The new cabinet

Written By: - Date published: 8:03 am, October 24th, 2017 - 78 comments
Categories: david parker, election 2017, grant robertson, greens, jacinda ardern, james shaw, Kelvin Davis, labour, Media, Nanaia Mahuta, nz first, Politics, winston peters - Tags:

Details are slowly emerging about the makeup of the next Cabinet.

From the Herald:

Winston Peters is set to become Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in the new Labour-New Zealand First coalition government.

He is set to be named as Deputy Prime Minister on Tuesday as incoming Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Peters sign their coalition deal.

The deal will set out the policy plans for the Labour-New Zealand First coalition government, his position as deputy and which specific ministerial portfolios New Zealand First has won for its four ministers inside cabinet.

The actual allocations won’t be announced until Wednesday but it is believed Peters has again got Foreign Affairs, the portfolio he held when New Zealand First supported the 2005 – 2008 Labour Government.

He is generally credited with having done a very good job, particularly in improving the relationship with the United States.

It is also understood that National would have been happy to give Peters Foreign Affairs as well – although specific portfolios were not negotiated before he announced last Thursday his party was backing Labour.

Ministerial numbers have already been agreed: Labour 16 in cabinet and five outside; New Zealand First, four inside cabinet and one under-secretary; and the Greens, three ministers outside cabinet and one undersecretary.

The distribution of positions is interesting. Compared to the proportion of the total progressive vote Labour has a slightly smaller proportion (71% as opposed to 73%), New Zealand First slightly more (16% compared to 14%) and the Greens’ proportion (13%) is right on.

Audrey Young also anticipates possible other appointments. Again from the Herald:

In a separate ceremony today, Ardern will sign a confidence and supply deal with Green Party leader James Shaw which will set out their policy agreements and portfolios which include Climate Change, to be held by Shaw, and Conservation, to be held by Eugenie Sage.

It is likely Grant Roberton will be finance minister in the new government, Fairfax reports.

It tipped David Parker to have the role of attorney general, Nanaia Mahuta Maori development, deputy leader Kelvin Davis corrections and other portfolios while Ardern’s role as PM will also include overseeing intelligence and security and involvement in children and arts.

NZ First deputy leader Ron Mark is expected to pick up the defence role in the new government, it said. Tracey Martin is tipped for a role in the education area while other portfolios for Peters’ party are expected to be in economic development and forestry.

And it is anticipated that the coalition agreements will be published today. Claire Trevett’s article complaining about the lack of transparency was premature.

78 comments on “The new cabinet”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    Mostly looks about what is to be expected.

    However, Pablo posted a few days ago that there was no one in the 3 government-elect parties that has the experience to be minister in charge of intelligence: said Ardern as Minister of Intelligence and Security is a walking Tui ad.

    Will it all depend on who she has as advisors?

    • tracey 1.1

      I remember a PM who didnt want it… after he had it and kinda abused it.

      • Keith 1.1.1

        Yep, he almost got caught there and with a more onto it media, it would have meant his demise.

        Still, Teflon John dumped that one on someone else, quick smart, to take the heat.

    • Keith 1.2

      The position was supposed to have a representative of the people to run the objective ruler over decisions. Just in this case, it is the Prime Minister again (rather than running a safe distance away from the hot seat like Key) who is the peoples representative here, the one who should objectively say yes or no. It does not take an ex-spy to run this.

      • boggis the cat 1.2.1

        She does need an “ex-spy” to advise on the bullshitting. Domestic intelligence has become increasingly politicised and needs to be reined in.

        Police could do with refocusing, too. Dumping the counter-productive ‘war on drugs’ would help a lot with clearing out corruption.

        • mpledger 1.2.1.1

          And Greg O’Connor could get in there and really sort the police out. He’s probably too new to be the Minister but he should definitely be involved.

          • Xanthe 1.2.1.1.1

            Greg O’Connor should not be permitted anywhere near police or any other policy area,

    • veutoviper 1.3

      Re Pablo’s post, I disagree that no-one in the three govt-elect parties has experience in intelligence and security.

      I don’t have time right now to do any in depth research, but from memory, over his many years in Parliament, Winston Peters has always had an interest in the oversight of intelligence and security matters – and some experience as a member of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee when he was last Foreign Minister.

      IIRC, he was a strong advocate that this Committee should include representation from the smaller parties in Parliament as well as the two largest (National and Labour) when a couple of years ago National (Key) sought to keep the membership limited. Also from memory, Russel Norman supported Peters in this. Think it was about the time of Kim Dotcom appearing before Key etc at Parliament. Will check later when I have more time.

