Judith Collins makes her first move as National Leader, stripping Michael Woodhouse of his health portfolio and giving it to Shane Reti

Judith Collins makes her first move as National Leader, stripping Michael Woodhouse of his health portfolio and giving it to Shane Reti
Shane Reti

Judith Collins has taken the health portfolio off Michael Woodhouse and given it to Shane Reti, having been National Party Leader for less than 24 hours.

Collins said the “right thing” for Woodhouse to have done when he received personal information about Covid-19 patients from former National Party president Michelle Boag, would’ve been for him to tell Boag not to send him such information, and advise the Ministry of Health of the matter.

Collins has given Woodhouse two new portfolios - spokesperson for Pike River recovery and regional economic development. Woodhouse will remain an associate finance spokesperson and deputy leader of the house.

Asked by media whether Woodhouse could be trusted in these roles, Collins reiterated she thought Woodhouse's behaviour had been unacceptable, but said: “It’s not a matter of trust; it’s the fact that we need to move on... I have no doubt at all that Michael will never make that mistake again."

Asked whether Woodhouse let National down, Collins said: "Michael made a mistake. People make mistakes - even people who are experienced... That was an error, but that does not mean I don't have confidence in Michael... I have huge confidence in him."

Reti is a medical doctor who practiced family medicine and dermatology in Whangarei for 16 years. He spent three terms on the Northland District Health Board and has a Masters from Harvard.

Collins said Reti has proven to be an "excellent performer" both in the House and in his electorate.

He will sit on the party’s front bench, addressing criticisms it isn’t culturally diverse enough.

Collins said she intended to take the national security portfolio. She will announce National's list on Thursday. 

A new person will need to be appointed election campaign chair now that Gerry Brownlee is Deputy Leader. 

Collins on Tuesday night confirmed Paul Goldsmith would remain finance spokesperson. 

She said she didn't plan to make wholesale policy changes, as she was happy with the party's policies. She also acknowledged the election was around the corner.

National was due to start rolling out its policies with an infrastructure announcement on Tuesday. 

Collins said she supported New Zealand forming a bubble with the Cook Islands, but maintained it wasn't safe to do so with Australia.  

She supported Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's plan to have regional lockdowns in the first instance, should Covid-19 be found beyond managed isolation facilities. 

However Collins had a go at the Government for its efforts to keep these facilities water tight, saying, "The devil in this case, is in the execution".

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"During the Northland by-election, Reti was accused of bullying Alex Wright of the Pipiwai Titoki Advocacy group, a group campaigning to seal the "dusty and dangerous foresty roads" in Northland. Wright claimed that Reti rang her and told her to keep quiet until after the by-election or get nothing. Reti responded that he was attempting to help the group".

Dogs and fleas. Birds and feathers. And Woodhouse? Looks like a Claytons demotion to me. Turn the page, pretend it didn't happen.


Well PDK at least Reti has a Doctorate in Health Care unlike his recently departed opposition who was a Dr in Bible studies. Good selection I say

Agreed. Clark was a Wally, enough so that I don't think he knew it (I once told Curran, to her face, that she was a wasted space - he's not the only)

The problem is that none of the current Parties - including the present format of Greens - is addressing the wave breaking over us. All are looking backwards, although a couple understand the fact that we will be using renewable energy. What they don't get (or want to have to) is what 'our economy' will look like post Fossil energy. All those SUV's as stranded assets - imagine the angst. I'd like to see a journo asking what medicine will look like post FF, and asking whether medicine considers itself part of the (population) problem?


Maaate!!!... "post fossil fuel" is so far down the track it's invisible. As for medicine being the problem?.. I submit the problem is people's innate belief that they have the "right" to breed, regardless of the consequences - both to their immediate selves and the future wellbeing of the planet or the society they live in. To suggest medicine is part of the problem is a bit OTT. It's education (or lack of it) that is at the core of most of our problems - social and environmental

Agreed. Clark was a Wally, enough so that I don't think he knew it (I once told Curran, to her face, that she was a wasted space - he's not the only)

The problem is that none of the current Parties - including the present format of Greens - is addressing the wave breaking over us. All are looking backwards, although a couple understand the fact that we will be using renewable energy. What they don't get (or want to have to) is what 'our economy' will look like post Fossil energy. All those SUV's as stranded assets - imagine the angst. I'd like to see a journo asking what medicine will look like post FF, and asking whether medicine considers itself part of the (population) problem?

