Reshuffle expectations

January 22nd, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

My expectations are that David Carter will be nominated and elected as Speaker, and that Nick Smith will be reappointed to Cabinet. This is not based on inside knowledge but the well telegraphed signals from the Government.

Apart from some minimal portfolio shuffling, I don’t expect too much else to change. That is because your major doesn’t tend to happen just a year after an election. There are two sort of reshuffles – forced and voluntary.

A forced reshuffle occurs when you get a vacancy due to a Minister resigning. Normally it is due to a scandal (Dyson, Dalziel, Smith, Wong) or sometimes due to a good thing (becoming Speaker). The focus of the reshuffle is to replace the Minister and tweak things a bit.

A voluntary reshuffle is when the PM wants to significantly freshen the , both in personnel and portfolios. This occurs after each election to some degree, but after your first term, will normally also occur mid-term.

It is difficult to win a third (let alone a fourth) term when your lineup looks much the same as what you won your first term on. Hence, even if there are no major performance issues, it is always important to bring in fresh blood so to speak.

The logical timing of any voluntary reshuffle is around the end of the second year or start of the third year of a term. This is when seat selections start to get underway so means that if the PM indicates to a Minister they won’t be in Cabinet if re-elected, the Minister can decide whether or not to retire from the House also, and not seek re-selection. They may go onto the backbench for their final year in the House.

So as I said my expectation is this reshuffle will be quite minor, and most likely just see Nick Smith replace David Carter. But I would expect that late 2013 or maybe very early 2014, to see a more significant reshuffle – with say three or four personnel changes.

A complicating factor could be if Tim Groser does win the WTO DG job. This will be known in May, and would mean another forced reshuffle. The PM would then have to decide whether to do just about minimal one, or bring forward a more major one.

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12 Responses to “Reshuffle expectations”

  1. Pete George (21,812 comments) says:

    So as I said my expectation is this reshuffle will be quite minor…

    This has become a bit of a perception of Key Governments, quite minor expectations.

    That’s not always a bad thing, most governance should be steady and changes should mostly ne incremental (despite extremists demanding lurches in their preferred direction).

    But National risk casually sliding from power with a shrug.

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  2. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    A forced reshuffle occurs when you get a vacancy due to a Minister resigning.

    How often do Ministers resign in NZ ? Really… what they normally do is say “others were doing it too – it’s not fair to just single me out” then we move on rather than they move on… It’s a complete disgrace.

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  3. Manolo (12,626 comments) says:

    Rearranging the chairs on the deck of HMS Key, a sinking ship?

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  4. lofty (1,295 comments) says:

    Smith gets the kiss of death with the greenpeace endorsement, and his impertinent advice to the PM.

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  5. thor42 (773 comments) says:

    I **can’t understand** why Key is such a *softcock*, and why he persists with DEADWOOD like Hopeless Hekia and Nick Smith.

    FFS Key – *get rid of them!* Smith is a “global warming” fairytale-teller, and Parata should be flipping burgers at Maccas.

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  6. davidp (3,320 comments) says:

    National needs to refresh itself. Reappointing Smith to Cabinet is like reverting to the mid-1990s. Smith should realise that he has had his turn and it is time to find a new career.

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  7. Manolo (12,626 comments) says:

    If the Forest & Bird Luddites are supporting him, you know it ought to be bad for progress:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/126157/environmental-groups-back-smith-for-minister

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  8. m@tt (535 comments) says:

    Key is obviously quite comfortable and relaxed with the do-nothing, smile and wave moniker he’s earned himself.

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  9. Chris2 (704 comments) says:

    My concern is with Lockwood Smith’s appointment to the UK. Why is this happening? I think he is a good Speaker and he should work out that appointment until the end of this Parliament, not jump ship midway.

    And isn’t the next candidate on the National List some previous MP who lied on his CV, and then tried to blame it on Parliamentary Services.

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  10. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    Wilkinson and Heatley sacked. That’s not a “minor” reshuffle. Wonder if either of them will go feral.

    And Joyce Minister for Novopay!

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  11. Pete George (21,812 comments) says:

    A few of us have underestimated Key on this, it’s a significant reshuffle. Some movement, demotions and renewal. That’s an encouraging sign.

    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.”

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1301/S00071/pm-announces-changes-to-cabinet-line-up.htm

    More than a tweak or two, there looks to be some thoughtful changes.

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  12. Viking2 (10,720 comments) says:

    And Bridges been promoted. A bloody good socialist, another never got his hands dirty.

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