Wednesday, February 28, 2024

PM announces Cabinet reshuffle

Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern has announced changes to her Cabinet line-up following the resignation of senior Minister, Kris Faafoi and Speaker Trevor Mallard’s nomination to a European diplomatic posting.

The changes will take effect following a ceremony at Government House on the afternoon of Tuesday 14 June.

“These changes are triggered by two departures. It’s also an opportunity to give newer Ministers greater responsibility and to bring new members onto the team,” Ms Ardern said. 

“Minister Kris Faafoi has decided to leave Parliament to spend more time with his family as his son starts school.

“Kris made the move onto the list at the last election and I’m grateful for the significant work he undertook this term in resetting our immigration and public broadcasting settings. He goes with the love and thanks of his colleagues for his contribution over many years,” she said.

Trevor Mallard has been an MP for 35 years and has held 13 different Ministerial portfolios across his career including Education, Labour and Rugby World Cup. He has been Speaker for five years and is currently the Father of the House.

“After the 2020 election Trevor told me he wanted to transition out of the role of Speaker over the course of this term to allow someone else the opportunity and to take on new challenges himself,” said Ms Ardern.

“He has worked closely with Adrian for that purpose. He will leave the chair in mid-August and take up a post in Europe from early 2023.”

Dan Rosewarne and Soraya Peke-Mason will replace Mr Faafoi and Mr Mallard from the Labour List.

“Priyanca Radhakrishnan moves into Cabinet, retaining all her current portfolios and adds Associate Workplace Relations and Safety with a focus on migrant exploitation. Since becoming a Minister outside of Cabinet in 2020 she has overseen the establishment of a new Ministry for Ethnic Communities, and worked on complex issues like foreign interference and social cohesion,” the Prime Minister said.

Kieran McAnulty becomes a Minister outside of Cabinet with a specific focus on regional issues. He will be Minister for Emergency Management, and will have an Associate Transport delegation on regional transport, and an Associate Local Government delegation. He will also take on the Racing portfolio and use his past whip skills as Deputy Leader of the House. Duncan Webb replaces Kieran as Chief Whip.

“I have also made the decision to change Poto Williams out of the Police portfolio. We both share the view that at this time it’s critical that our focus is on supporting the Police, implementing our record investment in the frontline, passing our further gun law reforms and developing additional measures to deal with the current escalation in gang tensions and violence,” said Ms Ardern.

“She picks up Conservation, and Disability Issues, where there is a significant work programme following the establishment of a new Ministry. Poto has a background in the community sector and was also was a member of the Parliamentary Disability Alliance and will be well suited to this new role.

“I want to thank Carmel Sepuloni for her work to establish the Ministry for Disabled People. Having done a huge amount of mahi she will now take a lead role alongside Minister Robertson on developing the social insurance scheme – a significant piece of work.”

Education Minister, Chris Hipkins will take over as Minister of Police as part of the Cabinet reshuffle.

He has a degree in criminology and a long interest in working in the youth justice space, which dovetails with his education work, the Prime Minister said.

“Along with the Minister for Social Development and Employment he will co-lead a youth justice ministerial team to focus on the drivers of the spike we have seen in some parts of youth offending recently,” she said.

“To free him up for this area of Government focus a significant part of his Education portfolio will move to Jan Tinetti who has played an excellent role as Associate Education where she brings decades of experience as a teacher and school principal.”

Ayesha Verrall will take on the COVID-19 Response portfolio, along with Research, Science and Innovation.

“I’m promoting Kiri Allan into the Justice portfolio and she also picks up an Associate Finance role. Kiri is a very capable Minister with a big future and this portfolio allocation is a sign of my confidence in her.”

“Michael Wood takes on Immigration which fits with his workplace relations portfolio and our focus on skills.

“Meka Whaitiri has been doing an excellent job in Customs. Her primary sector work means the food safety portfolio is a good fit, so she picks up this role. And Willie Jackson picks up broadcasting which he comes to with extensive sector knowledge,” Ms Ardern said.

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