Winners and losers in cabinet reshuffle

Bill English during his mid-afternoon announcement at the Beehive

How do you rate the cabinet reshuffle?

Solid
33%
So-so
49%
So what?
17%
Total votes: 221

Amy Adams and Simon Bridges were the big winners in the cabinet reshuffle announced by Bill English this afternoon.

The duo have joined the PM's "kitchen cabinet" or inner circle.

Departure lounge
Murray McCully (Foreign Affairs) and Hekia Parata (Education) are being sent to the backbenches — but not until May. Both had earlier announced they would leave Parliament at next year's election. After May, Nikki Kaye is tipped to return from her breast cancer treatment and pick up Education. A decision on who takes over as Foreign Minister won't be made until May.

As previously flagged, Craig Foss, Jo Goodhew are leaving cabinet.

Smith hangs in
There had been some speculation that Nick Smith would voluntarily step down to allow for more renewal. In the final event, he has stayed in cabinet, although he now shares the key housing portfolio with Ms Adams — who takes on the Social Housing role while Dr Smith is Minister for Building and Construction (meaning there is no Housing Minister per se).

And Dr Smith does dip in the pecking order from 12th to 15th.

The kitchen cabinet
As previously indicated Bill English has taken no portfolio beyond national security (traditionally handled by the PM).

Paula Bennett, ranked second as deputy prime minister, will hold the State Services, Tourism, Police, Women's Affairs and Climate Change portfolios.

Steven Joyce (third) is Minister of Finance and Infrastructure.

Gerry Brownlee (fourth) officially takes over Ms Kaye's Civil Defence portfolio, adding it to his disaster-related posts.

Mr Bridges (who moves from eighth to fifth) keeps transport and adds the heavyweight Economic Development and Associate Finance portfolios, plus Communications (the converged ministry that includes the old Broadcasting and ICT portfolios).

Ms Adams (up one to sixth) keeps Justice and adds Social Housing, Social Investment and Associate Finance.

Fate of the leadership challengers
Pretenders to the National Party leadership following John Key's surprise resignation earlier this month, Jonathan Coleman and Judith Collins, have done relatively poorly.

Mr Coleman slips from sixth to seventh ranking and has no portfolio change, is kept in the health and sports and recreation portfolios, despite making a play for Foreign Affairs.

Ms Collins loses Corrections and Police, falls to 16th from 14th and picks up the Revenue, Energy and Ethnic Communities portfolios, the last of which she has held previously.

Big move for Woodhouse
Michael Woodhouse, who kept immigration and workplace relations and safety and gained responsibility for ACC, moved from 17th to ninth position in a clear indication that he may be headed for bigger things after the May transition.

The newcomers
Also on the up are Alfred Ngaro, one of National's few Pasifika MPs, who vaults straight into cabinet in 21st place, taking the Pacific Peoples and community and voluntary sector portfolios, while three backbenchers — Mark Mitchell, Jacqui Dean, and David Bennett - become Ministers outside Cabinet.

Mr Mitchell becomes Minister of Land Information, with responsibility for the Overseas Investment Office among other responsibilities, and will be Minister of Statistics; Dean replaces Paul Goldsmith as Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, and David Bennett takes on veterans affairs' and food safety.

Their elevations open up opportunities for aspiring backbenchers, including Chris Bishop, who is likely to replace Bennett as chair of Parliament's finance and expenditure select committee; and Todd Muller, who could replace Mark Mitchell chairing the foreign affairs, defence and trade committee, although that would require overleaping the current deputy chair.

Paul Goldsmith and Louise Upston move from being ministers outside cabinet to ministers inside cabinet.

The neutrals
Unchanged are Todd McClay, as Minister of Trade and state-owned enterprises, Maggie Barry in the Arts, Conservation and Seniors portfolios, Chris Finlayson as Attorney-General and Treaty Negotiations minister, Nathan Guy in the primary industries portfolio, and Nicky Wagner as Minister of Customers and Disability Issues, outside Cabinet.

See the full cabinet list here

With reporting by BusinessDesk.


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33 Comments & Questions

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Very uneventful from Grinning Bill

Nick Smith stays
Nathan Guy stays
Louise Upston stays and is promoted
Nicky Wagner stays

With Judith Collins demotion and none of the young smart backbenchers being promoted I would think Bill has some problems ahead - both from the back bench and also from the public who know how bad Nick Smith and Nathan Guy are and the others very very average

This Cabinet might start making Labour's shadow cabinet look good

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And Murray McCully also stays until the next election

Thats five opportunities lost to recharge the National Cabinet

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Maybe I've missed something. But my observation is that over the last thirty years Mr Smith is the ONLY Minister to tackle the housing shortage by increasing the supply.
I know that "increasing supply" should've been tackled 25 years ago but the then Bolger, then Clarke, gov.s firmly believed that all that was needed was for the RB Governor to sit in Wellington, pull his lever and all would be well.
Have I been wrong all these years to keep asking for the RB Governor to, "put his lever away, the market is screaming for more houses to be built"?

