Post Cabinet Press Conference: Reshuffle
Prime Minister John Key today announced a reshuffle of his cabinet.
Judith Collins will once again be the Minister for Corrections and the Minister for Police. My Key said he wanted the two portfolios to again be run by one minister. The last minister to have both roles was Ms Collins until she resigned from Cabinet in August 2014. Key said that while Collins had been “completely cleared” by an “independent inquiry” he thought “she’s probably had some time to reflect” on issues that troubled her in her previous term.
Paula Bennett has been made the Minister for Climate Change Issues while Todd McClay relinquishes the portfolio of Revenue to Michael Woodhouse. McClay is taking up the position of Minister for Trade as Tim Groser leaves to become New Zealand’s ambassador in Washington. Sam Lotu-Iiga has been removed from Corrections and has added Local Government to his list of portfolios. David Seymour was offered the positions of Minister for Regulatory Reform and Associate Minister of Education turned them down to focus on his euthanasia member’s bill and the rebuilding of the act party.
When asked about whether Judith Collins might be after his job the Prime Minister replied “I don’t feel threatened by my caucus, I feel invigorated by them”. There have been no changes to Murray McCully’s role. He is expected to be back as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the new year.
John Key also announced the ongoing plan to partner with providers of social housing. He said that partnerships with the Salvation Army, Accessible Properties and the Chinese New Settler Trust were the start of a plan to provide over 500 new social housing places in 2016.
Key wrapped up his last press conference of the year with questions about the SAFE advertisements in the Guardian. Key commented that he thought that the actions of SAFE were “a form of economic sabotage” and that in international trade “image is very important”.