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Bridges biggest winner in new Cabinet, Smith back to environment

Paula Bennett, tipped as a future PM, also does well. Key gives up GCSB but takes on new security role.

Pattrick Smellie
Mon, 06 Oct 2014

Scroll down for full cabinet list.

The biggest winner in today's new Cabinet line-up from Prime Minister John Key is Simon Bridges, who moves from 18th to ninth in the rankings and picks up the politically important transport portfolio from Gerry Brownlee.

Returning to the environment portfolio, previously held by Amy Adams, is Nick Smith, signalling a softening in the government's intended reforms to the Resource Management Act, while Adams picks up the justice portfolio ranking from Judith Collins, who resigned during the election campaign. (See Ministerial List for Announcement below)

Collins has no way back to the Cabinet until after an inquiry into the actions that led to her departure two weeks out from the Sept. 20 election.

Paula Bennett, tipped as a potential replacement to Prime Minister John Key, moves from ninth to fifth ranking, ceding her social development portfolio to Anne Tolley, whose previous police and corrections portfolios are divided between Michael Woodhouse and Peseta Sam Lotu-Iga, who was promoted into Cabinet.

Bennett also becomes Associate Minister of Tourism, effectively making her under-study to Key, who retains primary responsibility for tourism.

Two new threads of focus are the way portfolios relating to housing and the security and intelligence services.

Finance Minister Bill English will become Minister in charge of Housing New Zealand, while Bennett will take the new social housing portfolio, and Smith will be Minister of Housing. This triumvirate will become responsible for major reforms already under way to make state housing provision more efficient and competitive, with greater provision by non-profit social housing organisations.

Also in their sights will be ongoing progress to improve the availability of urban land for housing to ease house price pressures.

Bridges retains the energy and resources portfolio and becomes deputy leader of the House, supporting Brownlee, who keeps his third-place ranking in the Cabinet, retaining responsibility for recovery from the Canterbury earthquakes and picks up the defence portfolio.

Woodhouse, who was a minister outside Cabinet in the last government, comes into the inner Cabinet at 17th out of 20 ministers, also picking up immigration and the newly named workplace relations and safety portfolio, previously held by Bridges as Minister of Labour.

Maggie Barry comes into the inner Cabinet, as a first-time minister at 20th, taking the conservation, arts, culture and heritage and senior citizens.

The most notable loser in the reshuffle is Craig Foss, who loses the commerce portfolio and moves outside Cabinet.

The commerce portfolio will go to first-time minister, outside Cabinet, Paul Goldsmith, who has chaired the finance and select committee, a common stepping stone to Cabinet.

On security services, Attorney-General Chris Finlayson will pick up two new portfolios giving him direct responsibility for the Security Intelligence Service and the Government Communications and Security Bureau, with Key maintaining an overarching role as Minister of National Security and Intelligence.

The spy agencies have been a running sore for National and Key said he expected to spend as much time on the intelligence agencies' issues as he had in the past.

One minister whose wide responsibilities have been expanded is fourth-ranked Steven Joyce, who keeps the economic development, science and innovation, and tertiary education portfolios, while adding information communication technology, which previously sat with Adams.

Adams retains the communications portfolio, with responsibility for telecommunications regulation. As widely tipped, Jonathan Coleman becomes Minister of Health, as well as Sport and Recreation.

Todd McClay remains Minister of Revenue but moves to the inner Cabinet, picking up state-owned enterprises and associate responsibilities for foreign affairs and trade.

Nikki Kaye moves from 15th to 19th ranked in the Cabinet, picking up the Accident Compensation Corp portfolio.

Nathan Guy retains primary industries and Tim Groser retains trade and climate change, while dropping two places to 16th, suggesting this will be his last parliamentary term.

The full list includes:

Rt Hon John Key

Prime Minister

Minister for National Security and Intelligence

Minister of Tourism

Minister Responsible for Ministerial Services

2 Hon Bill English

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister of Finance

Minister Responsible for HNZC

3 Hon Gerry Brownlee

Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery

Minister of Defence

Leader of the House

Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission

4 Hon Steven Joyce

Minister for Economic Development

Minister for Regulatory Reform

Minister of Science and Innovation

Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

Minister Responsible for Novopay

Associate Minister of Finance

5 Hon Paula Bennett

Minister of Local Government

Minister for Social Housing

Minister of State Services

Associate Minister of Finance

Associate Minister of Tourism

6 Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Health

Minister for Sport and Recreation

7 Hon Amy Adams

Minister of Justice

Minister for Courts

Minister of Broadcasting

Minister for Communications

8 Hon Christopher Finlayson


Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

Minister in Charge of the NZ Security Intelligence Service

Minister Responsible for the GCSB

Associate Minister for Maori Development

9 Hon Simon Bridges

Minister of Energy and Resources

Minister of Transport

Deputy Leader of the House

Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues

Associate Minister of Justice

10 Hon Hekia Parata

Minister of Education

11 Hon Anne Tolley

Minister for Social Development

12 Hon Dr Nick Smith

Minister for the Environment

Minister for Building and Housing

13 Hon Murray McCully

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Associate Minister for Sport and Recreation

14 Hon Nathan Guy

Minister for Primary Industries

Minister for Racing

15 Hon Nikki Kaye

Minister for ACC

Minister of Civil Defence

Minister for Youth

Associate Minister of Education

16 Hon Tim Groser

Minister of Trade

Minister for Climate Change Issues

17 Hon Michael Woodhouse

Minister of Immigration

Minister of Police

Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety

18 Hon Todd McClay

Minister of Revenue

Minister for State Owned Enterprises

Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs

Associate Minister of Trade

19 Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga

Minister of Corrections

Minister for Ethnic Communities

Minister for Pacific Peoples

Associate Minister of Health

20 Maggie Barry

Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

Minister of Conservation

Minister for Senior Citizens


21 Hon Craig Foss

Minister for Small Business

Minister of Statistics

Minister of Veterans' Affairs

Associate Minister of Immigration

Associate Minister of Transport

22 Hon Jo Goodhew

Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector

Minister for Food Safety

Associate Minister for Primary Industries

Associate Minister for Social Development

23 Hon Nicky Wagner

Minister of Customs

Minister for Disability Issues

Associate Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery

Associate Minister of Conservation

24 Louise Upston

Minister for Land Information

Minister for Women

Associate Minister of Local Government

Associate Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

25 Paul Goldsmith

Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Associate Minister for ACC


Hon Peter Dunne

Minister of Internal Affairs

Associate Minister of Conservation

Associate Minister of Health

Te Ururoa Flavell

Minister for Maori Development

Minister for Whanau Ora

Associate Minister for Economic Development


David Seymour

Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Education and Minister for Regulatory Reform


Pattrick Smellie
Mon, 06 Oct 2014
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Bridges biggest winner in new Cabinet, Smith back to environment