New National Party Leader Christopher Luxon has announced the party’s new rankings and portfolio allocations – the sixth major reshuffle for the party in the four years since it lost power.
The new lineup is as follows:
Christopher Luxon: Leader, National Security and Intelligence
Nicola Willis: Deputy leader, Housing, Social Investment
Simon Bridges: Finance, Infrastructure
Chris Bishop: Covid-19 Response, Shadow leader of the House
Shane Reti: Health, Māori-Crown Relations, Pacific Peoples
Louise Upston: Social Development, Child Poverty Reduction
Erica Stanford: Education, Immigration, Associate Ethnic Affairs
Matt Doocey: Mental Health, Youth, Associate Health, Associate Transport
Simeon Brown: Transport, Public Service
Barbara Kuriger: Agriculture, Biosecurity, Food Safety
Scott Simpson: Climate Change, Environment, Associate Transport
Paul Goldsmith: Justice, Workplace Relations and Safety
Melissa Lee: Broadcasting and Media, Digital Economy and Communications, Ethnic Communities
Mark Mitchell: Police, Serious Fraud Office, Counter-terrorism
Andrew Bayly: Small Business, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Manufacturing, Building and Construction, Revenue
Gerry Brownlee: Foreign Affairs, GCSB and NZSIS, Emergency Management
Stuart Smith: Energy and Resources, EQC, Viticulture
Michael Woodhouse: State-owned Enterprises, ACC, Statistics, Sport and Recreation, Deputy Shadow Leader of the House
Judith Collins: Research, Science and Innovation, Technology
David Bennett: Economic and Regional Development
Jacqui Dean: Assistant Speaker, Conservation
Todd McClay: Trade and Export Growth, Tourism
Simon O’Connor: Corrections, Customs, Arts, Culture and Heritage, Associate Foreign Affairs
Ian McKelvie: Seniors, Forestry, Racing
Todd Muller: Oceans and Fisheries, Internal Affairs
Maureen Pugh: Community and Voluntary Sector
Harete Hipango: Māori Development, Whānau. Ora, Children/Oranga Tamariki
Chris Penk: Shadow Attorney-General, Courts, Associate Justice
Tim van de Molen: Defence, Veterans, Horticulture, Associate Agriculture
Nicola Grigg: Rural Communities, Land Information, Animal Welfare, Women, Associate Agriculture
Joseph Mooney: Treaty negotiations, Water, Space, Associate Tourism, Associate Agriculture
Penny Simmonds: Tertiary Education, Early Childhood Education, Disability Issues, Associate Education, Associate Social Development and Employment
Simon Watts: Local Govenment, Associate Finance, Associate Infrastructure
A printable list of portfolio allocations can be downloaded here.
The top five (which often functions as a ‘Kitchen Cabinet’) comprises Luxon, Deputy Nicola Willis, Simon Bridges, Chris Bishop, and Shane Reti.
Willis, Bishop, and Reti are all recognised as having performed well in their portfolios recently. Bridges’ elevation to Finance was announced on Friday and follows his decision to withdraw his leadership bid to allow Luxon to take the role uncontested.
The new lineup represents a break with the past – just two of the eleven former Ministers in National’s caucus are ranked in the top ten (front bench). First time promotions to the front bench are Erica Stanford, Matt Doocey, Simeon Brown, and Barbara Kuriger. The party’s small liberal faction is well represented in the senior ranks, with four (Willis, Bishop, Stanford, and Doocey) in the top ten.
Luxon has chosen not to promote any of his fellow 2020 intake, and ranked most of the former Ministers, including Judith Collins, as well as former Leader Todd Muller, at the bottom of the 20-strong ‘Shadow Cabinet’ or unranked. This is likely to be interpreted as a signal to Collins to retire from Parliament.