anti-growth. Jones is ranked fifth on the party list.

Nanaia Mahuta is likely to lead the party's Maori caucus.

Nelson-based Street is spokeswoman for state services and associate spokesperson for foreign affairs.

A former party president, she is ranked 12th, after being moved from ninth place when Cunliffe took over as leader last year. She entered Parliament in 2005.

Cunliffe could not be reached for comment last night. 

Waikato Times