Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed the details of a Cabinet reshuffle that sees Kris Faafoi being promoted into Cabinet, Poto Williams made a Minister outside of Cabinet and a team put in place to advance the Government’s housing plan.
“Kris Faafoi has done an outstanding job as a Minister outside of Cabinet and now joins the Cabinet based on his performance this term,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“Minister Faafoi will take on the portfolio of Government Digital Services to complement his existing responsibilities in Commerce, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media and joins a new team of housing Ministers who will oversee the implementation of the Government’s housing plan.
“After nine years of neglect there is a lot to fix in housing. KiwiBuild has not progressed as well or as quickly as we’d hoped or expected.
“But our ambition to build more affordable houses for New Zealanders has not changed and neither has the public appetite for the Government to be building affordable homes with 60 per cent of voters in a recent Colmar Brunton poll saying they wanted KiwiBuild to continue.
“But it has become clear to me that the range of challenges in fixing the housing crisis are too great for one Minister. Therefore I am putting in place a team of senior Ministers to deliver the full breadth of our housing plan, from KiwiBuild right through to tackling homelessness.
“Megan Woods will become the Minister of Housing and will be dedicated to delivering the Government’s house building programme.
“Minister Woods will be joined by Kris Faafoi who, as Associate Minister of Housing, will take responsibility for public housing, including state housing and tackling homelessness.
“Nanaia Mahuta will continue to focus on Māori housing and Phil Twyford will continue to take the lead on urban development and the legislative changes needed to ensure more affordable houses can be built with the right infrastructure around them.
“Phil Twyford has made good progress in delivering the Government’s housing policy. He has overseen the largest Government house build programme since the 1970s, including the state house building programme increasing ninefold. Over 2300 more families are being housed by the Government in public housing and first home buyers now make up nearly a quarter of all buyers in the market.
“Minister Twyford will remain in the housing team and share his extensive knowledge with the other Ministers. But there is much work to be delivered in transport where this Government is making the largest ever investment in our roads and public transport infrastructure. To complement this work he will also pick up Economic Development.
“Minister Parker has passed on the Economic Development portfolio to focus on the Government’s priorities of improving water quality and advancing our trade agenda. With the EU FTA progressing and likely negotiations with the UK starting it is important the Minister has the time to focus on our export interests as well as the complex issue of water, where work will ramp up in the coming months.
“Poto Williams joins the Executive as a Minister outside of Cabinet, becoming the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector as well as Associate Minister for Social Development, Immigration and Greater Christchurch Regeneration.
“Poto Williams has been an MP since 2013 and is currently the Assistant Speaker. As the MP for Christchurch East she knows all too well the ongoing issues facing the local community as they continue to recover post-earthquake.
“The Government is making good progress on the issues New Zealanders elected us on. The Wellbeing Budget has been well received and the three parties of government are working well. We are hitting our stride.
“This Cabinet refresh means we will have a sharper focus on solving the housing crisis and ensures we are well placed to continue to deliver the changes we were elected to make,” Jacinda Ardern said.
Poto Williams will be sworn in by the Governor General on 3 July 2019.
Note to editors:
All Ministers retain their existing Cabinet ranking, and Minister Faafoi becomes the 17th ranked Cabinet Minister.
Changes to current Ministers’ portfolios take effect from Friday 28 June 2019, with the exception of portfolios allocated/reallocated to Poto Williams. Those changes will take effect from Wednesday 3 July 2019.
Other changes include: Grant Robertson becomes Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, Jenny Salesa becomes Minister of Customs, Peeni Henare becomes Minister of Civil Defence and a small number of associate delegations change.
Ruth Dyson will be nominated for the role of Assistant Speaker.
Michael Wood becomes the Senior Government Whip and gives up his roles as Parliamentary Under Secretary to the Minister for Ethnic Communities and Chair of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee.
Priyanca Radhakrishnan becomes the Parliamentary Private Secretary for Ethnic Affairs.
Willow Jean Prime becomes Parliamentary Private Secretary for Local Government.
Parliamentary Private Secretaries are members of Parliament who may be appointed by the Prime Minister by letter to assist Ministers. Parliamentary Private Secretaries support the Minister by building relationships with relevant communities, representing the Minister at public events, delivering speeches on occasions when the Minister is not available, and assisting with administrative matters. They are not part of the Executive. They have no executive responsibilities and no policy, financial, statutory, or operational authority. They are not bound by the principle of collective responsibility.
Deborah Russell gives up being Chair of the Environment Select Committee and becomes the Chair of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee.
Duncan Webb becomes the Chair of the Environment Select Committee.