David Carter, the current Minister for Primary Industries, will be the Government’s nominee for Speaker of the House following the departure of Dr Lockwood Smith.
The Prime Minister, John Key, took 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,” he said.
Primary Industries changes
Former farm manager, Nathan Guy, MP for Otaki, is the current Associate Minister for Primary Industries and was widely tipped as a favourite for the position. The 43 year old is a Massey University agriculture graduate who has also undertaken a number of study scholarships including a Kelloggs Rural Leadership course, a Winston Churchill Fellowship to the US and has also won a number of farming awards. From the meat industry perspective he is a former member of the Meat Research Advisory Committee and a former chairperson of Central Districts and Wairarapa’s New Zealand Beef Council, for which he was also deputy chairperson. Jo Goodhew, member for Rangitata and a former nurse, will assist Guy in the Associate Minister position.
Former Food Safety Minister Kate Wilkinson will leave cabinet and will be replaced by 33 year old Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye. Kaye will take up the portfolios 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.
Dr Nick Smith will return to Cabinet in the Housing and Conservation portfolios and Chris Tremain is to be appointed to Local Government.
The changes will take effect on 31 January, when the Governor-General appoints the new Ministers and all the necessary paperwork will have been completed.
“The refreshed Ministerial team is ready to continue the Government’s focus on is 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,” says Key.