Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Cabinet reshuffle limited by lack of talent in caucus - Tova O'Brien

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Cabinet reshuffle may be constrained by a caucus lacking fresh talent, according to Newshub's political editor.

On Thursday afternoon, Ardern will announce details of what she has labelled a "minor" Cabinet reshuffle. 

While all eyes are on Housing Minister Phil Twyford, whose flagship KiwiBuild has largely failed to take off, Newshub political editor Tova O'Brien says the Prime Minister's office isn't giving anything away.

"Talking to her office last night, I was asking if a shift of the Housing portfolio would be minor, I would consider that a major major, but they wouldn't be drawn on that," O'Brien told The AM Show on Thursday.

"I get the sense that there will be some sort of movement in David Parker's office. Whether, perhaps, he picks up some of Phil Twyford's portfolios, he's clearly the minister with the greatest axe hanging over his portfolios."

The Prime Minister disclosed details of her Cabinet reshuffle to her colleagues on Thursday morning. Twyford was absent from the meeting, but Newshub has been told he was on pre-arranged leave.

O'Brien said the Prime Minister's ability to shuffle portfolios around and bring in new talent from Labour's wider caucus was constrained.

"The Prime Minister… she's got a real problem with depth in that Cabinet," she said. 

At the 2017 election, after years of poor results at elections, the Labour Party saw an increase in elected MPs from 32 to 46. 

That meant when the party went into Government it had a limited number of members with the experience to become ministers.

"Her caucus kinda expanded massively at the last election, so she's got a lot of newbies, not a lot of talent," O'Brien said.

"Those ministers that did go in after the election haven't all kinda covered themselves in glory. People like Iain Lees-Galloway after Karel Sroubek, Phil Twyford, obviously.

"The Prime Minister has got a problem there in terms of picking out some new, fresh talent. Kris Faafoi, as we have talked about in the past, is the obvious choice."

Faafoi is currently a minister outside of Cabinet, looking after the Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media portfolio, as well as Civil Defence, Commerce and Consumers Affairs, and Customs. He is also the Associate Minister of Immigration.

The former journalist has impressed in his roles so far, addressing loan sharks and wheel clamping, while also taking over the Broadcasting and Customs jobs after they were taken off Clare Curran and Meka Whaitiri, respectively.

There are also questions about how a reshuffle may impact the number of New Zealand First and Greens ministers inside and outside of Cabinet.

Currently, the Ministerial positions given to New Zealand First and Green MPs are laid out in their respective coalition, and confidence and supply agreements.