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New Ministerial Appointments

New executive appointments

Prime Minister Helen Clark today appointed Mahara Okeroa as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary, and announced new responsibilities for John Tamihere, Dover Samuels, Harry Duynhoven, and Mita Ririnui.

The new appointments are: Mr Okeroa, who is the MP for Te Tai Tonga and Chair of the Maori Affairs Select Committee, will serve as Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Ministers of Maori Affairs, Education, and Conservation.

John Tamihere, as Associate Minister of Commerce, will pick up the responsibility for building and housing regulatory functions which are being transferred to the new Department of Building and Housing from the Ministry of Economic Development. He will subsequently take on responsibilities for the new department when it is established.

Dover Samuels is being appointed Associate Minister of Housing to assist the Minister of Housing in the area of Maori housing.

Mr Duynhoven will become Minister for Transport Safety, in addition to his current role as Associate Minister of Energy.

Mita Ririnui will become Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Health, in addition to his existing responsibilities to the Ministers of Corrections and Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations.

Helen Clark said Mr Okeroa will assist Parekura Horomia, Trevor Mallard, and Chris Carter, taking over the conservation responsibilities of Mita Ririnui.

Helen Clark said the creation of the Transport Safety portfolio is due to the importance that the government places on transport safety.

“Mr Duynhoven has been working in the area of transport safety as an associate minister. The importance of improving safety and the significant overall level of activity in the transport sector has seen the need to create a second ministerial portfolio. Mr Duynhoven will continue to work closely with Mr Hodgson as the senior Minister with Transport responsibilities.”

Mr Okeroa will be sworn in as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary on Wednesday. The other changes will also be formalised at that time.

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