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A Cabinet For The Future

Don Brash MP National Party Leader

09 August 2004

A Cabinet For The Future

National Party leader Don Brash has announced a portfolio reshuffle which he says points to the likely shape of a National Government Cabinet next year.

"With just over a year - and possibly less - to the next election, it is timely to fine-tune the team and for the electorate to see the look of a National Government," says Dr Brash.

"This next National Cabinet will be a blend of experience and new blood. Nine of our returning MPs have formerly held Cabinet positions and many of our newcomers have demonstrated they have the ability to hold significant portfolios.

"This gives an indication of the shape of a National Cabinet, although of course some roles and personnel could change, depending on performance and circumstances."

Dr Brash emphasised the promotions in his new line-up were based on merit and performance.

Key among them is the promotion to the front bench of Law and Order spokesman Tony Ryall, who adds Immigration to his list of responsibilities.

John Key takes over the Finance role, being promoted from Deputy Finance spokesman, and is elevated to the second bench ranked as number 10. Dr Brash says though he personally intends to keep an active oversight role in the area, the promotion acknowledged the heavy workload Mr Key was taking and his competent handling of a complex area.

National's policy formulation in the finance area will be further strengthened by Bill English, a former Finance Minister, who will take on the role of Associate Finance spokesman, as well as retaining Education.

Judith Collins, a proven performer who helped force the resignation of Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel, has similarly been promoted to the second bench. She will take over the Health portfolio from Lynda Scott, who is standing down at the election. Both Mr Key and Ms Collins are first-term MPs.

Dr Brash also says he will be recommending to tomorrow's National Party caucus meeting that Simon Power take over from John Carter as senior whip. The caucus traditionally elects the whips.

The switch, if approved, will be unusual, as Mr Power will retain his third place in National rankings while handling the new role. Mr Carter will take over Mr Power's Defence role. Dr Brash says Mr Carter asked for a substantial portfolio in order to prepare for a Ministerial role, after serving for over nine years as chief whip.

Wayne Mapp will take over Labour and Industrial relations from Roger Sowry, who is also standing down at the next election.

Attached are the details of the new roles and rankings. As previously, the back bench positions are not ranked, but based on year of entry and alphabetical order:

See... National Party Portfolio Responsibilities, Aug '04

ENDS

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