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John Key announces Cabinet reshuffle

Tuesday 22 Jan 2013 12:08p.m.

Nikki Kaye's promotion to power

Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye was the big winner in today’s Cabinet reshuffle with the 32-year-old backbencher going straight to the Government’s executive table.

She picks up three ministerial portfolios and two associate minister roles and replaces Kate Wilkinson – who was sacked last night - as the sixth female in the 20-strong Cabinet.

Prime Minister John Key revealed the line-up today and the widely predicted return of Nick Smith was officially confirmed as was Primary Industries Minister David Carter’s move to Speaker of the House.

But Mr Key threw in two surprise departures from Cabinet, revealing that Housing Minister Phil Heatley and Ms Wilkinson will leave Cabinet to make way for two young guns: minister outside Cabinet Simon Bridges and Ms Kaye.

Mr Key says the changes allow for a “breath of fresh air” into his Cabinet, citing Ms Kaye’s interest in digital learning and her chairing of the education select committee as two main reasons for the change.   

“Phil and Kate have both made a real contribution to the Government in their four years as Ministers and I’d like to thank them for that."

Mr Key only told Ms Wilkinson she was demoted last night and did the same with Mr Heatley this morning and admits they didn’t see it coming.

“They’ve done nothing wrong […] they were naturally very disappointed and a little surprised but I think they can understand my thinking.”

Ms Wilkinson released a statement today saying she was disappointed but supports Mr Key’s choice decision to send her to the back bench.

Both demoted ministers will have their salaries cut by $116,000.

Senior Whip Michael Woodhouse becomes a minister outside Cabinet and his replacement will be voted in by caucus.  

Craig Foss has been stripped of his Associate Education title amid the Novopay debacle and will be replaced by the Minister of Business, Innovation and Employment Steven Joyce.

Mr Key says a fresh set of eyes is needed to get the Novopay issues sorted.

“Getting Novopay working as it should may take some time, given what appears to be the systemic issues involved. I can assure teachers that we want to get Novopay sorted as soon as possible."

Education Minister Hekia Parata stays put despite a tough and controversial year in 2012. Mr Key says she needs more than one term in the job.

The resignations of Mr Carter, Mr Heatley and Ms Wilkinson take effect on January 29 and the new ministers will be sworn in two days later.

The new positions:

  • Dr Nick Smith – Minister of Housing and Minister of Conservation
  • Simon Bridges – Minister of Energy and Resources and Minister of Labour
  • Nathan Guy - Minister for Primary Industries and Minister for Racing
  • Chris Tremain - Minister of Internal Affairs and Minister of Local Government
  • Nikki Kaye - Minister for Food Safety, Minister of Civil Defence, Minister of Youth Affairs, Associate Minister of Education and Associate Minister of Immigration
  • Michael Woodhouse - Minister of Immigration, Minister of Veterans’ Affair and Associate Minister of Transport
  • Craig Foss - Minister of Commerce, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Minister of Broadcasting and Associate Minister for ACC

Key’s full 2013 Cabinet:

  • 1. John Key - Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism, Minister Responsible for Ministerial Services, Minister in Charge of SIS and Minister Responsible for the GCSB
  • 2. Bill English - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
  • 3. Gerry Brownlee - Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, Minister of Transport, Leader of the House and Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission
  • 4. Steven Joyce - Minister for Economic Development, Minister of Science and Innovation, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and
  • Employment and Associate Minister of Finance
  • 5. Judith Collins - Minister of Justice, Minister for ACC and Minister for Ethnic Affairs
  • 6. Tony Ryall - Minister of Health and Minister for State Owned Enterprises
  • 7. Hekia Parata - Minister of Education and Minister of Pacific Island Affairs
  • 8. Christopher Finlayson - Attorney-General, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and Associate Minister of Maori Affairs
  • 9. Paula Bennett - Minister for Social Development, Associate Minister of Housing
  • 10. Dr Jonathan Coleman - Minister of Defence, Minister of State Services and Associate Minister of Finance
  • 11. Murray McCully - Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister for Sport and Recreation
  • 12. Anne Tolley - Minister of Police, Minister of Corrections and Deputy Leader of the House
  • 13. Dr Nick Smith - Minister of Conservation and Minister of Housing
  • 14. Tim Groser - Minister of Trade, Minister for Climate Change Issues and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • 15. Amy Adams - Minister for the Environment, Minister for Communications and Information Technology and Associate Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery
  • 16. Nathan Guy - Minister for Primary Industries, Minister for Racing
  • 17. Craig Foss- Minister of Commerce, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Minister of Broadcasting and Associate Minister for ACC
  • 18. Chris Tremain - Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister of Local Government and Associate Minister of Tourism
  • 19. Simon Bridges - Minister of Energy and Resources, Minister of Labour and Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues
  • 20. Nikki Kaye - Minister for Food Safety, Minister of Civil Defence, Minister of Youth Affairs, Associate Minister of Education and Associate Minister of Immigration

Ministers outside Cabinet:

  • 21. Maurice Williamson - Minister for Building and Construction, Minister of Customs, Minister for Land Information and Minister of Statistics
  • 22. Jo Goodhew - Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Minister for Senior Citizens, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Associate Minister of Health and Associate Minister for Primary Industries
  • 23.Chester Borrows - Minister for Courts, Associate Minister of Justice and Associate Minister for Social Development
  • 24. Michael Woodhouse - Minister of Immigration, Minister of Veterans’ Affairs and Associate Minister of Transport
  • Peter Dunne - Minister of Revenue, Associate Minister of Conservation and Associate Minister of Health
  • John Banks - Minister for Regulatory Reform, Minister for Small Business, Associate Minister of Commerce and Associate Minister of Education
  • Pita Sharples - Minister of Maori Affairs, Associate Minister of Corrections and Associate Minister of Education
  • Tariana Turia - Minister for Whanau Ora, Minister for Disability Issues, Associate Minister of Health, Associate Minister of Housing, Associate Minister for Social Development and Associate Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

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