David Cunliffe on Cabinet reshuffle, PM's leadership and housing

David Cunliffe on Cabinet reshuffle, PM's leadership and housing



former later Labour leader David Cunliffe spent nearly 20 years in Parliament but he left politics altogether in 2017 nowadays he's amused in the corporate world a partner at stakeholders strategies in Auckland but he knows these politicians well he worked for them with them for years so what does he think of Prime Minister Jacinda a dooms reshuffle he joins me now from our Wellington studio good evening David good evening Lisa let's start with housing because that's the big-ticket item so what do you think well it doesn't Meaghan Woods have something that means she's more likely to succeed where Phil Twyford has failed I think you've just run a clip with the Prime Minister's told it pretty much like it is this is not about an individual failing it's about a job being too big for any one person I think it's fair to say that Megan woods has learned some particular skills from her experience in the Christchurch rebuild and built from the rubble up and she's brought people together across the private sector the construction sector the public sector local government central government and she'll bring that experience to the housing portfolio but I think this is a transition from policy design you do in opposition and sell in your early days and government to the hard yards of delivery and Megan woods is very good at that she will I think be a very effective team leader for that expanded team is that the Prime Minister's mistake not realising that housing was too big a portfolio for just one Minister well of course he had transport as well and retains transport and Justin passing to note that he's picked up another very senior portfolio on economic development but back to your question look it's easy in before you confront the hard realities of a complex problem to underestimate just how difficult it is and and it's also remember this is not a new issue the previous government I think it's fair to say knew from at least the middle of the ateam that the housing crisis was getting worse they didn't do anything about it they didn't campaign on it they didn't act on it and it is now a real-world scale crisis and it's a crisis the market is not functioning well the contracting systems not working too well and the the private sector risk gets passed to the subbies there's been some screws tightened on that which has meant that large companies like Fletcher buildings have had issues in the marketplace there's a skills shortage in the construction sector that's holding the sector back and I don't think the depth of all of that was foreseeable for a government before it took office now they're confronted with just how hard it is and they're throwing more resources but at it on a meritocratic basis I don't think they can be criticized for that how you would have been there when all of these conversations were happening around Kiwi build and word was that Kiwi builds started out with thinking what 50,000 houses would be enough but it ended up at at a hundred thousand so do you think being over ambitious has kind of kneecaps this government and that perhaps they should have been a bit more realistic with their targets well it is about delivery I agree with you and the prime minister said that herself this is the year of delivery she's rejigging her team to put the people who've proven that they can deliver out there in the real world up the ladder because they will need to drive change in Megan woods and the clip you just played said look it didn't work we're going to change it she's going to take a couple of weeks to get her bearings in the new portfolio that was indicative who for her style she is very clear very direct she will lead that team and a very no-nonsense and I think very businesslike way while being able to talk across the divide of public private sector just as Chris pfaff for he has proved that he is able to do if she is unable megan woods i mean if she's unable to meet the targets does that mean that the policy is flawed in some way then if you give it to a second minister and they can't do it either is it then the policy is just not achievable i think it's too early to you know put a label on it clearly they the government has found headwinds and implementation this is a you know a really tough job to do but it's a little too early for the jury to come back and say it's a failure or a success how long do you reckon you have to give it well I think it subtly put in the language of the prime minister statement was a shift of language away from the focus on Kiwi billed as the first layer word to housing as the first layer word of which Kiwi build is now one of three key parts don't you shift your language like that because you're going you're trying to minimize what you haven't managed to do you're trying to reach a load and offer a distraction somewhat actually so that's a political lens I'm trying to put a practical lens on this not for political reasons I'm not here to apologize for a government or otherwise what I'm saying is the government or New Zealanders don't have enough good houses they don't have enough warm dry houses homelessness is in shocking proportions in our cities and I was spent yesterday open in Kaikohe I can tell you the housing is not flash up in the far north either we have to get it moving on this now Kiwi billed itself is basically a scheme to make it easier for first home buyers to get into the market many of our poorest New Zealanders the people who are most vulnerable and in the position to be first home buyers so Kiwi build isn't going to solve their problem that's why the government is rehearing to put more emphasis on social housing that's why it's brought Chris farfel into that role that's why Megan woods is not the minister of Kiwi build she's the minister of housing and she will drive that team hard to deliver more appropriate houses for people who need it most Kiwi will build will be a part of it and they haven't announced any of this yet but if I'm a betting man what I suspect is there will be less emphasis on the total Kiwi build target and more emphasis on the total housing target and that will be a mix of Kiwi build community housing state housing and possibly leveraging up the local government sector just like we used to hey just a couple of quick things that we can rip through anyone in there that you think should have got a boost today and didn't get it look honestly I thought the lineup was a pretty far-reaching and pretty mirror to kradic lineup I'm not going to play sideline quarterback and say move this person or not but let's just say it went right down the chain was good to see some of the back bench coming forward my successor in New London bore us all goes to chair of the finance and expenditure committee Michael Woods is coming up as chief whip Priyanka radhakrishnan as ethnic affairs parliamentary Under Secretary I believe Potter Williams as a minister outside cabinet she's she's got a proven record with the community and voluntary sector so again based on performance people are allowed to go forward and I think that's that's a pretty good signal to CN to everybody else in the caucus if you do the yards if you get the practical results on the ground the system will recognize that and rewarded I think that means that's the incentive that every Prime Minister needs to send so what about make a fight today then too early to bring her back look as a side I want to play quarterback on individuals the circumstances around Mecca you know there are a range of views on that you want to sit on the fence with make a fight Tony what about Claire Karen do you think she actually become a gonna play quarterback on individuals I think Mika may have a maker maybe back end before clearers that's all I'll say all right thanks for joining us there is David Cunliffe giving us his thoughts on the Prime Minister's reshuffle we formally in Parliament former leader of Labour himself now a partner at stakeholder strategies in Oakland

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