Monday 12th December 2011
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Prime Minister John Key has handed the energy portfolio to Phil Heatley and given transport to Gerry Brownlee in a Cabinet line-up that welcomes Amy Adams as minister of internal affairs.
The changes reflect Key’s description of his second-term administration as “business as usual,” keeping most of his team intact and accounting for the departure of high-profile members including Simon Power, who stood down for a private sector job.
“There is a lot of work to do as we look to continue implementing our plans to build a stronger economy, reduce debt, and create more jobs,” Key said in announcing the new line-up.
Steven Joyce and Judith Collins have been promoted to the front bench at fourth and fifth respectively. Joyce, who led National’s election campaign, takes on economic development, science and technology and tertiary education to rank fourth in the Cabinet. Collins, with justice, Accident Compensation Corp and ethnic affairs and is ranked fifth.
Joyce’s promotion and new roles reflects “the priority the incoming National government places on economic growth,” Key said.
Gerry Brownlee, ranked third, retains his role as minister for the Canterbury earthquake recovery, with Adams, ranked 20th, as associate earthquake recovery minister in a role expected to make her the person ‘on the ground’ for the government. Brownlee also has responsibility for the Earthquake Commission, which is to be reviewed.
Hekia Parata, with education, and Paula Bennett, who retains social development and youth affairs, are also promoted to the front bench portfolios, ranking seventh and ninth respectively.
Tony Ryall, at sixth, keeps health and as minister of state owned enterprises will be responsible for the sell-down of the energy companies and airline earmarked for partial sale.
David Carter, ranked 11th, retains his agriculture portfolio which has been expanded in minister for primary industries.
Nathan Guy has been welcomed to the Cabinet table as minister of immigration, racing, veterans’ affairs and associate minister for primary industries and Craig Foss is promoted as minister of commerce, broadcasting and associate for education and ACC.
Maurice Williamson retains the customs, building and construction, land information and statistics outside of the Cabinet, where he is joined by Chris Tremain as civil defence, consumer affairs minister and associate for tourism and transport, Jo Goodhew as minister of senior citizens and women’s affairs, and Chester Borrows as minister of courts.
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