New Cabinet announced


Prime Minister John Key has announced the Cabinet for his third term:

“There is a lot of work ahead to continue implementing our plans to build a stronger economy, reduce debt and create more jobs,” Mr Key says.

“The new Ministry builds on the experience of the past two terms in office, and combines experience with some fresh talent.

“A number of Ministers have had significant portfolio changes, reflecting the need to give Ministers new challenges as well as providing a fresh set of eyes in some portfolio areas.”

Mr Key says a number of Ministers have been promoted either to the front bench, or further up the front bench, to reflect their strong performance in recent years and their promise for the future.

“Paula Bennett has been promoted to number five in the rankings, and picks up State Services, Social Housing and Associate Finance in addition to retaining her Local Government portfolio.

“Dr Jonathan Coleman becomes Minister of Health, and also picks up the Sport and Recreation portfolio, which will link nicely together.

“Amy Adams and Simon Bridges are promoted to the front bench, both with significant new responsibilities. Ms Adams becomes Justice Minister and Mr Bridges Transport Minister.

“Christopher Finlayson remains Treaty Negotiations Minister and Attorney-General, while picking up significant new responsibilities in the intelligence area. He becomes Minister in Charge of the NZ Security Intelligence Service and Minister Responsible for the GCSB, working closely with me in my new role as Minister for National Security and Intelligence.

“In this role I will continue to be responsible for leading the national security system, including policy settings and the legislative framework. Mr Finlayson will operate within the framework I set and exercise ministerial oversight of the NZSIS and GCSB, including approval of warrants.

“Officials have examined models used overseas and what we are adopting is very similar to what is seen with our closest partners.

“Housing continues to be a key area of focus for the Government, and a Ministerial team of Bill English, Paula Bennett and Nick Smith has been assembled to lead that work. Mr English will have direct responsibility for Housing New Zealand; Ms Bennett will focus on social housing, while Dr Smith will work on housing affordability and construction issues. The Social Housing portfolio will have responsibility for the government’s social housing functions, and for its relationship with the social housing sector.

Other changes include:

Gerry Brownlee becomes Minister of Defence, while retaining the role of Leader of the House and his Canterbury Earthquake Recovery and EQC portfolios.

Anne Tolley becomes Minister for Social Development.

Dr Nick Smith becomes Minister for the Environment.

Nikki Kaye becomes Minister for ACC.

Michael Woodhouse becomes Minister of Police. He also becomes Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety – a new portfolio title to reflect the modern focus of what had previously been the Labour portfolio.

Jo Goodhew becomes Minister for Food Safety.

Mr Key says, in announcing his new line up, three new Ministers will be appointed. Maggie Barry is to go straight into Cabinet as Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Minister of Conservation and Minister for Senior Citizens. Louise Upston and Paul Goldsmith will be Ministers outside Cabinet holding a variety of portfolios.

“Two ministers previously outside Cabinet have been promoted to Cabinet. Todd McClay will be Minister of Revenue and Minister for State Owned Enterprises, while Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga will be Minister of Corrections, Minister for Ethnic Communities and Minister for Pacific Peoples.

“Craig Foss remains a Minister, but will now serve outside Cabinet as Minister for Small Business, Minister of Statistics and Minister of Veteran’s Affairs.

“Chester Borrows will not be appointed to the new Ministry. He will, however, be National’s nominee for Deputy Speaker, and I want to thank Chester for his service as a Minister,” Mr Key says.

A number of Ministers continue largely in their current portfolio responsibilities. These include Steven Joyce in Economic Development, Hekia Parata in Education, Murray McCully in Foreign Affairs, Nathan Guy in Primary Industries, Tim Groser in Trade and Climate Change, and Nicky Wagner in Customs.

“The support party Ministerial and Under Secretary roles have already been announced, but I want to acknowledge again their contribution to the formation of a strong, stable National-led Government.”

Mr Key says the National Caucus will meet tomorrow (Tuesday 7 October) to elect its three whips for the coming parliamentary term.

The new Ministry will be sworn in at Government House in Wellington at 11am on Wednesday morning.

The list of names, positions and rankings is here.


iPredict predicts Nats to lose a seat


iPredict was a reliable indicator of election results and its now predicting that National could lose an MP after special votes are counted.

That will make it a bit more difficult to pass legislation and increase the need for support from the Maori Party.