      More recently, here is a link I was able to pull up quickly to a Parliamentary Debate in 2015 on the membership of the I and S Committee, where Fletcher Tabateau (NZF) spoke at length on Peters’ previous experience and membership of the Committee, backed by Tracey Martin (end of debate). This debate arose after Labour basically backed National’s nominations limiting membership to National and Labour. Meteria Turei and Kennedy Graham also spoke at length against the exclusion of the Greens from the Committee.

      Actually a good example of NZF and the Greens working together on something of mutual interest and agreement.

      https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/document/51HansD_20150218_00000020/intelligence-and-security-committee-membership

    • Well, four things:

      1. She will get advice from the intelligence community
      2. She probably has access in Labour and other parties to people who have experience in intelligence
      3. She has access to our universities and people like Pablo for advice as well
      4. She has experience in bringing disparate people together to form a whole

      So, if she does actually access all of that which is available to her I certainly don’t have any concerns about her experience. She just needs to undo the immoral actions and laws that National and the previous Labour put in place and I’ll actually be happy on that.

    • There’s precedent for farming it out to the AG after Key did that, and Parker wouldn’t be vulnerable.

      Personally, I just think this is people being wary of female prime ministers and Ardern should just take the role and own it.

  2. tracey 2

    So Genter is Under Secretary? Transport?

    • Carolyn_nth 2.1

      I suspect Logie will be under secretary for something like Social Development.

      Genter may well be given minister of transport?

      • Brendan 2.1.1

        I hope Genter will get Transport. Given her experience, it’s a no-brainer.

      • Logie is likely to be minister of women, and given the under-secretary role is apparently around treatment of sexual and domestic violence in the ministry of justice, I expect that will go to one of the other female veterans. (although not to Marama Davidson, who is making statements consistent with her ruling herself out of any of the portfolios, being somewhere between Shaw and the two new backbenchers in experience level as a half-term MP from after the 2014 election)

      • cleangreen 2.1.3

        Outside of Cabinet no a Minister portfolio has to be in Government not outside so Clayton Michell would be good or as deputy to Winston as minister of Rail or transport?

    • Skinny 2.2

      I heard Phil Twyford was most likely getting Transport. I find that a bit rough given JAG has owned this space of the former opposition for years. Labour were saying the best they could do was Associate Transport for Genter.

      Let us hope Labour offer up best fit to the Greens and not some token gesture posts??

      • tracey 2.2.1

        If he is not keeping housing which was a key campaign platform for all 3 does that mean Ardern will?

        • Skinny 2.2.1.1

          No she has more important portfolios like Minister of Fluff & Stuff.

          • boggis the cat 2.2.1.1.1

            Housing is pretty straightforward. The “Fluff & Stuff” positions are difficult for ministers to get any traction with, so the PM taking those on should help move things.

            This is the entire point of a new government. Labour, NZ First, and the Greens all want significant changes.

          • Robert Guyton 2.2.1.1.2

            Previously the Minister of Smile & Wave.

      • cleangreen 2.2.2

        Phil Twyford was very supportive for rail last time I must admit here, so at least give him “Minister of rail” and transprt as we always had a minister of rail when we owned the rail.

        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1302/S00183/kiwirail-admits-lack-of-maintenance-led-to-wash-out.htm

        Thursday, 14 February 2013, 1:35 pm
        Press Release: New Zealand Labour Party
        Phil Twyford
        Transport Spokesperson

        14 February 2013

        KiwiRail admits lack of maintenance led to wash-out

        KiwiRail has admitted that its failure to maintain old and damaged culverts was behind the wash out that closed the Gisborne-Napier line, while cuts to its maintenance budget are putting the network at further risk, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

        “Across the country KiwiRail missed its target of replacing 71 old culverts last year, and only replaced 49. This is cause for alarm.

        “The Gisborne-Napier wash-out shows what happens when essential maintenance work is not carried out.

        “KiwiRail cut and deferred $200 million of network maintenance last year. At the very time it needs to be upgrading its network and improving efficiency, the Government’s unrealistic ‘Turn Around Plan’ is putting enormous stress on the organisation and forcing it to cut maintenance.

        “KiwiRail has told Parliament’s transport committee it has 12,197 rail line culverts around the country and has done a risk assessment identifying 53 high priority culverts but ‘…in spite of every effort to mitigate risk, some incidents of wash out may still occur…’

        “National’s plan for rail is not workable. KiwiRail has missed its financial targets for two of the last three years. It is being forced to make cuts that are a false economy.

        “At a time when the Government is wasting billions of dollars on its ‘motorways of madness’, it makes no sense to cripple the national rail line.”

        ENDS

  3. Andre 3

    Winston’s a brave man. Who in their right mind would want foreign affairs in this age of toddlers with twitter and nukes?

