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Parliamentary Private Secretaries appointed

Rt Hon John Key
Prime Minister

5 August 2013 Media Statement
Parliamentary Private Secretaries appointed

Prime Minister John Key has appointed Parliamentary Private Secretaries to assist in the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, Conservation, Local Government and Tourism portfolios.

Nicky Wagner will be Parliamentary Private Secretary to Gerry Brownlee in the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery portfolio and also Parliamentary Private Secretary to Nick Smith in Conservation.

Jacqui Dean will assist Chris Tremain in Local Government and Prime Minister John Key in Tourism.

Parliamentary Private Secretaries (PPS) are MPs appointed to assist Ministers but, unlike Under-Secretaries, they are not part of the Executive. They receive no extra remuneration.

“This is an important position that ensures a strong link between the Minister and the caucus and gives back-bench MPs valuable experience,” says Mr Key.

“Nicky Wagner, as the MP for Christchurch Central, is already heavily involved in the recovery of Christchurch and is an ideal choice to assist Mr Brownlee. Her experience as a former Environment Canterbury Regional Councillor will be valuable to Dr Smith in Conservation.”

A Minister cannot delegate any statutory roles or function to a PPS, however it is expected that the PPS represent their Minister at public events and deliver speeches on occasions when the Minister is not available.

“Jacqui Dean has extensive Local Government experience from her time as a Waitaki District Councillor and as Deputy Mayor and I expect her to ably assist Mr Tremain. It is also fitting that an MP based in the South Island where so much of our tourism is based, will be part of the Tourism team.

“I congratulate both Nicky Wagner and Jacqui Dean on their appointments,” says Mr Key.

The appointments are effective immediately.

Attached: Backgrounder on Parliamentary Private Secretaries

What are Parliamentary Private Secretaries?

Parliamentary Privates Secretaries (PPS) are MPs who are appointed by the Prime Minister to assist Ministers. They are not part of the Executive and have no policy, financial, statutory or operational authority. As they are not members of the executive, they receive no extra remuneration. There will also be no additional resources for PPS responsibilities. It is expected that PPSs will utilise existing resources available to them as MPs from the Parliamentary Service.

What is the role of a PPS?

The main role of the PPS is to act as a sounding board and an advisor to the Minister. PPSs will use their skills and expertise to support the Minister in portfolio, administrative and representational issues.

The PPS is also the Minister’s link to the party caucus. A PPS will be heavily involved in the caucus policy process in the area in which they work; for instance, they would chair the Caucus committee in the relevant area, and lead the National Party policy advisory group in the relevant area.

They would work closely with the Minister on the Minister’s legislative programme.

It would also be expected that they would represent the Minister at public events, and deliver speeches, on occasions when the Minister was not available.

What is the difference between a Parliamentary Private Secretary and a Parliamentary Under-Secretary?

A PPS is not part of the Executive. Therefore, a PPS has no executive responsibilities (ie policy, financial, statutory and operational authority). The PPS cannot act for the Minister; their role is to advise.

The Constitution Act 1986 does not permit Ministers to delegate statutory functions, powers or responsibilities to PPSs. Accordingly, PPSs are not permitted to undertake any statutory functions on behalf of or at the direction of Ministers.

Parliamentary Under-Secretaries are members of the Government appointed by Warrant from the Governor-General under the Constitution Act 1986. They have specified delegated responsibilities similar to Associate Ministers.

Under-Secretaries are bound by Collective Responsibility. They are also remunerated for the role.

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