Little exorcising Cunliffe demons

David Cunliffe (Simon Wong)
David Cunliffe (Simon Wong)

Labour Leader Andrew Little has dumped predecessor David Cunliffe to the backbenches in a reshuffle of his MPs, with Jacinda Ardern continuing to move up the ranks.

Labour's biggest losers were Mr Cunliffe, who slipped down the ranks to number 28, down 14, and Nanaia Mahuta who dropped eight places to 12.

Mr Little is exorcising the Cunliffe demon and patronising him by giving him a new job.

And the symbolism is clear, Mr Cunliffe is gone to break with the past. Mr Little rubbed in the humiliation with his spin, claiming it was a good thing.

But Mr Cunliffe had his own carefully worded retort, saying: "I am happy being the MP for New Lynn. I have the full support of my local team."

There were some winners too. Ms Ardern goes to number five, up four, and Kelvin Davis goes to number six, up one.

Ms Ardern has been rewarded for a positive profile with youth, and in Auckland Mr Davis for his political aggression.

It's a blueprint with a brutal edge.

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