I think you're right PDK. There are too many politicians and media, and business owners who are too invested in the old/current economic model, refuse to see that it was broken and who do not have the intelligence or imagination to accept that there MUST be change to something that delivers for everyone, not just the wealthy. This change also has to embrace environmental and population impacts. But no one seems to be wanting to talk about this.

I do wonder about Shane Reti though. As a GP for 16 years, he should have a good understanding of the problems assailing the lower socio-economic groups, so I wonder why he joined National and not Labour.

Coleman also had similar qualifications, unfortunately it didn't stop him being shallower than a carpark puddle and throwing his toys out of the cot when he had to sit in opposition which cost the country a few million.

Hopefully Shane is a long way above that level though.


Positive changes for National in the last 24hrs, watch for a sizable jump in the next poll, the other parties will see a negative effect.
Judith Collins will put Jacinda on notice, rhetoric alone will no longer cut it.


Pretty sure we heard something similar when Muller took over...

Look how well that ended.

No, I dont think anyone would have said that.

Muller never had a crack at Jacinda. He was too male and too white tovget away with it. As a fellow female, Jacinda is fair game for Collins. National had no chance with a male leader. Now they are in, and Collins is by far the best chance.

I tend to agree Kotare. Collins also brings some steel in the backbone as opposed to rubber. The Nats caucus has just been put on notice with Woodhouse.. toe the line, don't screw up, the Party comes first. The Nats have needed a good hard dose of discipline for too long.

sexist and racist in the same sentence... nice work!

Look how Trump destroyed Clinton, has nothing to do with sex, race or age but ruthlessness

You can't be sexist or racist against a pale stale male so park the outrage for something more important.

BTW Hillary was too easy to target for Trump. She had sold out years ago, first branding herself as the iconic feminist for the good cause only to completely betray her image. She should have never beaten Bernie; that was when Trump won.

Therein lies a great explanation of the great problem. Neither of the two parties give a hootabout the actual credentials or ability of their nomination. All they care about is who is most likely to beat the other contender. Hence Biden because the others were more unlikely. No policy, no initiatives, just power and self reward for me and my cronies up and down the line.


They can hope to pull support back from ACT, and the more fringe rightwing parties, but I don't know that there are that many masochists with dominatrix fantasies among voters.

The election is Labours to loose. The pressure is on, can they not screw up massively and implement something of substance before voting day?

I’m sorry but I can’t take anyone’s comment seriously when they can’t differentiate the word “lose” and “loose”

PT - retoric indeed will not cut it



Folk must have no morals to vote for the dirtiest of the lot.

yeah maybe, and no brains to vote for the alternative.

Politicians with morals? More like which has the least worse morals.

That's a shame cause this morning inane rhetoric was all Judith had to offer on RNZ.

Yip. It was pretty embarassing.

Whatever makes you feel better. National won’t be anywhere near labour in this election. Nor do they deserve to be.

I mean good on JC for giving Reti health (from personal experience he's one of the few good eggs in this outfit) but Woodhouse keeps/adds ministerial portfolios after that despicable behavior? Virtue signaling at its finest...

Not as fine as promoting a young female UN disciple ( with the obvious connotations to Ms Clark) to leader 7 weeks out from the last election. Now that's what I call "virtue signalling".

When people look and strive to work in public service they should be vilified. That's not a career path.
We prefer failed business owners or bored retired millionaires as our leaders. That's real life experience.

Can someone please explain when working with/for the UN became illegal, as it seems the way same speak of it, it must be.

The UN? Because they suck up billions, pretend to be a savior yet produce nothing - kinda like the wage subsidy.

Their motto in every crisis: Let's hold Committee Meetings until They're All Dead.

No one is saying it's illegal PA. The comment was made in the context of "virtue signalling", you could also add the "free fees" policy, which incidentally didn't gain any more enrollments to Uni - so much so it was canned. JA was a perfect choice. Young, fresh, untainted and appealed to the "lost vote". As I said above - virtue signalling at its finest. Sprinkling jacinda dust everywhere won't and hasn't done much for NZ. You can't smile, give everyone a hug and be kind to everyone your way out of an economic crisis.

Our bars and restaurants and shops and malls and gyms and.. well everything are open. Food is being produced; hospitals are running smoothly; transport of goods is flowing; grocery shelves are full; children are back in school and the majority of New Zealanders are back in work.

Sure some people lost jobs and some people lost businesses, but welcome to the world of pandemics.

