A lead Treaty of Waitangi negotiator says the appointment of Chris Finlayson as Associate Maori Affairs Minister shows National is taking the portfolio more seriously.
Dr Pita Sharples retains his position as Maori Affairs Minister, with Mr Finlayson second in charge.
Chris Finlayson is also the Attorney-General, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.
Ngati Raukawa's lead Treaty negotiator Chris McKenzie is certain Mr Finlayson's work in Treaty negotiations, helped him pick up the Maori portfolio.
He says the appointment shows the Government wants someone who is not just taking up space at the table.