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Nick Smith back in Cabinet replacing Phil Heatley as Housing Minister, Stephen Joyce to tackle Novopay debacle

Posted in Property
Nick Smith, new Housing Minister

Prime Minister John Key has announced a Cabinet reshuffle with Nelson MP Nick Smith returning to take the Housing and Conservation portfolios.

Key also says David Carter is the Government's nominee to replace Lockwood Smith, who is heading to Britain to serve as New Zealand's High Commissioner, as Speaker.

“I have taken the opportunity presented by the change of Speaker to look at the Cabinet line-up as a whole, in the context of the Government’s priorities," Key said.

“As we begin a new year I am optimistic about the progress we can make, while being mindful of the challenges created, in particular, by the uncertain international economic environment. New Zealanders expect their elected Government to get on, and not only do what it has promised to do, but to do so with a sense of urgency and purpose, with real energy and new thinking along the way."

“It is in this context I have decided to make changes to the Ministry," said Key.

He said Phil Heatley and Kate Wilkinson were leaving Cabinet on January 29. Wilkinson said she was "disappointed by today’s news" but supported the Prime Minister in his choice of a new Cabinet.

Key said Nick Smith would bring "his trademark energy" to housing market and social housing issues.

“I have also asked Social Development Minister Paula Bennett to work with Nick as Associate Housing Minister, reflecting the strong links between these two areas. Tariana Turia will remain as Associate Minister and a part of that housing team.”

Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye is being appointed to Cabinet as Minister for Food Safety, Youth Affairs and Civil Defence. She will also be Associate Education Minister, following her role chairing the Education Select Committee. Senior Whip Michael Woodhouse will be the third new Minister, serving outside Cabinet as Immigration and Veterans Affairs’ Minister as well as Associate Transport Minister.

Meanwhile, Key says the Novopay teachers pay debacle has precipitated a change with Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce to provide a 'fresh set of eyes" and Craig Foss stepping down as Associate Education Minister, but becoming Minister of Consumer Affairs.

See Key's statement below:

Prime Minister John Key today announced a series of changes to the National-led Government’s Cabinet, refreshing a Ministerial team which is firmly focused on delivering results for New Zealanders. Mr Key confirmed the Government’s nominee for Speaker to replace the departing Lockwood Smith will be long-serving National MP and Cabinet Minister David Carter.

“I’m pleased to announce David Carter as the Government’s nominee for Speaker and I’d like to thank him for his service as a Minister,” Mr Key says. “I have taken the opportunity presented by the change of Speaker to look at the Cabinet line-up as a whole, in the context of the Government’s priorities.

“As we begin a new year I am optimistic about the progress we can make, while being mindful of the challenges created, in particular, by the uncertain international economic environment.

“New Zealanders expect their elected Government to get on, and not only do what it has promised to do, but to do so with a sense of urgency and purpose, with real energy and new thinking along the way.

“It is in this context I have decided to make changes to the Ministry.”

Two other Ministers will also be leaving Cabinet on 29 January - Phil Heatley and Kate Wilkinson. “Phil and Kate have both made a real contribution to the Government in their four years as Ministers and I’d like to thank them for that,” Mr Key says.

“I have made the judgement that it is time for fresh energy and ideas, and for other members of our talented 59-strong caucus to be given an opportunity.”

Returning to Cabinet is Nick Smith, who will take on the Housing and Conservation portfolios. Mr Key says Dr Smith will bring his trademark energy to housing market and social housing issues, which are of real public interest.

“I have also asked Social Development Minister Paula Bennett to work with Nick as Associate Housing Minister, reflecting the strong links between these two areas. Tariana Turia will remain as Associate Minister and a part of that housing team.”

Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye will be appointed to Cabinet where she will become Minister for Food Safety, Youth Affairs and Civil Defence. She will also be Associate Education Minister, reflecting her work as Chair of the Education select committee. Senior Whip Michael Woodhouse will be the third new Minister, serving outside Cabinet as Immigration and Veterans Affairs’ Minister as well as Associate Transport Minister.

“I’d like to congratulate Nikki and Michael on their promotions, which are both well deserved,” Mr Key says.

The remaining position inside Cabinet will be filled by Simon Bridges, who will be promoted from outside Cabinet and take on the Labour and Energy and Resources portfolios.

