Goodhew given rural portfolio in shake-up

GERALD PIDDOCK
Last updated 05:00 23/01/2013

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Jo Goodhew will be swapping her high heels for gumboots a lot more after being named the new associate minister for Primary Industries.

The appointment came after Prime Minister John Key announced a Cabinet reshuffle yesterday.

Primary Industries Minister David Carter will step down after being nominated as the new Speaker of the House. He will replace the departing Lockwood Smith.

Mr Carter's portfolio has been taken by Primary Industries Associate Minister Nathan Guy.

Mrs Goodhew said she was delighted to have been given the portfolio after Prime Minister John Key phoned her and asked her to take up the role.

"It's going to be a lot of work, but it's the heart of my electorate.

"The rural sector has been the heart of my life and certainly has been for the Rangitata electorate."

Mrs Goodhew said she was looking forward to working with Mr Guy. She said they would meet when the House sat next week to discuss delegating responsibilities within the portfolio.

Mrs Goodhew is also the associate minister for Health and minister for Senior Citizens, Women's Affairs, and for the Community and Voluntary Sector. She remains a minister outside the Cabinet.

She was confident the nature of her work within her electorate made her aware of concerns facing the primary sector. "As a minister you need to start from scratch and do all of the reading to come up to speed. That's the way I addressed the portfolios I got last year and that's what I will do to come up to speed with the issues facing the minister and the sector."

Water use and maintaining the balance between protecting its quality and getting the maximum economic benefit through irrigation was one of those issues, as was biosecurity and aquaculture.

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- South Canterbury

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