  4. tracey 4

    Am REALLY looking forward to Martin in Education. Especially intrigued by tertiary appoibtment. Tertiary is making alot of money thru internationals and a cut down in the rort aspect will hit income lines. Hard.

  5. Brendan 5

    NZDF will be happy to have a veteran, Ron Mark, as Defence Minister.

  6. ankerawshark 6

    Clare Trevitts article extraordinary and what we need to expect. She rabbits on about lack of transparency, then at then end of her article, lists all the things we have been told. Quite a lot really………………

    Mike H’s also appears to be on the war path today, in the Herald, but I just couldn’t face reading his article.

    We need a new media. Soon

  7. rhinocrates 7

    Peters as MFA comes as no surprise, but is welcome.

    Robertson as MoF? Shit. Well, he’s so lazy, I suppose he won’t get in the way of people who do the real work – if they don’t mind him taking the credit.

    Martin in Education looks good. Give her a taser to make sure Hipkins stays out of range.

    • tracey 7.1

      LOL. You are on fire today!

    • Shaw is likely to be Robertson’s associate, and I have heard rumours from people with fiscal backgrounds that Robertson is capable, so I’d wait and see how the two work as a team. While I’ve heard a lot of negative comments about Robertson in various circles, that’s never seemed to affect his solid performance in his portfolios to date. Given that Shaw is probably capable of being Minister of Finance himself, I’d expect them to succeed as long as his relationship with Robertson goes well, which from seeing them campaign together in their electorate, I expect it will.

      The real difficulty is that they’re going to be trying to run some very tight budgets in order to pacify the business community that they’re not going to be running up debt. (a position which is incredibly unfair given National’s irresponsible tax cuts having gotten us into debt in the first case, but such is life sometimes) I think it’s doable, but it will be a tighter balancing act than Bill ever had to do, as he could essentially just slash spending and the media would let him off for it as being a Serious Finance Guy who can do those sorts of things. If Robertson slashes spending, he gets it from his base, if he doesn’t keep the debt under control, he gets it from the media and the opposition and the business community, and if he needs to expand revenue, he gets it from all the anti-tax crowd whipped up from the opposition, so I hope that relationship between him and Shaw is up to the test of that balancing act.

  8. Et Tu Brute 8

    Who will take on Trade or is that going to be part of MFAT? You’d think with their major opposition to the TPPA that NZ First would want to be front and center with TPP11.

    • boggis the cat 8.1

      Some form of trade deal is inevitable. Perhaps NZ First prefer to stay away from it, rather than grasp the tainted chalice.

      If it works out acceptably then they didn’t block it, so can claim a win for a ‘sensible deal’ ostensibly made possible by their presence. If it works out to be a corporate lever for extracting wealth, then they can stand on the ‘we told you so’ podium. Win-win for them to keep hands off.

    • MFAT = Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

      So, that would be Peters.

      • Et Tu Brute 8.2.1

        Okay I was loose with my words. In the National government Gerry Brownlee was Minister of Foreign Affairs and Todd McClay was Minister of Trade. So it has been split for a while.

  9. McFlock 9

    I wonder if MBIE will be split up again now that Mr never-FixedIt is on the opposition benches? seems to be a bit of an organisational behemoth.

    • I hope so. Turning it into the behemoth that it is does seem to have caused some problems. Of course, that would mean spending millions more on the restructure.

      • McFlock 9.1.1

        Yeah, Just Another Fucking Restructure is the flipside of that coin. Not just the money, but the work insecurity, loss of institutional knowledge, development of new systems…

        Although I suspect this government will have ministers more competent than “seven out of eight critical requirements are met or close to being met, let’s all three of us sign the okay to make it live before we have the eighth critical requirement even close to being achieved and forget about the other seven, gosh it’s as if we don’t know that a critical requirement is critically required before going live”.

      • I think splitting it immediately is just as bad an idea given it’s JUST been restructured. Probably best to keep it one ministry but split the portfolios among different ministers, and then tackle separating Labour and Housing out from business and innovation next term, which can then be sunk back into Economic Development.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2.1

          +1

          Definitely need some thought on how to go about it.

        • cleangreen 9.1.2.2

          Yes a breaking up of Steven Joyce’s mega ‘Propaganda ministry’ MBIE was styled alongside other overseas large Government central “intellegence” agencies that are used to control the workforce of the country specifically.

          It now must be broken up as it had become to powerful and caused many failures as their own agendas over-rode standard Government policies of interfacing wirth communities and regions.

          Often MBIE would use their own internal “cherry picked” studies to invoke bad changes to regional councils activities so that was always seen as “big brother” activities.

          Break up MBIE please New Governmet.

