19 Jan 2023

National announces caucus reshuffle as Napier retreat kicks off

12:52 pm on 19 January 2023
National Party leader Christopher Luxon

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

National's leader Christopher Luxon has announced a reshuffle of his MPs' porfolios and rankings, with former leaders Judith Collins and Todd Muller promoted up the list.

His number three, Chris Bishop - who will chair the election campaign - will take over as spokesperson on RMA reform, handing his shadow Leader of the House to Michael Woodhouse.

Entirely new portfolios are being handed to Judith Collins - Foreign Direct Investment and Digitising Government - along with Land Information, and she moves up from 18th to 10th.

Collins was removed as leader of the party in November 2021 over her summary demotion of Simon Bridges, another former leader, allegedly over comments he'd made to a colleague several years prior.

After Luxon took over from her, she was ranked low on the list at 19. Luxon today said she had worked "incredibly hard and added a lot to our thinking on those policy areas", and deserved the promotion back up the ranks.

Todd Muller, previously unranked below the 20th spot, has been boosted to number 12 and confirmed in the Agriculture role, which was stripped from Barbara Kuriger after it became clear she was still involved in a significant conflict of interest relating to her son being prosecuted over animal welfare.

Kuriger had been in 10th and drops to unranked below the 20th spot, picking up Conservation from Jacqui Dean, who quits Parliament after the election.

Nicola Grigg remains unranked, losing Land Information to Collins but picking up the Biosecurity and Food Safety roles that had belonged to Kuriger.

Muller, who had temporary responsibility for those from October, now picks up the Climate Change porfolio from Scott Simpson, who also received a significant demotion from number 11 to 19.

Luxon said Simpson's fall in rankings was "really just a function of movements as people have gone ahead of him, at that point".

He said Simpson had made a great contribution and had plenty of responsibilities with the Water, Oceans & Fisheries portfolios along with the Environment role he retained.

Todd McClay gets a brand new role with Hunting and Fishing, and Penny Simmonds with Workforce Planning.

Simeon Brown also gets the new "Auckland" portfolio, and will become deputy Shadow Leader of the House.

Simon Watts remains unranked but picks up Statistics from Woodhouse, and Regional Development from Tauranga's Sam Uffindell, who picks up the Horticulture role from Tim van de Molen.

Hamilton West MP Tama Potaka, who was elected to the seat last month after the resignation of Gaurav Sharma, picks up Māori Development and Associate Housing (social housing).

Paul Goldsmith picks up Regulatory Reform, Louise Upston will handle Family Violence Prevention, Mark Mitchell takes over Corrections from Simon O'Connor who swaps it for Muller's Internal Affairs role.

The Disability portfolio previously held by Simmonds becomes "Disability and Carers" and is passed to Maureen Pugh.

Luxon said New Zealand was the best country in the world but was heading in the wrong direction under Labour.

"My team will spend 2023 demonstrating how National will deliver the change New Zealand needs to realise its great potential," he said.

"New Zealand needs an alternative to Labour's wasteful spending and inability to deliver. National is that alternative. National will get things done."

National's new list:

  • 1 Christopher Luxon Leader, National Security & Intelligence
  • 2 Nicola Willis Deputy Leader, Finance, Social Investment
  • 3 Chris Bishop Infrastructure, Housing, RMA Reform - Urban Development
  • 4 Shane Reti Health, COVID-19 Response, Māori-Crown Relations, Pacific Peoples
  • 5 Paul Goldsmith Justice, Workplace Relations & Safety, Regulatory Reform
  • 6 Louise Upston Social Development & Employment, Child Poverty Reduction, Family Violence Prevention
  • 7 Erica Stanford Education, Immigration, Associate Ethnic Communities
  • 8 Matt Doocey Mental Health & Suicide Prevention, Youth, Associate Health, Associate Transport
  • 9 Simeon Brown Transport, Auckland, Public Service, Deputy Shadow Leader of the House
  • 10 Judith Collins Science, Innovation & Technology, Foreign Direct Investment, Land Information, Digitising Government
  • 11 Mark Mitchell Police, Serious Fraud Office, Counter-Terrorism, Corrections
  • 12 Todd Muller Agriculture, Climate Change
  • 13 Melissa Lee Broadcasting & Media, Digital Economy & Communications, Ethnic Communities
  • 14 Andrew Bayly Small Business, Manufacturing, Commerce & Consumer Affairs, Revenue
  • 15 Gerry Brownlee Foreign Affairs, GCSB & NZSIS, Emergency Management
  • 16 Todd McClay Trade, Tourism, Hunting & Fishing
  • 17 Michael Woodhouse Shadow Leader of the House, Economic Development, SOEs, Sport & Recreation
  • 18 Stuart Smith Energy & Resources, Viticulture, EQC
  • 19 Scott Simpson Environment, Water, Oceans & Fisheries
  • 20 Penny Simmonds Tertiary Education & Skills, Workforce Planning, Early Childhood Education, Associate Education, Associate Social Development & Employment
  • Simon O'Connor Customs, Internal Affairs, Arts, Culture & Heritage, Associate Foreign Affairs
  • Barbara Kuriger Conservation
  • Maureen Pugh Junior Whip, Disability & Carers, Community & Voluntary Sector
  • Harete Hipango Children/Oranga Tamariki, Whānau Ora
  • Chris Penk Senior Whip, Shadow Attorney-General, Courts, Associate Justice
  • Tim van de Molen Defence, Veterans, Building & Construction, ACC
  • Nicola Grigg Rural Communities, Animal Welfare, Biosecurity, Food Safety, Women, Associate Agriculture
  • Joseph Mooney Treaty Negotiations, Forestry, Space, Associate Agriculture, Associate Tourism
  • Simon Watts Local Government, Regional Development, Statistics, Associate Infrastructure, Associate Finance
  • Sam Uffindell Horticulture, Associate Science, Innovation & Technology
  • Tama Potaka Māori Development, Associate Housing - Social Housing
  • David Bennett Racing
  • Jacqui Dean Assistant Speaker
  • Ian McKelvie Seniors