Prime Minister Bill English last week announced the finalised Cabinet ministers to be taken into the September elections. As previously signalled by the Prime Minister it is a narrowly focused reshuffle, to avoid the ‘distraction’ of major changes to the Cabinet structure prior to the election.
Accordingly there is no significant change in direction for the construction and infrastructure portfolios, with Steven Joyce retaining infrastructure, Simon Bridges retaining transport, and Dr Nick Smith holding onto Environment and Building and Construction. However, the government has chosen to consolidate its building programmes, with social housing and Housing NZ Minister Amy Adams picking up the Crown land programme previously overseen by Dr Smith. This leaves Dr Smith’s construction focus on overseeing building regulation.
Gerry Brownlee’s promotion to foreign affairs minister sees Christchurch Central MP Nicky Wagner picking up Greater Christchurch Regeneration. However, he retains responsibility for EQC, the Earthquake Commission.
The new ministers will be sworn in tomorrow, May 2nd.