MP welcomes promotion in party shuffle
‘‘I’m very pleased to get into the top team, so to speak. ’’
Kris Faafoi is welcoming a busier life.
The Mana MP was promoted two weeks ago in a minor reshuffle of Labour Party ministers, following the decision of long-serving MP Clayton Cosgrove to step down.
Faafoi takes over the busy tourism portfolio and his consumer affairs role will now be handled by David Shearer.
It also means Faafoi moves into the shadow cabinet.
He retains his other portfolios of state services and racing.
‘‘I’m very pleased to get into the top team, so to speak,’’ he said.
‘‘Tourism is an exciting opportunity for me, especially because I’m up against the Prime Minister [John Key has the tourism portfolio].
‘‘I need to get my head around a few things in a short time, but I’m glad to be at the top table and not on the periphery.
‘‘The group of 20 people [Labour cabinet] set the agenda and I’m looking forward to being a part of that.’’
Faafoi said tourism was one of the country’s biggest sources of income at the moment and he intended to learn how it was functioning in his electorate first.
He said a chat with Jean Caillabet at Adrenalin Forest in Aotea was high on his agenda.
‘‘I want to talk to people locally about how tourism is affecting them – it’s important I get a handle on that first. Jean has been good to me and I’m keen to listen to his ideas as I get going.’’
What impact will his new portfolio have on how he represents people in Mana?
‘‘I will be busier, but I am still planning to be on the ground in Porirua and Kapiti regularly, like I am now.
‘‘I need to be efficient with my time and it’ll mean I’m on the phone a lot more.’’
Labour leader Andrew Little said Faafoi was instantly recognisable to New Zealanders and was a talented MP.
‘‘His hard work has earned him a place on the shadow cabinet,’’ Little said.
‘‘Kris connects well when he’s on the road – an invaluable skill when working with the tourism industry.’’