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Ignore Scribe, John, he's a Labour Party troll.

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No not a Labour party troll at all

Just didn't get sucked into the John Key hype that you guys did and am now commenting on what was a lame change to the National Cabinet - when Bill could have structured it better for the future

As far as saying that Nick Smith is the only minister to tackle the housing shortage is sheer lunacy - he created it and sat on his fat a.se before being forced by the reality of the situation - and increasing public opinion that it was indeed a crisis.

There was not a housing crisis or shortage before the Key Government was sworn in.
What planet are you on - maybe talk to some normal people out there - not the cloned National mates - and you will get a better feel. I doubt if Nick Smith would get 10% satisfaction in any poll on his performance.

Bill should have had balls and used this chance to get rid of Nick Smith

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Just where were you twenty years ago? Still in nappies?
Then we had RB Governor Brash then Bollard every second month using the rise in house prices as an excuse to raise interest rates, and as a consequence, our exchange rate.
For your info. when the price of a goods or service rise then that means demand is outstripping supply.
Also for your info. Mr Smith was not appointed Minister of housing 'til 2013. Just four years ago, and more has been done on the supply side of housing by the Gov. in those four years than in the previous twenty years

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I was around 30 year ago as well when another of your great National leaders Rob Muldoon nearly bankrupted the country. Thanks for also highlighting other losers like Don Brash, through in Jim Bolger and you have finally admitted what an unfortunate history your beloved party has.

Nick Smith aligns with these people well

When you take your blinkers off you will see that the recent opening of the migration flood gates by Asian and Indian migrants ( and a few thousand British and Sth Africans ) by your beloved John Key was what created the demand for housing and your highly talented Nick Smith remained in a deep coma until a year ago when he woke up to the fact that there was now a crisis. That's where the demand came from to outstrip supply.

And for the record National has been in power 11 of the last 20 years - if you are good at arithmetic.

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A government should not interfere with the "demand side".
Good Government of a nation will automatically and naturally atttract people to its shores. Would you rather a Gov. run NZ so badly that no-one wants to come and people want to exit?
If the market was free of hideous regulations that allows Councils to prevaricate re services to new development, along with a ridiculous RMA then we would not now have a problem.
Over the past four years Mr Smith has done his darndest to do something about both.
It should've been done in the Bolger/Clarke Government but alas thiose Governments steadfastly believed that all that was needed was the RB Governor to give his lever another pull and "she'll be right".
This mess, so-called "housing crisis", has been in the making for near thirty years, it will take at least twenty before equilibrium is again attained. It will ONLY be attained by allowing supply to catch up.
To artificially suppress demand would only delay. Like kicking it down the road for another Gov. to pick up by artificuially raising interest rates via RB Governor RB Act. Just what the Bolger/Clarke Governments did.

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What's he done about the demand side?

Only focusing on the supply side seems to have been completely ineffective.

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Just building more houses won't help first home buyers as all the new houses will only be bought by recently retired baby boomers as 'investment' properties. There has to be enough affordable targeted houses built that speculators can't touch.

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The government's ineffective focus on supply hasn't achieved anything except featherbedding the nestegg of boomers. NZ's history shows that home ownership was only enabled and fostered with a combination of supply and demand measures - if we hadn't had land tax in the past boomers would not be in the lovely position they are now. They would be renting, just like the new generations will.

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What's with the "Grinning Bill" moniker Scribe? Are you taking a leaf out of the Donald J Trump playbook? You are right about there being no housing crisis when John Key was sworn in; it had a different name then - Global Financial Crisis. Take a look around the world and then come back and list all the OECD countries that have done better since then, economically or socially.

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I think the topic being discussed was Nick Smith and the housing portfolio and crisis.
Funny how you have twisted the discussion to the GFC - no relation to the housing crisis

I understand that you will be still pining after John Key resigned and gave Grinning Bill the hospital pass

