Auckland MP gains cabinet post

KATE CHAPMAN AND ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 13:08 22/01/2013
Nick Smith
MARK TAYLOR/Fairfax NZ
NICK SMITH: Minister of housing and conservation.
NIKKI KAYE
GEORGE GARDNER/Fairfax NZ
NIKKI KAYE: Minister for food safety, youth affairs and civil defence.
kate wilkinson
Fairfax NZ
KATE WILKINSON: Dumped from Cabinet.
David Carter
FairfaxNZ
DAVID CARTER: Named as the Government's nominee to become Speaker when Lockwood Smith leaves.

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Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye has been promoted to a place in Cabinet in a reshuffle from the Prime Minister today that has seen two MPs axed. 

Kaye will be minister for food safety, youth affairs and civil defence.

Nick Smith, who resigned as ACC Minister in the wake of the Bronwyn Pullar ACC scandal and has been on the Government backbenches since last year, will also return to parliament picking up housing and conservation. Phil

Heatley and Kate Wilkinson have been dropped to make way for Kaye and Smith. Government whip Michael Woodhouse has been appointed as a minister, outside of Cabinet, with responsibility for immigration and veterans affairs.

Minister Simon Bridges has been promoted into Cabinet and will take over the labour and energy and resources portfolios as well as associate transport.

David Carter has been named as the Government's nominee to become Speaker when Lockwood Smith leaves to take up his appointment as New Zealand High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

Carter's primary industries portfolio will be picked up by Nathan Guy.

Key said Wilkinson and Heatley would naturally be disappointed with being dumped. They had done a good job but it was time to give others a chance.

"I have made the judgement that it is time for fresh energy and ideas."

Wilkinson was minister of conservation and food safetly, as well as associate minister of immigration. Heatley was minister of housing and energy resources.

Wilkinson had to resign as Labour Minister after a damning report into the Pike River disaster.

Key said he would have removed her this year and his decision was not a response to the report.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Coleman and Amy Adams have also been promoted with their Cabinet rankings rising to 10 and 15 respectively.

The Novopay debacle also featured in Key's reshuffle plans.

Responsibility for fixing the beleaguered teacher pay system has been transferred to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce.

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To date this had been the role of Associate Education Minister Craig Foss, however he had been dumped and replaced with Kaye.

Key said he shared teachers' and principals' concerns about problems with Novopay and wanted the issue sorted.

"A fresh set of eyes is needed and I have asked Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce to take on that responsibility."

The transfer would be made under the Constitution Act.

Key said it may take some time to get the problems sorted as they appeared to be systematic.

"I can assure teachers that we want to get Novopay sorted as soon as possible.

Foss has instead picked up the Minister of Consumer Affairs role to go alongside his work as Commerce Minister.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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