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National Caucus reshuffle: Paul Goldsmith to replace Amy Adams as Finance Spokesperson; Overtakes Judith Collins on the list, taking her infrastructure portfolio with him; Questions raised over Todd Muller being kept low on the list

National Caucus reshuffle: Paul Goldsmith to replace Amy Adams as Finance Spokesperson; Overtakes Judith Collins on the list, taking her infrastructure portfolio with him; Questions raised over Todd Muller being kept low on the list
Simon Bridges, Paul Goldsmith

National Leader Simon Bridges has pulled Paul Goldsmith up the party’s list ahead of Judith Collins, as he’s reshuffled the party’s caucus.

Goldsmith has been promoted from seventh to third, overtaking Collins who remained at fourth.

He was given Amy Adams’ finance portfolio, further to her announcing she’d retire at the 2020 election, and snatched Collins’ infrastructure role.

Bridges, who was accompanied by Goldsmith at a media conference on the reshuffle, said Goldsmith was among the party’s “proven performers”.

He denied the change was a demotion for Collins, arguing finance and infrastructure went hand-in-hand with each other.

Collins kept her housing and urban development and planning roles, which will see her continue to go head-to-head with Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford.

A move to the right?

Goldsmith, who is known to have relatively liberal economic views, responded to a question about whether his new roles would see National shift its policy to the right, saying: “We’ve always been focussed on ensuring… we only take what we need and we spend the money effectively.

"It’s not just about announcing that we spend lots of money, it’s the quality of the delivery that’s important."

He took a much more hand-off approach, when Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, towards regulating banks and insurers, addressing competition issues, and cracking down on third-tier lenders, compared to his Labour successor Kris Faafoi.

Goldsmith dodged answering a question about which economists he regarded as important, saying he admired the work Bill English did as Finance Minister.

He didn’t initially want to comment on what he thought of deposit protection insurance, but following a bit of a push, said the “broad issue” made sense, but the details would need to be looked at further. For example, how non-banks are handled and how you prevent a moral hazard where people take on more risk.

Bridges denied Goldsmith’s promotion was a “sweetener” ahead of National getting him to ask those in his Epsom electorate to vote for Act’s David Seymour again.

Goldsmith’s transport and regional development roles were passed on to Chris Bishop, and his economic development role to Todd McClay.

Bridges made special mention of Bishop - the MP for Hutt South - who’d proven himself as National's police spokesperson, and risen from 34th to 16th on the list.

'A natural party for talent'

As for Todd Muller, the former Zespri, Apata and Fonterra executive from the Bay of Plenty touted by some to be future leader material, he remained at 31 on the list.

Muller retained his climate portfolio, which has seen him work closely with Climate Change Minister James Shaw on the Zero Carbon Bill, and was also given forestry.

Asked whether he’d kept Muller low on the list because he saw him as a rival, or because he didn’t regard climate issues very highly, Bridges pointed to others in similar positions who had been given additional responsibilities.

He said this was a “vote of confidence” in them.

Bridges also mentioned outgoing Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon (who’s expressed interest in joining National) on his own volition, saying National was a “natural party for talent”.  

Elsewhere in the party’s top 10, there was little movement.

Paula Bennett remained at number two, Todd McClay at five and Mark Mitchell six. Adams' departure saw Nikki Kaye, Gerry Brownlee, Nathan Guy and Michael Woodhouse each bumped up a spot to seventh, eight, ninth and tenth respectively. There was some additional portfolio switching.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is expected to announce what she's described as a "minor" Cabinet reshuffle on Thursday.

While Housing and Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford is expected to be in the firing line, Ardern has in recent days come to Twyford's defence, pointing out how much of a tough task it is solving the country's housing problems. 

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Let the war begin.....

Fear in the eyes of mr bridges, that his opponent is gaining power...

He can run, but collins is behind him

Reminds me of a Magillicuddy election slogan:

The Great Leap Backwards.........

It's not a reshuffle they need so much as a new leader.

Muller and Goldsmith are both great guys. Muller worthy of PM. Interesting to see above that Goldsmith is light on regulating on competition. My view is to build competition you need controls to level the playing field.

Someone needs to ask Goldsmith what his plan for North West Auckland is if he's so resolutely opposed to light rail. Maybe he should talk to his colleague Paula Bennett about how bad the traffic is in her electorate and how much more intensification is planned. If National want to get elected, they need to offer alternatives, not just shoot down the only plan anyone has going.

.. except it is not a plan - it is a wish.

It's in ATAP 2. It's a decade 1 priority.

you can put as many acronyms as you like around it - there is still no plan.

There is literally an agreement between the Council and NZTA that this needs to be delivered. Are you talking about a construction timeline, a business case? Words mean things, "there is no plan" is pretty much the least helpful and most vague criticism short of "I don't like thing".

I mean "there is no plan" - no business case , no design , no approvals , no funding, no consents , no timeline - in short no plan; not sure what is vague about that.

Supporters of LR would be well advised not mention "vagueness "- certainly at this stage.
The only justification you seem to have for the whole thing is " I like it" ...

As to the agreement you mention I suggest you go to the nearest stop , wait for it and ride it to work.

It is not very often I agree with Hosking but his article about National in the The Herald today stating National MPs are leaving because they know they cannot win the election next year is spot on. Labour will have at least another term in government. National needs someone special to join their ranks and become their leader.

...never encourage an idiot by clicking...that includes you to sharetrader :)

im off to the head doctor this morning for a checkup. i agreed with hosking's column.

" To leave it until now you either have health issues, you're 71 and over it, or (if you're Adams at 48 and Scott at 53) you've worked out the pastures are greener on the other side of the fence.
This all adds to National's ongoing problems. Their leader, their numbers, and now their retention of talent. They simply don't look like they're on a roll or anywhere close to it. They don't look like the home of the winners."


I'm in the same boat as you. Things could only be worse if I found myself agreeing with Trump.