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No one should have particularly great expectation of Bill, but in keeping Smith, Wagner, Upston ( delightfully not a supporter of the feminists. Dismiss the view of , retired TV jock, Rachel Smalley, she, thought the idiot fundamentalist, relic from the 50's , 'Colin Craig', was the face of enlightenment and a desirable coalition partner for Jonkey) and even Nathan Guy given the alternative. Nicky Wagner is at least as competent as any of the females in the real cabinet and McIndoe, may still be a bit too, over excited.
In downgrading the relics of the Brash, Whaleoil, Lusk, Collins, 2005 Campaign which violated every decent principle National ever stood in, as National attacked the most disadvantaged and misunderstood the Maoris and Mentally ill and ran on a pro market and pro Anzus policy, that the hopelessly weak pretender, Don Brash would never have had the strength or wit to implement for a second. Brash remains a ridiculous figure devoid of any insight or any real political ability and suffering a complete inability to judge humans with any intelligence, shown always in his respect for ambiguous and untalented John Banks who did more damage to both liberalism and neo liberalism in Auckland, than the entire left combined and the poisonous Micheal Basset who with Russel Marshall, David Lange summed up perfectly, with an adequate flick of contempt, for nonentities.

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Nothing like pop pyschology but surely the NBR would be a forum where MInister of Revenue would be considered important.

If not maybe weve all got a serious problem.

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Minister of Revenue? What is it? A bauble kept warm in case he needs Mr NO after the next election??

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NBR Politics Editor Rob Hosking calls Revenue a "low profile, technical portfolio". Whether to lower taxes or chase multinationals are big decisions, but they'll be made elsewhere. In Rob's view it's a demotion from Corrections.

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Very tacky

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I read in the Herald that Annette King was rather unimpressed with the new lineup, saying it was underwhelming and showed very little new thinking. But the problem I have with that, Annette, if by chance you are reading this is that that is really a little bit of the kettle calling the pot black because that is exactly the same thing you said to William the Conquerer in 1066.

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Glad to see Collins demoted. The line up looks pretty good. Certainly good enough to clean Labour up in the next election. Biggest disappointment is Coleman retaining Health.

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Paula bennet has been a joke in corrections looks at recent tines is a complete mickey mouse show sack her i say

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Disappointed re Judith She's smart. Bad move keeping on McCully and Parada until May. Think Paula and Amy have too much on!

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Smart? Oh please.
Disloyal, angry, nasty and unelectable.
Those are words I would use.

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Precisely. If she ever gets her way and leads the party, (Allah forbid) then it's goodnight National. Unelectable, perhaps even more-so than Labour's Little.

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No bold initiatives shown here. All the derring-do of a village pastor.

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Very smart and easy to show off your cleverness but what do you mean? These changes are sensible, balanvced and measured? The P M has a Government to run and has to work with what he has. He needs to keep his options open re Election Time, and he will be able to slot several more people around before May 1st . This means continuity, keeping Labour guessing and offering hope to the ambitious. This hardly lines up with your one line trolling

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“These changes are sensible, balanvced and measured?"
Exactly: Predictable, Staid, Steady as she goes, Don’t rock the boat, More of the same; in other words, what we’ve come to expect from him. Speaking of "trolling", English could have applied Graeme Hart’s dictum and trolled down the middle order to elevate more Young Blood into his Kitchen Cabinet; instead, he’s assigned those already peeling the carrots to doing the kumaras. And vice versa.

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Pretty much as expected!
Predictably boring but reasonably solid.
Will be his BIG TEST when the PM tries to undo National/Keys BIG mistake,ie, the housing bubble which they and the reserve bank caused by keeping interest rates ridiculously low for so long and thus making borrowing and property speculation almost a given.

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That's our Bill!

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Nick Smith will only be demoted when Bill English is gone. Could a fall below 40% lead to a coup?

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Woodhouse should not be promoted he should be put out onto the square outside parliament and publicly flogged for willingly being the puppet overseeing these disastrous immigration policies and the damage they are and will continue to cause the country.
A smart country should be incredibly selective, bringing in only the best of what we need (for as long as it's needed), and be mindful of the artificial demand consequences to the economy.
Our immigration is none of that.
180,000 net migration in the last 3 years. 3 x per capita rate of the UK's, which caused the Brexit storm.
More takeaway chefs, tourist guides, retail "managers", phoney low paid job offers, and a flood of foreign students doing pitifully weak courses as a way of obtaining backdoor entry.
Too slow on the family unification category (damage already done with long term increasing superannuation and health costs consequences).
10 years only to get super, and if you can't do as you declared you would be able to do for getting residency, (support yourself), no worries.
People who have been paying tax here all their lives will support you with an emergency benefit until you reach that 10 year mark.

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I doubt we've even seen the half of how bad it is too. My friends have worked in the PTE sector at a "reputable" institution, and from all accounts the recent publicity around this farcical sector has barely scratched the surface.

And now we're seeing in Vancouver that suburbs bought up by foreigners have declared incomes below the poverty level, with fathers depositing their families to enjoy the local services while flying off to run their overseas business. I.e. don't contribute to the local services, just exploit them. How much of this is going on here?

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