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Sacked ministers accept their fate

Wednesday 23 Jan 2013 8:52a.m.

Sacked ministers accept their fate

Both the Cabinet ministers sacked in Tuesday's reshuffle have accepted Prime Minister John Key's decision and say they'll stay on in Parliament.

Housing and Energy Minister Phil Heatley and Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson lost their jobs, with Mr Key saying they had worked well but he needed fresh energy and ideas in cabinet.

"I'm obviously pretty disappointed but entirely understand the Prime Minister has to refresh the team from time to time," Mr Heatley said on Radio New Zealand this morning.

"I've had a great four years, a great run, now it's back to working as a local MP."

Ms Wilkinson said in a statement on Tuesday she supported Mr Key's decisions.

"I'm proud of my contribution to cabinet over the past four years, I now intend putting all my energy into continuing to serve the people of Waimakariri as their local MP," she said.

The reshuffle was triggered by the need to select a new speaker for Parliament, because Lockwood Smith is going to be the next high commissioner in London later this year.

Mr Key has nominated Primary Industries Minister David Carter, which has disappointed Labour leader David Shearer.

While all parties will vote on the speaker, National has the numbers to get Mr Carter over the line to succeed Dr Smith.

Labour last year urged the government to drop Mr Carter as a candidate, saying that in 18 years in Parliament, he had never shown interest in parliamentary matters.

Labour wanted National to nominate minister Maurice Williamson instead.

Mr Shearer says National broke with convention by failing to even discuss the nomination with Labour.

"We haven't had any conversations with the Government, so clearly they've just made that [decision] unilaterally," Mr Shearer told NZ Newswire.

"At the end of the day, the speaker is the referee, if you like, in Parliament; the umpire in Parliament, and it's always good to have somebody there who we all respect and who we all have at least some say in."

NZN

 
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