25 Jun 2019

National Party's Simon Bridges announces caucus reshuffle

8:06 pm on 25 June 2019

Paul Goldsmith has been announced as Amy Adams' replacement for the finance and infrastructure spokesperson role amid National's caucus reshuffle.

National Party leader Simon Bridges.

Simon Bridges Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

National Party leader Simon Bridges announced the changes today, including the split of regional and economic development spokesperson role between two people - Chris Bishop and Todd McClay respectively.

Paul Goldsmith has been promoted to the key finance spokesperson role, with Mr Bridges saying he was the "natural choice".

"He [Mr Goldsmith] has done an outstanding job holding the government to account in the economic and regional development portfolio," Mr Bridges said in a statement.

Mr Bishop, formerly police spokesperson, will now also hold the transport portfolio, with Mr Bridges saying he "deserves to take on more responsibility".

Jo Hayes will take the Māori development and Treaty of Waitangi negotiations portfolios previously held by MP Nuk Korako before he announced his retirement from the role and politics in April.

Other changes in National caucus portfolios:

  • Gerry Brownlee, foreign affairs
  • Brett Hudson, police
  • Tim Macindoe, shadow attorney-general
  • Michael Woodhouse, associate finance
  • Maggie Barry, disability issues
  • Stuart Smith, immigration
  • Todd Muller, forestry
  • Nicola Willis, youth
  • Paulo Garcia, associate foreign affairs

Mr Bridges also thanked Ms Adams and Alastair Scott, who announced today they would be stepping down at the election next year.

"Amy was a brilliant Minister across a range of portfolios. The changes she made to domestic violence laws as Justice Minister have made families in New Zealand safer. Amy has excelled as our Finance spokesperson and has been an outstanding member for Selwyn," Mr Bridges said.

"Amy is someone that came in [to Parliament] the same year as me, you build a really strong friendship and bond.

"I'll certainly miss her a lot, I think she's had a very substantial career.

"Alastair Scott, of course, has been a strong member in the Wairarapa for a couple of terms and we'll miss him as well.

"Alastair should be proud of the work he has done to prevent drug driving, and for the way he has represented and advocated for the people of Wairarapa."

He said their departures were not a reflection on his leadership, and his reshuffle showed National was a "strong, talented team" that would continue to "renew and refresh".

He pointed to speculation Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon may be looking join National's ranks as proof the party was a "magnet for talent".

He said he had a "brief" conversation with Mr Luxon, but told reporters he couldn't remember who intiated the call and would not give any more detail.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will announce her first Cabinet reshuffle on the last day of this parliamentary sitting session, on Thursday.

Ms Ardern said she was already having direct conversations with ministers or MPs affected by the imminent changes.

Mr Bridges said it would show a contrast between the government and the National Party.

"I think if anything it shows how well National does things, it shows the real contrast with the government, where I think we'll get a pretty anemic reshuffle in a couple of days," Mr Bridges said.

"I actually feel some sympathy for Jacinda Ardern, because she has a number there she needs to move on, but she just doesn't have the depth the way National does."

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