Other predictions are:

*     Labour favoured for 2014 election, with National’s party vote forecast to fall

*     Parker favoured for Labour Leader and new 2014 PM stocks launched

*     Act, Maori Party and  United Future leaders, and Bridges and Tremain, expected to be Ministers outside Cabinet

*     Adams, Foss and Guy expected to be promoted to Cabinet

*     English safe in Finance and Collins set to take Justice

*     Brownlee’s hold on Economic Development and Energy & Resources less certain

*     Tolley and Coleman to lose Education and Immigration

*     Commerce up for grabs

iPredict’s stocks on the new Cabinet suggest that a 20-member Cabinet would consist (in order of probability) of:

      1.    Gerry Brownlee (100%)

      2.    John Key (99%)

      3.    Bill English (99%)

      4.    Steven Joyce (98%)

      5.    Tony Ryall (98%)

      6.    Christopher Finlayson (98%)

      7.    Paula Bennett (98%)

      8.    Judith Collins(98%)

      9.    Hekia Parata (98%)

      10.   Anne Tolley (98%)

      11.   Murray McCully (96%)

      12.   Tim Groser (96%)

      13.   Jonathan Coleman (95%)

      14.   Nick Smith (95%)

      15.   Amy Adams (93%)

      16.   Craig Foss (93%)

      17.   Kate Wilkinson (93%)

      18.   Nathan Guy (89%)

      19.   Phil Heatley (89%)

      20.   David Carter (89%)

*     Ministers Outside Cabinet are expected to be (in order of probability):

      1.    Peter Dunne (92%)

      2.    Tariana Turia (91%)

      3.    Pita Sharples (90%)

      4.    John Banks (74%)

      5.    Simon Bridges (66%)

      6.    Chris Tremain (66%)

 Someone with a better grasp of predictions markets than me might be able to explain why the PM and deputy aren’t absolute certainties for staying in cabinet.

I have no inside knowledge on who might or might not stay as or become a minister but I’d put the chances of all those in iPredict’s 20 who were ministers in the 2008-11 government at or near 100% too.

That doesn’t leave much room for promotions but stability was one of the words used often in campaigning so I’m not expecting much change.

One commentator (sorry, can’t find the link) wrote of the possibility of three whips and some under-secretaries which would be one way to promote more MPs without making cabinet bigger.

Changes in Cabinet


John Key has announced a couple of changes in Cabinet roles.

Steven Joyce becomes Tertiary Education Minister, allowing Anne Tolley to fully focus her efforts on the Education portfolio, and in particular the implementation of the Government’s national standards policy.

Kate Wilkinson becomes Conservation Minister, a portfolio in which she is currently Associate Minister. This change reflects the fact that Tim Groser is frequently out of the country representing New Zealand’s interests in the Trade and Climate Change fields.

The responsibility for Tertiary Education has often been separated from the rest of the Education portfolio and having the Associate Finance Minister in charge of Tertiary Education shows how important it is.

Kate has already been taking a lot of responsibility for Conservation because of Tim’s absence and will have no trouble taking on her new role.

There are some big issues ahead in this portfolio including tenure review and what action, if any is taken after the stock take of mineral reserves under conservation land. These need the attention of a Minister who is in the country most of the time.

Swearing in


Prime Minister John Key, his cabinet and the ministers outside cabinet were sworn in this morning.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Key said being sworn in was a wonderful feeling.

“Obviously there’s the enormity of the task that stands in front of us but, as I said, I’ve never felt more confident that the group of individuals that form the executive are the right individuals to take New Zealand on a more prosperous and safer future,” he said.

TV3 has the video of the ceremony here.


Hat Tip for photo: Keeping Stock

What’s in a number?


Commentators are analysing Naitonal’s new cabinet and it won’t be long before someone looks at the numbers.

One is important, so too are those which follow it closely and you have to have a front bench.

But I don’t think there’s anything to be achieved by close analysis of where Ministers are ranked.

They can’t all be number one or on the front bench. Where they are in the rankings may help or hurt their egos but it’s not necessarily a reflection on them or the importance of the portfolios they hold.

While no-one would argue that racing is as important as health it’s more difficult to differentiate between most of the roles so there’s nothing to be gained by anguishing over the rankings.

It’s not the number in front of their name but the job they do with the ministry after it which really matters. Good ministers will ensure their portfolios are important and get the attention they warrant regardless of where they’re ranked.

New cabinet


John Key says his government will be focused on growth to deliver prosperity for all New Zealanders when he announced his new Ministry.

 “The National-led Government takes office at a challenging time for the country.  The growth outlook is weak, and international and domestic difficulties abound.

 “This Government will concentrate on boosting economic growth because that is what will lead us out of these challenging times. 


“Part of the right response is to tackle the infrastructure blockages. . .  “


National will nominate Lockwood Smith for Speaker.


