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Hamilton Mayor welcomes Ministerial appointments

Mayor welcomes Ministerial appointments

13 December 2011

Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker has welcomed the appointment of Nick Smith as Minister for Local Government in the National Government’s new Cabinet.

Mayor Hardaker said Mr Smith’s appointment to the Local Government portfolio fitted well with his Environment portfolio, and he would bring considerable experience and acumen to his new role overseeing Local Government in New Zealand.

“I have congratulated Mr Smith on his appointment, and we have agreed that after he has been briefed on the new portfolio, Chief Executive Barry Harris and I will be speaking to him. I expect that to be before Christmas,” she said.

Included in the new Cabinet are two Members of Parliament with Hamilton connections – Steven Joyce, a successful Hamilton radio entrepreneur before entering politics, and Hekia Parata, who is a University of Waikato graduate and was recently honoured by the university.

Mayor Hardaker said she expected Council would have continued close dealings with Mr Joyce, who has picked up the Economic Development portfolio, alongside his roles as Minister for Science and Innovation and Tertiary Education.

“All of these areas are very important to Hamilton and the wider Waikato with our strong economic connection to science and innovation and the role the education sector plays in economic growth. The Government’s focus this term continues to be on New Zealand’s economic growth and the Waikato is one of the big contributors to that.”

Mayor Hardaker said she anticipated an excellent working relationship with former Minister of Transport Mr Joyce would be continued with Gerry Brownlee, his replacement in a role of significant interest to Hamilton.

Mayor Hardaker said it was also encouraging to see three other women MPs, Paula Bennett (Social Development), Anne Tolley (Police, Corrections, Deputy Leader of the House) and Amy Adams (Internal Affairs), pick up important Government portfolios

ENDS

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