25 Jun 2019

Cabinet reshuffle on Thursday won't surprise - PM Jacinda Ardern

2:09 pm on 25 June 2019

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she's already having direct conversations with ministers or MPs affected by the imminent reshuffle, and the news won't come as a surprise on Thursday.

Prime MInister Jacinda Ardern at Parliament 21 May 2019.

Jacinda Ardern will reveal a Cabinet reshuffle on Thursday. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Jacinda Ardern will announce her first Cabinet reshuffle on the last day of this parliamentary sitting session.

The fate of minister Phil Twyford, who holds the housing and transport portfolios, has caused the most speculation, following persistent problems with the Kiwibuild programme.

On his way into caucus this morning Mr Tywford said he was proud of reforms across the broader housing programme but any decisions about his future were out of his hands.

"That is entirely a matter for the prime minister", he told reporters.

RNZ understands Labour MPs will meet as a caucus on Thursday morning, ahead of the reshuffle announcement that afternoon.

Ms Ardern said she was having "direct conversations" and no-one involved would learn about their fate via a caucus meeting.

She was not giving anything else away but did tell Morning Report one individual shouldn't be blamed for difficulties in an ambitious policy.

Simon Bridges

Simon Bridges. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

National's leader Simon Bridges singled out Mr Twyford and ministers David Clark and Iain Lees-Galloway as candidates for demotion.

"The reality there is she has no depth there, no ability to do that."

He said there should be no return for sacked minister Meka Whaitiri.

"It would be completely unacceptable if Meka Whaitiri comes back ... we've just had a Francis review on bullying.

"There is a legal report that the prime minister asked for ... that made quite clear Meka Whaitiri's wrongdoing, and Meka Whaitiri in her words has done nothing - there is zero contrition."

Ms Whaitiri said she has been doing a lot of work on her management style and would await Thursday's announcement.

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