Key names new Cabinet line-up

KATE CHAPMAN
Last updated 11:14 12/12/2011
Marcus Wild

John Key says the new Cabinet line-up reflects the Government's priorities for the next three years.

Cabinet ministers 2011
Supplied Zoom
Jonathan Coleman, new Defence Minister.
John Key
NEW ORDER: John Key announces the new Cabinet line up in Wellington.

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Hekia Parata is one of the big winners in Prime Minister John Key's new line-up announced today, moving to the front benches and picking up the education portfolio.

Key announced his Cabinet at a press conference this morning, saying the line up reflects the Government's priorities for the next three years: jobs and growth, welfare and public sector reform, education and the rebuild of Christchurch.

Former education minister Anne Tolley has picked up police and corrections and becomes deputy leader of the House.

Social Development and Youth Affairs Minister Paula Bennett retains her portfolios and also moves to the front bench.

Nathan Guy and Craig Foss have both moved inside Cabinet after being ministers outside in the previous term.

Guy becomes Minister of Immigration, Racing and Veteran's Affairs while Foss picks up commerce and broadcasting.

Other big movers were former police minister Judith Collins who rose to fifth spot in the Cabinet list and picked up justice, ACC and ethnic affairs.

Steven Joyce, who managed National's recent election campaign, takes out the fourth spot with the economic development, science and innovation, tertiary education and associate finance portfolios.

Key said Joyce's mix of economically-focused roles reflected the priority the Government placed on economic growth.

"National's line-up is a very strong one, with a mixture of fresh talent and experience."

Key said he wanted to freshen the front bench and the demotion of Tolley was not a reflection of her efforts in the past term.

The Government also wanted to take the opportunity to trim a number of portfolios following advice from the Cabinet Office.

That included folding infrastructure, disarmament, Rugby World Cup and Education Review Office into major portfolios.

Key remains top of the Cabinet list and retains his tourism portfolio.

Finance Minister Bill English is still at number two and responsibility for infrastructure has been wrapped into the finance portfolio.

Gerry Brownlee will return to being Leader of the House, which he stepped down from to concentrate on the Christchurch earthquakes, and remains Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery.

He also picks up transport.

Jonathan Coleman is the new Defence Minister and Housing Minister Phil Heatley also picks up Energy and Resources.

Amy Adams becomes a first time minister with communications and information technology, internal affairs and associate for Canterbury earthquake recovery.

The announcement came after Key signed a deal with the Maori Party yesterday.

The Maori Party will support the Government on issues of confidence and supply but is free to vote against it on all other issues, including the partial sales of state owned assets.

National has already finalised deals with ACT and United Future.

Under the latest agreement, Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples will remain Minister of Maori Affairs and hold a number of associate ministerial portfolios. Co-leader Tariana Turia will remain Minister of Whanau Ora and will sit on a new ministerial committee on poverty.

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United Future leader Peter Dunne will stay on as Minister of Revenue and ACT MP John Banks becomes Minister for Regulatory Reform and Small Business.

Those appointments are all outside of Cabinet.

Three spots opened up after the retirement of Simon Power, Georgina te Heuheu and Wayne Mapp at the election.

Former party whip Chris Tremain, Jo Goodhew and Chester Borrows are all promoted to ministers outside Cabinet.
Maurice Williamson remains Building and Construction and Customs Minister, and is also outside of Cabinet.

Key said there would be opportunities for those outside Cabinet during the Parliamentary term.

He said there could be a Cabinet reshuffle over the next three years but said he "wouldn't bet the ranch on it".

Lockwood Smith keeps his role as Speaker of the House but Key wouldn't rule out him taking up the position of High Commissioner to London when it comes up next year.

The ministerial line-up includes a reduced number of portfolios - 10 responsibilities have been disestablished or wrapped into other areas.

The announcement showed a strong group of ministers for National's second term, and one that was focused on delivering for New Zealand, Key said.

The ministers will be sworn in at Government House on Wednesday morning and were likely to have their first meeting that afternoon.

- Fairfax Media

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