“Simon has had a very good first year as a Minister and is ready to step up and take on more responsibility,” Mr Key says.

Nathan Guy will pick up the Primary Industries portfolio to be vacated by David Carter, with Jo Goodhew assisting him as Associate Minister. Mr Key says Chris Tremain will be appointed as Local Government Minister and is well placed to work with the sector on the Government’s well-advanced reforms.

Mr Key says he had also decided to make a change in relation to Novopay.

“I share the concerns of teachers and principals at continuing problems in the operation of Novopay, and fixing this as quickly as possible is a priority,” he says. “A fresh set of eyes is needed and I have asked Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce to take on this responsibility.”

The change will be done through a transfer of responsibility to Mr Joyce under section 7 of the Constitution Act.

“Getting Novopay working as it should may take some time, given what appears to be the systemic issues involved. I can assure teachers that we want to get Novopay sorted as soon as possible.

“With this change and Nikki Kaye’s appointment, there is no need for Mr Foss to remain as Associate Education Minister. I have instead asked him to pick up the role of Minister of Consumer Affairs, which will link in with his existing responsibilities as Commerce Minister.”

Mr Key says there are also two notable promotions in terms of Ministerial rankings in the Cabinet changes – with Jonathan Coleman rising to 10, and Amy Adams to 15. The resignations of Mr Carter, Mr Heatley and Ms Wilkinson will take effect on 29 January, and all the other changes will take effect on Thursday 31 January, when the Governor-General appoints the new Ministers, and the necessary paperwork will have been completed.

Mr Key says it is anticipated that a new Senior Whip will be elected at National’s first caucus meeting of the year on 29 January 2013.

“This refreshed Ministerial team is ready to continue the Government’s focus on its four key priorities for this term – responsibly managing the Government’s finances, building a more competitive and productive economy, delivering better public services within fiscal restraints, and supporting the rebuilding of Christchurch,” Mr Key says. “I will have more to say about how we intend to meet these priorities in coming days.”

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7 Comments

Dr Nick Smith: Minister of

Dr Nick Smith: Minister of Conservation, Minister of Housing.
So will Smiffy be opening up conservation land for housing development!!!!!

Different person, same sh!t

Different person, same sh!t

Smith is responsible for this

Smith is responsible for this absolute mess - found it on scoop. He forced the call-in for the Turitea wind farm, now look what's happened.
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1301/S00065/complaint-lodged-with-sfo-over-turitea-wind-farm.htm
 
Complaint lodged with SFO over Turitea wind farm
Mighty River Power is in possession of an invalid and illegal consent for the Turitea wind farm.
The Turitea Board of Inquiry was chaired by former Environment Judge Shonagh Kenderdine. She was a judge until her warrant was permanently and irrevocably withdrawn on 6th August 2010. From that date Kenderdine was no longer a judge.
All Boards of Inquiry are required to have a judge with a judicial warrant as chair, as the decision made is equivalent to that of a court of law. A Board of Inquiry’s final decision is binding and can only be challenged on a point of law.
The Turitea Final Decision was issued on 6th September 2011.
During the intervening period of one year and one month between 6th August 2010 and 6th September 2011, without having any judicial authority whatsoever, Kenderdine falsely signed off as “Environment Judge” on both the Draft Decision and the Final Decision authorizing the wind farm consent.
A complaint has been lodged with the Serious Fraud Office.
Documentation relating to this and other very serious related matters can be accessed here.
http://turiteadocuments.wordpress.com/turitea-wind-farm-documents/
Ends

Smith is not responsible for

Smith is not responsible for the alleged "mess" or fraud ,  which is actually no such thing , and here's a wager that the SFO does .......... nothing.

Comprehension skills lacking?

Comprehension skills lacking?

@Overpriced Houses.....c'mon

@Overpriced Houses.....c'mon mate, dont be so cynical.
I believe that the issues around housing availability and affordability can be addressed through decisive action , and Nick Smith is known as a decisive and results orientated "do-er".
There is no shortage of land for development in New Zealand. Land is being kept off the market by complex laws , rorting by  Councils in Levies , and vested interests.  
 
 

@Boatman, its just

@Boatman, its just frustrating when The Govnt/Council dont do anything, despite an acute problem