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Changes to Cabinet portfolios

Rt. Hon Helen Clark
20 December 2004

Changes to Cabinet portfolios
Prime Minister Helen Clark today announced changes to ministerial portfolio allocations affecting all but four Cabinet ministers.

Helen Clark said Cabinet numbers will be maintained at 18 after the departure of Margaret Wilson in February next year.

The key changes are as follows:
1. Michael Cullen will become Attorney-General in February after Margaret Wilson leaves the Cabinet, while retaining all his existing portfolios
2. Jim Anderton adds the Forestry portfolio to his responsibilities
3. Steve Maharey retains his Social Development and Employment portfolio, and becomes Minister for Research, Science and Technology, Minister for Crown Research Institutes, and Minister for Youth Affairs. He drops his responsibilities as an associate education minister
4. Jim Sutton relinquishes the portfolios of Forestry and Rural Affairs
5. Trevor Mallard is the Vote Minister for Education, with direct responsibility for tertiary, international and early childhood education. He also becomes Minister of Energy
6. Pete Hodgson remains Minister of Transport, but also becomes Minister of Commerce, Minister for Land Information and Minister of Statistics. In addition he becomes Associate Minister of Health, with a brief to focus on the longer-term funding issues in the Health portfolio, including in elder care and disability services,li>Parekura Horomia becomes an associate to the Minister of State Services and the Minister of Youth Affairs, as well as retaining existing portfolios
7. Mark Burton becomes the Minister in Charge of Treaty Negotiations in February, and is an associate in the meantime
8. Paul Swain takes over the State Owned Enterprises portfolio from Mark Burton
9. Marian Hobbs relinquishes her responsibilities in education and takes on the associate justice responsibilities of David Benson-Pope and Margaret Wilson. She also becomes the Minister responsible for the Law Commission
10. Ruth Dyson relinquishes her Associate Health responsibilities
11. Chris Carter becomes the Minister of Building Issues
12. Rick Barker becomes the Minister for Small Business
13. David Benson-Pope retains his Fisheries portfolio and becomes the Minister responsible for the Education Review Office. He will also be an Associate Minister of Education, with responsibility for the compulsory sector and special education. He will retain his role as Associate Minister of the Environment to see through the Resource Management Act amendments and his Associate Minister of Justice portfolio to see through the Relationships (Statutory References) Bill
14. Damien O’Connor becomes Minister for Rural Affairs
15. David Cunliffe becomes Minister of Communications and Minister of Information Technology, and adds an associate role in State-Owned Enterprises
16. Mita Ririnui has been promoted from being a parliamentary under-secretary to being a minister outside of Cabinet.

Helen Clark said that the changes gave key ministers new challenges and brought new ministers into key areas in the health and education portfolios.

“The effect will be to give fresh impetus to important policy areas in the period leading up to the general election, while also maintaining continuity,” Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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