The new cabinet is:


1 John Key – Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism, Ministerial Services, Minister in Charge of the NZ Security Intelligence Service, Minister Responsible for the GCSB


2 Hon Bill English – Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister for Infrastructure


3 Gerry Brownlee – Minister for Economic Development, Minister of Energy and Resources, Leader of the House, Associate Minister for the Rugby World Cup


 4 Simon Power – Minister of Justice, Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Minister of Commerce, Minister Responsible for the Law Commission, Associate Minister of Finance, Deputy Leader of the House


5 Hon Tony Ryall – Minister of Health, Minister of State Services 


6 Hon Dr Nick Smith – Minister for the Environment, Minister for Climate Change Issues, Minister for ACC


7 Judith Collins – Minister of Police, Minister of Corrections, Minister of Veterans’ Affairs 


8 Anne Tolley – Minister of Education, Minister for Tertiary Education, Minister Responsible for the Education Review Office


9 Christopher Finlayson – Attorney-General [Includes responsibility for Serious Fraud Office], Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage 


10 Hon David Carter – Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity, Minister of Forestry 


11 Hon Murray McCully – Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for the Rugby World Cup 


12 Tim Groser – Minister of Trade, Minister of Conservation, Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues (International Negotiations)


13 Dr Wayne Mapp – Minister of Defence, Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Associate Minister for Economic Development, Associate Minister for Tertiary Education


14 Steven Joyce –Minister of Transport, Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Associate Minister of Finance, Associate Minister for Infrastructure


 15 Hon Georgina te Heuheu – Minister for Courts, Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, Associate Minister of Maori Affairs


16 Paula Bennett  – Minister for Social Development and Employment, Minister for Disability Issues, Minister of Youth Affairs 


17 Phil Heatley – Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Housing


18 Pansy Wong –  Minister for Ethnic Affairs, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Associate Minister for ACC Associate Minister of Energy and Resources 


19 Dr Jonathan Coleman – Minister of Immigration, Minister of Broadcasting, Associate Minister of Tourism, Associate Minister of Health 


20 Kate Wilkinson – Minister of Labour, Minister for Food Safety, Associate Minister of Immigration



21 Hon Maurice Williamson – Minister for Building and Construction, Minister of Customs, Minister of Statistics, Minister for Small Business 


22 Dr Richard Worth – Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister for Land Information, Minister Responsible for Archives New Zealand, Minister Responsible for the National Library, Associate Minister of Justice 


23 John Carter – Minister of Civil Defence, Minister for Senior Citizens, Minister for Racing, Associate Minister of Local Government



Rodney Hide – Minister of Local Government, Minister for Regulatory Reform, Associate Minister of Commerce 


Heather Roy – Minister of Consumer Affairs, Associate Minister of Defence, Associate Minister of Education 


Dr Pita Sharples – Minister of Maori Affairs, Associate Minister of Corrections, Associate Minister of Education 


Hon Tariana Turia – Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Associate Minister of Health, Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment


Hon Peter Dunne – Minister of Revenue, Associate Minister of Health


The list is here.


Cabinet announcement to be broadcast live


John Key’s announcement of his cabinet is to be broadcast live by both TV1 and TV3 at 3pm.

UPDATE: Well I had a media release saying that was what was going to happen, but it didn’t.

Peters should practise principles


The Press is calling for Helen Clark and Winston Peters to live up to the principle of electoral finance transparancy which they espouse. In an editorial on the issue of whether or not Owen Glen donated to New Zealand First, the paper says:

A “furious” Peters denounced the reports as “malicious lies”, attacked the newspaper and one of the reporters who first made them, and generally sought belligerently to dismiss them.

They are not so easily dismissed, however, and Peters still has some work to do. The matter also poses a problem for the Prime Minister, Helen Clark. She claims that it is not her concern and she is studiously declining all substantive comment. But as Foreign Minister, Peters has one of the gaudiest baubles in her Cabinet, and a problem for him is inescapably a problem for her. In this case, of course, it also involves a donor who has been a big contributor to the Labour Party and who may be again in the future.

If I’d been ignored by Clark as Glen was at the opening of the University of Auckland business school to which he donated so generously I might not be quite so keen to contribute to Labour now. 

If an Opposition party were involved in this sort of scenario offshore billionaire, large political donations, leaked emails and so on one can imagine Peters’ response. With the shoe on the other foot, though, Peters has reacted badly. Rather than addressing the issue coolly and straightforwardly, as might be expected of a senior minister, and leaving it at that, he has allowed himself, yet again, to lose his temper with the media.

Under the law on electoral finance as it stood at the time, it would have been possible for Glenn to have made his political donations in complete anonymity. If any went to New Zealand First, it is possible that Peters was unaware of them. Whatever the case, it should not be too difficult now to work out what happened and to resolve the confusions and contradictions raised by the issue once and for all. Rather than pointlessly getting angry with journalists, Peters should do that.

If he will not do so of his own accord, the Prime Minister should quietly persuade him of the benefits of doing so. Peters is the man she chose to be her foreign minister. Any questions concerning him inevitably reflect on her and her Government. More particularly, after the last election, both she and Peters made a great to-do about greater transparency in electoral finance and passed a greatly criticised law designed to bring it about. They should live up to all the fine principles they claimed to be espousing when they promoted that law.

That’s the trouble with principles, you have to abide by them yourself or you look, well, unprincipled.

%d bloggers like this: