The changes are here. In summary:
- Tim Groser to become Ambassador to Washington
- Maureen Pugh will replace him as a List MP
- Judith Collins returns to the Ministry and to Cabinet as Corrections (off Lotu-Iiga) and Police (off Woodhouse) Minister
- Climate Change goes from Groser to Paula Bennett
- Trade goes from Groser to Todd McClay
- Revenue goes from McClay to Woodhouse
- Local Government goes from Bennett to Lotu-Iiga
- Seymour was offered Minister of Regulatory Reform and Associate Education but declined so he could focus on rebuilding ACT, Epsom and his members’ bill
There will be high expectations that Judith will “settle down” Corrections and to a degree Police. When she was Minister of them previously she did a very good job in making effective change. I’m pleased to see she her skills will be put to good use with significant portfolios.
The other changes look sensible, if unexciting. McClay gains the most and if he does well, could even eventually end up as Foreign Minister one day.
A difficult but smart call by David Seymour to turn down a ministerial portfolio. I’ve blogged several times that too often a mainor party leader becomes a minister and then all their energy goes into their ministerial portfolios, rather than leading their party and promoting the party values. I told a couple of minor party leaders previously that if they won, they should make their deputy a minister and keep themselves fresh for the leadership.
As Seymour is a sole MP, I imagine at some stage he will accept a ministerial position, as you can impact policy better there. But a good call to wait probably another year to do so.
Tim Groser will be missed, but having concluded the TPP is a good swansong to go out on, and the hard work may be getting it through the US Congress, so as Ambassador he’ll still be fighting the good fight.
Also pleased to see Maureen Pugh make it in – she was provisionally an MP on election night, and will be a good representative from the West Coast.