Bill English Leader of the Opposition
12 October 2001
"National's new line-up is the next step on National's path to Government," Opposition Leader Hon Bill English said today.
"Over the past two days I have met with each member of Caucus and discussed with them how they can contribute to a National team working towards Government.
"I have set out to build on MPs' strengths and put together an effective team.
"The best way National can regenerate is to develop our own talent, recruit good candidates and win more seats.
"I appreciate the co-operation of the MPs in my first reshuffle. I am proud of this group of New Zealanders who are willing to go through such a process so they can make a contribution to their country.
"National is at a critical stage in finalising substantial policy. For this reason, I have decided to retain an overview of policy by retaining the Finance spokesmanship.
"Under this arrangement, there will be two Associate Finance spokespeople, Hon David Carter and Hon Dr Lockwood Smith. Dr Smith will be responsible for fiscal issues and Mr Carter the balance of the portfolio. David Carter will move into the spokesmanship next year when has had time to come to grips with the portfolio.
"The new Shadow Leader of the House will be Gerry Brownlee. Nick Smith will take up Education. He will also retain his responsibility for the Environment.
"Wayne Mapp, Georgina te Heuheu and David Carter will move to the front bench. I have also promoted Simon Power and Lynda Scott.
"I have discussed Jenny Shipley's plans with her and we have agreed that she will take responsibility for State Services and Trade.
"Because Alec Neill is being promoted to a policy role the junior whip's job is now vacant, and it will be filled at Caucus next Saturday.
"National is the underdog for the next election, so we have a big political job ahead of us. The changes I have announced are the next steps to achieve that goal," Mr English said.