So I expect you mean virtue signalling as "empty acts of public commitment to unexceptional good causes". Giving the leadership of a major party to someone is not an "empty act" as it is a very important job. Jacinda has on the whole done it very well, also showing it was not an empty act as they obviously knew she could do the job before hand. I am not sure what public cause you thought they were signaling for. The UN or young females in power or something? Who really cares about the UN enough for anyone to see it as a virtue signal? Cant just be females as Crusher is one and you dont see that as virtue signalling. Bridges was young, so cant be that?

Well, you would be misusing the english language then.

Rearranging the deck chairs..


Her & the party’s problem starts at #2. Colloquially in Christchurch Brownlee is known as Bulldozer for reasons quite easily attributed and that need not be explained. Guess though there is then the benefit of some rapport and connotation between the two nouns, crusher and bulldozer by way of “nom de guerres” to a sense. But it is not, to my way of thinking, a selection that demonstrates a fresh approach and a new modus operandi for National. Quite the opposite I would suggest.

Who said the Nats are looking to try new things? The new things Labour has promised and not/under delivered haven't really gone that well, other than their endless commissions and committees. One thing Labour is really good at.. increasing the already burgeoning ranks of highly paid bureaucrats

Sure revert to type as per the illegal and dishonourable antics of a past president and an MP, a lawmaker nonetheless, and included in that too, the actual health spokesperson, undermining their leader in the last few weeks. But yes National of course has every right to roll out the old platform, except that the electorate didn’t think all that much of it, if a relative novice, a mere slip of a lass, introduced as leader of the opposition only weeks before the last election, could easily knock them off their perches and out of their ivory tower.

Really?? I suggest you recheck the results FG.. the electorate thought Nats were doing OK, remember it was a personal choice that handed Labour the election.. one made by the leader of a party that just managed 7 odd % of the vote with a score to settle. If the Greens would wake up and act like a true MMP party instead of Labour's somewhat left of left lapdog, they and the Nats would have romped in with well over 50% and the Greens might actually (in fact would have) been a part of a governing coalition with far more ministerial responsibility than they have now. The Greens could render NZF irrelevant but for some reason won't, if they did they'd be far more effective.

A personal choice. Well now what a great piece of strategic wisdom it was then to rort the no surprises rule and support a personal attack on the leader of that very option, the only viable coalition partner on offer. Still true to form and as Peter Dunne called it over last week’s revelations, they are the great exponents of own goals. But as you avow, in all sincerity it would seem , why change anything at all.

FG, it was a foregone conclusion Peters wasn't going to side with National. For one thing he couldn't bully his way into DP, or Finance. BTW the 'no surprises rule" doesn't cover investigation of potential fraud. JA was a young naive freshman that he could easily cajole and coerce his way. I mean Ron Mark as MoD?? really? Jones as RDM? all set up for furthering NZF. As for the "own goal", I think PD was talking about Walker (definitely) and possibly Muller, while it was a good article I'm not sure PD meant the whole National caucus, certainly not how I read it anyway

Well it may not have been a foregone conclusion beforehand but it certainly was after that little nicety, resulting directly, in what you initially described as a personal choice but actually now, a change of cloth and it was a foregone conclusion all along. The judgement declared the release of WP’s information was illegal but it failed to identify the culprit(s.) That information apparently is to be provided.

What, National leaking personal info as a political weapon? Never.

Remember FG , Winston made the call well before the courtcase. He'd made his mind up - the rest is history. As for the leak.. all will (probably not) be released in due course. Also Peters withdrew the case against Bennet and Tolley.. a sure sign he didn't have any proof. He shot from the hip, missed but the damage was already done. His vendetta had been assuaged.

“Made the call well before the court case.” Sort yourself out. According to you It was first a personal choice, then a foregone conclusion and now the mind was already made up. Of course if he had made his mind up, it was most likely to be because and when, he had associated the release of his private information with the National Party. And as has been evidenced in the last week or so the National Party has no qualms to peddle, no respect for, the right of people to have their personal information remain confidential. But as you insist no need to try anything new. ps if you are going to edit retrospectively, declare it.

Hi Chairman Motor Moa,

Regarding rearranging the deck chairs, Ardern may be the next person who Collins get rid of......


maybe off her xmas card list, but thats all

Landslide to Labour Im afraid

Perhaps. But a contest now. I'm looking forward to the next 9 weeks. Bring it on.

