Māori-Labour caucus will get top cabinet jobs – political analyst

By Te Ao - Māori News

Political analyst Dr Rawiri Taonui is confident the Māori Labour caucus will get some of the big-ticket portfolios.

Taonui’s predictions have been spot on since before the elections and now he's putting his money on the Labour Māori caucus to take on some of the big portfolios.

“Oranga Tamariki is open now that NZ First is out and that perhaps should go to Meka Whaitiri. I think its essential a Māori minister is in there and I think we should have our first minister of Te Reo Māori and that should be Peeni Henare,” he said.

He’s optimistic on what role the Greens will have in making up the new government, saying “my sense is they'll be talking about one to two positions in cabinet. I think Labour will prefer James Shaw. I think the Greens and Māoridom will prefer Marama Davidson. Beyond that, there will be some continuation of positions outside of the cabinet.”

'Blunt but smart'

But the big question is what role Kelvin Davis will have. He now sits at No 2 for the Labour Party. Taonui says "People express reservations about Kelvin, and he is sometimes blunt. I also think that he is smart and he is very hardworking and he’s the best person in the Labour caucus, Māori or Pākeha, on Māori policy," he says.

Former National leader Simon Bridges says although he has respect for Kelvin Davis, he wouldn’t put him as his deputy.

He said “He wouldn't be my preference, wrong party, wrong colour. I wouldn't be too hard on poor old Kelvin, I know a lot of people are. My understanding is he has a difficult choice to make. He's weighing up this versus portfolios.”

The country waits with bated breath to see who will come out on top with Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern expected to make an announcement this Friday.