18 Dec 2016

English names new Cabinet line-up

6:11 pm on 18 December 2016

Prime Minister Bill English has announced his new Cabinet - and there are no great surprises.

Clockwise from top left: Steven Joyce, Paula Bennett, Simon Bridges, Judith Collins, Alfred Ngaro, Amy Adams

Clockwise from top left: Steven Joyce, Paula Bennett, Simon Bridges, Judith Collins, Alfred Ngaro, Amy Adams Photo: RNZ / Various

Mr English was officially appointed to the role last week, following John Key's shock resignation on 5 December.

Steven Joyce has been confirmed as Finance Minister. Simon Bridges - who pulled out of the race for deputy, clearing the way for Paula Bennett - has been promoted, and picks up Economic Development and Associate Finance.

Amy Adams will take on Social Housing and responsibility for Housing New Zealand.

There are four new ministers: Alfred Ngaro, who has been promoted straight to Cabinet as Minister for Pacific Peoples, Jacqui Dean, David Bennett and Mark Mitchell.

Mr English said the new Cabinet blended the experience and talent of previous line-ups with the new energy of backbenchers.

He was looking forward to working with Mrs Bennett as his deputy, and was delighted she was picking up the police and women's affairs portfolios, he said.

"As only the second woman deputy prime minister of New Zealand, Paula is well placed to take on the women's portfolio and represent the interests of women at the highest level of the government."

Judith Collins held the police portfolio before the reshuffle, along with Corrections, but she has lost them both and picked up Revenue, Energy and Resources, and Ethnic Communities.

She has also been moved down two places on the Cabinet rankings, but Mr English insisted she had not been demoted.

Watch the full video from today's news conference, including questions:

"If we are bringing people through, they can't all be ranked the same number in the Cabinet, but with respect to the portfolios, Judith just has a set of business and commercial experience and ability that we haven't been able to use.

"We think, given her strong advocacy around police and Corrections, she's done a great job in those portfolios and now we can use her talents elsewhere."

Hekia Parata and Murray McCully to keep portfolios for now

Education Minister Hekia Parata and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully are due to resign at next year's election, but will retain their portfolios until 1 May.

Mr English said he wanted to make use of Mr McCully's international expertise in the role.

"As an incoming prime minister, my experience with the increasingly complex issue of New Zealand's foreign affairs and overseas interests is limited, and I'm keen to have the benefit of Murray's experience."

It was "likely" Nikki Kaye would pick up Education after 1 May. She is currently on leave having treatment for breast cancer, and Mr English said he did not want to rush her.

"Her progress and prognosis is good, but we don't want to put pressure on a minister who has had some health issues, so part of the rationale for 1 May is to give Nikki plenty of time so she's in the list there with a light workload, but if she returns to work healthy [before then] she'll certainly be getting more work."

He thanked Sam Lotu-Iiga, Craig Foss and Jo Goodhew for their contributions as ministers. Mr Lotu-Iiga and Mr Foss had already announced they would be leaving Parliament at the election, and stepping down as ministers.

"All three have been competent ministers, who have made significant contributions to the operations of government and to New Zealand in their respective portfolios."

Other changes and updates include:

View the full ministerial list (PDF, 227KB)

Mr English had said earlier that promoting some ministers, but showing others the door, was part of the job of prime minister.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs