Dunne returns as minister

HAMISH RUTHERFORD
Last updated 16:49 21/01/2014
One News

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Prime Minister John Key has reshuffled his Cabinet, returning Peter Dunne as a minister and dumping Chris Tremain.

Dunne resigned as a minister last year after an inquiry into the leaking of a sensitive report could not rule him out as the source.

Key said today Dunne would be appointed minister of internal affairs, associate minister of health and associate minister of conservation.

Dunne will be a minister outside Cabinet as he was prior to his resignation in June last year.

"I am pleased to welcome Peter Dunne back as a minister," Key said in a statement. "We have worked together well in the past, and UnitedFuture continues to be a valued partner in government."

In a statement Dunne welcomed his reappointment, which would give him a key role in a major IT upgrade at the Department of Internal Affairs.

"I am very much looking to returning to the Internal Affairs portfolio (which I last held 18 years ago) and to picking up the threads again of my roles in the health and conservation portfolios," Dunne said.

"Internal Affairs covers a range of diverse responsibilities, including working with the Government chief information officer in the modernisation and upgrading of the Government's IT services, and in particular ensuring proper protection for privacy and security of personal information."

Tremain, the internal affairs and local government minister, has been dropped. He last year announced he would retire from politics at this year's election.

"I want to thank Chris Tremain for his work as a minister, and previously as senior government whip," Key said.

"Chris will be a real loss to the National caucus when he retires at the election and I wish him well for the future."

List MP Michael Woodhouse has been promoted to Cabinet, retaining his portfolios.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett picks up the role of minister of local government.

The new minister outside Cabinet will be Peseta Sam Lotu-liga, who will be appointed minister of pacific island affairs and associate minister of local government.

Lotu-liga is the MP for Maungakiekie and was first elected to Parliament in 2008.

"Sam has very strong ties with the Pasifika community and has represented their interests in caucus well," Key said.

"He is well placed to build on the work that Hekia Parata has done in this portfolio this past term."

In other changes, Todd McClay will take up the role of associate tourism minister.

The governor-general will swear in the new ministers on Tuesday next week before Parliament gets under way for the new year.

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- Fairfax Media

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