I personally think that Judith is the best thing that has happened to Jacinda, two months before the elecion. Judith's challenges are certainly going to make Jacinda sit up more and try to run a more effective government/campaign. Expecting an uptick in the efficiency of the Labour Team.

"Expecting an uptick in the efficiency of the Labour Team." Hahaha...more committees and "expert Working Groups " then?

If you don't research law changes before you enact them, you might end up crushing just one car before realizing it was a silly idea.

Labour have made an industry of Working Groups and committees. Each ministry has mountains of bureaucrats to advise them. If they don't believe the bureaucrats advice or can't fathom the advice then may as well get rid of them.

Where are you getting this idea from? Have you seen the spending numbers? Can you point us to it? Otherwise it is just your ranting vs mine... Gets old fast.

It's truly outrageous they had pretty much the same number of working groups as National in their first term of government. Bit much for the dyed in the wool folk to grasp, perhaps.


Day 1 - Strong leadership -- address minister not being squeaky clean Tick
keep said minister in lower portfolios - and show confidence thats its a one off error - Tick
Appoint a real DR to the health portfolio - Tick
Recognize a very Strong Maori performer on front bench -- tick
Acknowledge prime minister revealing a good solid policy on Covid - Tick
still find way to undermine said minister - and overall government on lack of delivery Tick

End result - most positive day of the year for National - like her or loath her -- she was always a bloody good and effective minister - and wasted no time in reminding people of that !

The Left are having conniptions about Collins on Twitter. The thought of their trough being disconnected must be getting to them. Best day of the year, but I’m still voting ACT to keep them from going Left.

Ok David, we get it, your voting for your party...you know you have to appeal to other NZ citizens to do well in this arena though right? P.S let us know when you want us to remove that National logo emblazoned silver spoon from your mouth. The hypocrisy of being a welfare basher lol...

Good to see the 'Right' feeling so chipper for a change,it's been a long few years listening to the whining about being winners on election night...for the first time in ages they are looking forward.

And the right have been feeling discombobulated over the last week or so according to JC

hope she can push this government, we dont want to become a victoria
good on her for putting a proper doctor in charge of health, it always amuses me how Mp's end up with portfilos they have no backround in.

@ sharetrader,perhaps Gerry should be education or housing,he trained as a woodwork teacher;
A Roman Catholic, he attended St Bede's College where he twice failed to gain University Entrance.[5] After leaving high school, he worked in his family's timber business and received training in carpentry. After qualifying as a builder, he retrained as a teacher and taught woodwork, technical drawing and Māori, over a period of twelve years, at Ellesmere College, and at his alma mater, St Bede's.[5]

Member of Parliament

Ye gods - Woodhouse was educated at a Catholic school, too - St Paul's in Dunedin. They must have missed their Christian Doctrine lessons.


The only time I heard Woodhouse, he couldn't help being a pratt.

Old saying .."those who can do......those who cannot, gain weight by any other means possible...in the land of Plenty".

Follow my Leader....live long and prosper. Weight long enough and you can be a deputy if you play your cards right...Nudge, nudge, wink wink.

Doling out the alternatives, for ever and a day.....(Work hard, play hard....I do not mind).....but it seems we are just keeping the same old, same old, same old..contingent...for another National Holiday...............on the Park Bench....

Whereas too many losers there already.....and no House to accommodate em..at all.....another National disgrace.....(reading between the lines).

There should be no problems of the magnitude we face today....But I know who could never fix em.

Working is taxing for some...but avoided by others. Lawyers, Teachers, ....having a Party.....way, way too long.

Thank god! A kindred spirit, I am not alone afterall.

Very interesting interview with Rod Oram talking to heather Du-Plessis Allen regarding Nationals economic plan going forward,well worth a listen,approximately 18.40 Weds 15/07.

HDPLA and barry soper,arent they one of the heralds tag teams along with mike and kate,should think they would be on overtime till the election.

He wasn't complimentary of the Nats.

Reti looks to have the credentials but you cant help feeling its an act of Tokenism, given the recent criticism of lack of diversity

That's a bit insulting, isn't it?

Reti is a medical practitioner and he has DHB experience.

Compare him with Labour's highest ranked Maori. You know, the one who is Deputy Leader, and couldn't answer questions in Parliament without a ventriloquist operating him. That's real tokenism.

Nikki quits and Amy may follow. Are they all gonna get together and start a new Neo National Party, with Sir John as Sponsor ? That would be interesting, right ?

Wow...the united caucus didn't last long...

Can cactus unite ?