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Phil Goff Named New Labour Leader

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Phil Goff
Phil Goff

Wellington, Nov 11 NZPA - Long-serving Labour MP Phil Goff has been elected unanimously the party's leader.

The Labour caucus made the decision this afternoon. It also chose Annette King as his deputy.

Outgoing leader Helen Clark will be the party's foreign affairs spokeswoman and David Cunliffe will replace Michael Cullen as finance spokesman. Dr Cullen will be Shadow Leader of the House. Darren Hughes and Steve Chadwick would be senior and junior opposition whips respectively.

Mr Goff said Labour would be a strong and effective Opposition.

"In Government Labour succeeded because it had a united, disciplined and motivated parliamentary and ministerial team," Mr Goff said.

"The outcome of today's caucus demonstrates that Labour will be a strong, united and determined Opposition."

He said Labour's 13 new MPs gave it new experience and fresh talent.

Mr Goff said Labour accepted the verdict on Saturday night and would regroup and reconnect with the electorate.

Mr Goff has been in Parliament since 1981, the same year previous leader Helen Clark came in.

He was a senior minister in the previous Labour government and was foreign minister in the current one until 2005 when the job was given to Winston Peters as part of New Zealand First's support deal.

Ms King also has wide experience as a minister and has been in Parliament since 1984.

NZPA PAR mt nb

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