Health Minister David Clark slips in Labour's ranks, infectious disease expert Ayesha Verrall joins list

Health Minister David Clark has dropped on the Labour Party's list, while infectious disease expert Dr Ayesha Verrall has made an appearance. 

Dr Clark was at number nine on Labour's list but has fallen to 17. It comes after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern pushed him down to the bottom of Cabinet's rankings for breaking COVID-19 lockdown rules. 

Dr Verrall is a newcomer on Labour's list, having led the work to improve the Government's contact tracing programme. She is currently deputy chair of the Capital Coast and District Health Board and works at Wellington Hospital. 

Dr Verrall now sits on the list just behind Dr Clark at number 18 - ahead of current Labour Party list MPs including Raymond Huo, Kiri Allan, Kieran McAnulty and Jan Tinetti. 

Dr Clark is currently the MP for Dunedin North. He told Newshub Nation over the weekend that he is "very keen" to stay on as Health Minister should Labour win the upcoming election in September. 

But in the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll, voters were asked whether Dr Clark should remain Health Minister, and more than half - 56.8 percent - said no, with only 35.7 percent saying yes.

Ardern said in early April she would have sacked Dr Clark for beaking lockdown rules if the country wasn't in the grip of a pandemic, and the Health Minister said he's working hard to regain Kiwis' trust. 

"I've been very focused on addressing equity, rebuilding our public health services, addressing primary care and mental health, and I will continue to do that for as long as I have that responsibility."

Other newcomers on Labour's list include Vanushi Walters, a human rights lawyer who sits at number 23, employment lawyer Camilla Belich at number 32, and unionist Ibrahim Omer at number 44. 

The list also includes Naisi Chen at number 40. 

Chen, who stood as a candidate for Labour in the 2017 election, was accused of having close connections to the Chinese Communist Party in Canterbury University Professor Anne-Marie Brady's Magic Weapons paper. 

Chen denied the claims during a select committee appearance in May 2019, saying it left her feeling "hurt". 

Labour's full list:

  1. Jacinda Ardern
  2. Kelvin Davis
  3. Grant Robertson
  4. Phil Twyford
  5. Megan Woods
  6. Chris Hipkins
  7. Andrew Little
  8. Carmel Sepuloni
  9. David Parker
  10. Nanaia Mahuta
  11. Trevor Mallard
  12. Stuart Nash
  13. Iain Lees-Galloway
  14. Jenny Salesa
  15. Damien O'Connor
  16. Kris Faafoi
  17. David Clark
  18. Ayesha Verrall
  19. Peeni Henare
  20. Willie Jackson
  21. Aupito William Sio
  22. Poto Williams
  23. Vanushi Walters
  24. Michael Wood
  25. Adrian Rurawhe
  26. Raymond Huo
  27. Kiri Allan
  28. Kieran McAnulty
  29. Louisa Wall
  30. Meka Whaitiri
  31. Rino Tirikatene
  32. Camilla Belich
  33. Priyanca Radhakrishnan
  34. Jan Tinetti
  35. Deborah Russell
  36. Marja Lubeck
  37. Angie Warren-Clark
  38. Willow-Jean Prime
  39. Tamati Coffey
  40. Naisi Chen
  41. Jo Luxton
  42. Jamie Strange
  43. Liz Craig
  44. Ibrahim Omer
  45. Duncan Webb
  46. Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki
  47. Ginny Andersen
  48. Rachel Brooking
  49. Paul Eagle
  50. Helen White
  51. Barbara Edmonds
  52. Angela Roberts
  53. Shanan Halbert
  54. Neru Leavasa
  55. Tracey McLellan
  56. Lemauga Lydia Sosene
  57. Steph Lewis
  58. Dan Rosewarne
  59. Rachel Boyack
  60. Arena Williams
  61. Ingrid Leary
  62. Soraya Peke-Mason
  63. Lotu Fuli
  64. Sarah Pallett
  65. Gaurav Sharma
  66. Emily Henderson
  67. Terisa Ngobi
  68. Kurt Taogaga
  69. Kerrin Leoni
  70. Reuben Davidson
  71. Zahra Hussaini
  72. Janet Holborow
  73. Romy Udanga
  74. Ala' Al-Bustanji
  75. Glen Bennett
  76. Monina Hernandez
  77. Claire Mahon
  78. Jon Mitchell
  79. Nathaniel Blomfield
  80. Nerissa Henry
  81. Mathew Flight
  82. Shirin Brown
  83. Liam Wairepo
  84. Georgie Dansey