  10. Takere 10

    Who’ll get Min. of Treaty Settlement(s)?

    1.David Parker
    2.Andrew Little
    3.Nania Mahuta
    4.Kelvin Davis
    5.NZF’s Shaddy Jones!

    I’m guessing it won’t be a Maori. Why, the pakeha’s dont trust us to be unbiased! Haha! 177 years?

    Whoever it is, I want their contacts! Hehe! To kill off Ngati Paoa shit settlement!

    • Personally I’d have Davis as minister with Jones and someone from the Greens in there as associates. Show that it’s important to all three parties.

      • Takere 10.1.1

        Agree. Good picks. I’ve met a few times with Eugenie over this election period and I like her.
        She got sideswiped with regard to the Pt England bill by her sidekick(s) which is why the Greens sat on the fence with that bill & it passed. Managed to delay it by 7 months & nearly got it to the last day of parliament in August.
        The Pt England bill was the “Blueprint” for the EEZ bill! FFS! And my iwi’s shite settlement,however, Twyford did say he’d, Labour will repeal the Pt England bill. Lets see that he does or else I’ll make the next 3 years for him shite.

        • Michael 10.1.1.1

          Kelvin Davis would be a good choice as Minister for Treaty Settlements, with David Parker providing legal grunt as Attorney-General and, possibly, Associate Minister.

          • Takere 10.1.1.1.1

            Oh no! You can’t have a ‘Maori’ as ToW Settlement Minister! He might give iwi a favourable settlement?
            One where you dont have to buy back your land/settlement redress with the redress settlement money they ‘give’ to you! Hehe! No offset for the Crown dicking about for 177 years neither?

      • Yeah, I think that approach would be good, especially if they had both Shaw and Peters as associates, but haven’t heard any mutterings about that one happening. I think the other way to go, which I expect them to take if they’re smart, is to have Davis as minister and Parker as associate. Shows Labour is taking Māori issues seriously while still having the AG involved.

        The worst likely possibility is that it goes to Parker as AG and they have a Māori minister as associate, which I think has some bad symbolism and people will expect more from Labour than that, especially after sweeping the Māori electorates.

  11. Claire Trevett’s article complaining about the lack of transparency was premature.

    But probably achieved it’s purpose of creating suspicion in some voters minds.

  12. Philg 12

    Gender for transport would be smart and Twyford for Housing etc. Winnie for himself first and country second.lol. We have to get some folks in the right Ministerial positions, eventually!

  13. The part of this cabinet announcement I expect to be least comfortable with is whatever they give to Clare Curran and Damien O’Connor, tbqh.

    • Barfly 13.1

      O’Connor associate in regional development would be a good fit surely.

    • cleangreen 13.2

      We definately now need a new “Minister of rail” as we own the system as we have seen that a ‘Minister of transport’ never got involved inside rail as they should’ve and rail system actually failed because of government lack of support and only pushed road freight.

      Last time we had a ‘Minister of rail’ was when we last owned the rail system, so who for Minister of Rail?

      Winston should be, as he is always so keen on saving our rail better than anyone else is.

      • Julie Anne Genter is likely to be associate transport minister. If you don’t think she’ll make sure the focus is adequately on rail I don’t know who we’d trust to do it. I don’t think rail needs its own ministry so long as public transport is high up enough on the priority list.

        • cleangreen 13.2.1.1

          Matthew we need regional freight on rail urgently as the roads around the provinces outside Auckland are now gridlocked, and are very dangerous for other drivers.

          Matthew are you only considering Auckland rail passenger serices?

          • ari54x 13.2.1.1.1

            No, regional rail is important too. All three government parties agreed to that during the campaign, and you’ll note that NZF also has an associate transport portfolio now.

  14. Ad 14

    NZF-Labour agreement in outline:

    – Regional develpoment: A $1 billion per year Regional Development (Provincial Growth) Fund
    – Rail: Significant investment in regional rail.
    – Forestry: Re-establish the New Zealand Forestry Service, and planting 100 million trees per year in a Billion Trees Planting Programme.
    – Auckland Port: Commissioning a feasibility study on moving the Ports of Auckland to Northport
    – Biosecurity: A funding increase to Biosecurity NZ and a select committee Inquiry into biosecurity
    – Irrigation: Honour existing Crown Irrigation investment commitments

  15. mosa 15

    I was hoping the Greens would not just get Conservation but the Environment portfolio as well.
    Unless the minister is outside cabinet….probably not.

    • cleangreen 15.1

      The new Minister of Broadcasting must cull all’ National cling-ons from Radio NZ’ as now Radio NZ service is far too ‘biased against the new Labour Coalition as we hear clearly now and is needing to be addressed.

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