Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

David Parker emerges as pivotal minister in new Cabinet

David Parker emerges as pivotal minister in new Cabinet

By Pattrick Smellie

Oct. 25 (BusinessDesk) - Senior Labour Party MP David Parker has emerged as a linchpin in the new coalition Cabinet, taking the pivotal economic development, environment and trade portfolios that will connect him to key ministers in both the New Zealand First and Green parties.

Despite being formally ranked number 11 in the Cabinet announced today by Prime Minister-designate Jacinda Ardern, Parker has emerged as a key confidant of the new Labour leader since she took over from Andrew Little in August, and has a long and cordial relationship with the new Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Winston Peters.

By taking the environment portfolio, Parker will also end up working closely with the new Climate Change minister, Greens co-leader James Shaw, and his fellow Green minister outside of Cabinet Eugenie Sage, who will become Minister of Conservation and Land Information, the latter covering the Overseas Investment Office with responsibility for vetting foreign land and other investments. Parker, whose proposal for a levy on commercial water use did not survive the coalition negotiation process, is also Attorney-General and an associate minister of finance.

Ardern confirmed that both Parker and Peters will travel with her to the APEC leaders' summit in Vietnam early next month, her first on the international stage and where New Zealand's desire to renegotiate elements of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement represent an early diplomatic challenge.

Parker will also end up working closely with NZ First newcomer and former Labour minister Shane Jones, who picks up ministries for Forestry, Regional Economic Development, and Infrastructure.

The coalition agreement announced yesterday included a commitment to spend up to $1 billion a year on regional development initiatives and a plan to plant one billion trees to underpin a new focus on the forestry sector, regional employment, and the creation of carbon 'sinks'.

Ardern's ministry carves responsibilities for the primary sector in agriculture, which goes to long-serving former Labour minister Damien O'Connor, while Stuart Nash becomes Minister of Fisheries, and Jones takes forestry.

She signalled that would require a splitting up of the Ministry for Primary Industries, which the previous National Party-led government had created from the old Ministries of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of Fisheries.

While there has been speculation the new government might also seek to break up the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment, Ardern said that any plans for changes at the super-ministry had not yet been formulated.

Ardern herself takes a new position as Minister for Child Poverty Reduction, which will have its own unit established in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and will devise national indicators to measure progress in reducing current levels of deprivation among children, based on Ardern's own Private Members' Bill from the last Parliament.

As expected, Grant Robertson takes the Finance portfolio, with Parker, Jones and Shaw as associate ministers, while Phil Twyford takes the newly reinstated Housing portfolio, which is combined with Urban Development, with Labour's Jenny Salesa taking the Building and Construction portfolio. Twyford also becomes Minister of Transport, with his responsibilities making him responsible for two of Labour's flagship policy areas: a massive affordable housing construction push and investment in light rail in Auckland.

Leading the new government's policies to strengthen unions' bargaining power and its intention to shrink total migration numbers will be Iain Lees-Galloway, who becomes Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety, along with holding the Immigration portfolio.

Education goes to long-time spokesman in the area, Chris Hipkins, who will also be Leader of the House, assisted by Willie Jackson, who will be a minister outside Cabinet serving as Minister of Employment, which includes the tertiary education, skills and employment portfolios.

David Clark becomes Minister of Health, while Carmel Sepuloni picks up Social Development, where Ardern said she would be undertaking a review of the previous government's "social investment approach" to ensure that it was delivering the improvements claimed for it and was consistent with Labour's "beliefs and values".

Maori affairs are split between three Ministers, with Kelvin Davis taking a new portfolio of Minister of Maori/Crown relations, intended to move policy-making into a post-Treaty settlement mode, while Nanaia Mahuta becomes Minister for Maori Development and Andrew Little becomes Minister for Treaty Negotiations.

The former party leader also becomes Minister of Justice, for Courts, and takes responsibility for the government's intelligence agencies, although Ardern retains the Minister for National Security and Intelligence portfolio routinely held by Prime Ministers. She will also take the Arts and Culture portfolio, emulating her former boss and Prime Minister Helen Clark, who leveraged the portfolio to strong political effect.

Davis takes another glamour portfolio by becoming Minister of Tourism, while Robertson leavens the dry business of economic management by also becoming Minister of Sport and Recreation.

Megan Woods, who might have expected the climate change portfolio, becomes Minister of Energy and Resources, Research, Science and Innovation, and Minister for the EQC and Greater Christchurch Regeneration.

Peters rounds out his responsibilities by becoming Minister for State-Owned Enterprises, while Nash also takes the Revenue and Police portfolios. Clare Curran takes on the Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media portfolio, making her responsible for the telecommunications sector.

Defence goes to NZ First deputy leader and ex-serviceman Ron Mark, while fellow NZ First MP Tracey Martin becomes Minister for Children, Internal Affairs, and Seniors.

The commerce and consumer affairs ministries sit with Labour's Kris Faafoi, outside Cabinet, while Customs is also outside Cabinet and held by second-term MP Meka Whaitiri.

Peeni Henare, as Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector and the Whanau Ora health policy and Aupito William Sio as Minister for Pacific Peoples, round out the Ministers outside Cabinet.

Green Party MP Julie-Ann Genter becomes Minister for Women outside Cabinet.

Each of the three governing parties gains a parliamentary under-secretary. Rising Labour star Michael Wood becomes under-secretary to the Minister for Ethnic Communities, NZ First's Fletcher Tabuteau has foreign affairs and regional development responsibilities and the Greens' Jan Logie is an under-secretary to the Minister of Justice with responsibility for domestic and violence issues.

(BusinessDesk)


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Oprah as a Presidential Hopeful

Oprah for President…That was one of those summer silly season stories, right ? Maybe not.

On the morning after the Golden Globes Awards ceremony where she delivered That Speech (“I want all the girls watching here now to know that a new day is on the horizon!”) a lot of people seem to have woken up in the cold light of day with a vision of President Winfrey still dancing in their heads.

Oprah’s presidential run may have legs…More


 

Gordon Campbell: On Jim Anderton
For anyone born after 1975, it is hard to grasp just how important a figure Jim Anderton was, for an entire generation.
During the mid to late 1980s, Anderton was the only significant public figure of resistance to the Labour government’s headlong embrace of Thatcherism...More>>

ALSO:


Gong Time: New Year's Honours List

Jacinda Ardern today congratulated the 179 New Zealanders named on the 2018 New Year’s Honours List.

“Although this list was compiled and completed by the last government, it is a pleasure to welcome in the New Year by recognising exceptional New Zealanders,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“As an Aunty, I love reading books to my nieces, so it’s lovely to congratulate Joy Cowley, who is made a member of the Order of New Zealand today....More
Full list


Roads: National launches bid to save highway projects

The National Party has launched a series of petitions aimed at saving regional highway projects at risk because of the Government’s obsession with Auckland trams…More>>

ALSO:


Medical Cannabis: Bill Introduced to “ease suffering”

Health Minister Dr David Clark says making medicinal cannabis more readily available will help relieve the suffering of people who are dying in pain More>>

ALSO:

Campbell: On The Quest For Zero Net Carbon Emissions
Some would querulously ask, zero net carbon emissions by 2050 – while others would say, why not?
More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: The Further Fraying Of The Welfare Safety Net

New Zealand’s welfare system has undergone a major transformation during the past three decades. This process has seriously thwarted the original intent of the system, which was to provide a decent standard of living for all New Zealanders in times of need... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages