Okay now we have the details, let’s go through and see how sensible the changes are:
1. Michael Cullen will become Attorney-General in February
They have no lawyers left who are not political novices, disgraced liars, or being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office, so Cullen gets the job as he gets on even worse with the Chief Justice than anyone else.
2. Jim Anderton adds the Forestry portfolio to his responsibilities
Means little, just will allow Jim to bleat on about development but not actually do anything like reverse the Government policy on confiscating Kyoto carbon credits from firest owners.
3. Steve Maharey becomes Minister for Research, Science and Technology, Minister for Crown Research Institutes, and Minister for Youth Affairs. He drops his responsibilities as an associate education minister.
A big dissapointment for Maharey who must have been hoping for a change such as picking up all of Education. he has lost the major portfolio of tertiary education and picked up three which are very lightweight.
4. Jim Sutton relinquishes the portfolios of Forestry and Rural Affairs
Sutton has been overseas a lot with Trade, so losing a couple of small portfolios.
5. Trevor Mallard is the Vote Minister for Education, with direct responsibility for tertiary, international and early childhood education. He also becomes Minister of Energy
Mallard keeps overall education but has been sent in to fix tertiary especially after Maharey has made such a mess of it with scams appearing every week. Also keeps him away from terrorising school children and parents so much. Pretty sensible.
6. Pete Hodgson becomes Minister of Commerce, Minister for Land Information and Minister of Statistics. plus Associate Minister of Health.
Nothing controversial for a non controversial Minister.
7. Mark Burton becomes the Minister in Charge of Treaty Negotiations in February, and is an associate in the meantime
I am very surprised they did not give this to Cullen. Time will tell.
8. Paul Swain takes over the State Owned Enterprises portfolio from Mark Burton
9. Marian Hobbs relinquishes her responsibilities in education and takes on the associate justice. She also becomes the Minister responsible for the Law Commission
Helen must be kidding. Marian in charge of the *Law* Commission? They really are running out of lawyers.
10. Ruth Dyson relinquishes her Associate Health responsibilities
Bit strange as she had an interest in that area.
11. Chris Carter becomes the Minister of Building Issues
12. Rick Barker becomes the Minister for Small Business
They couldn’t find anyone who had ever actually run one since Tamihere left so they have given it to an ex unionist. Oh joy.
13. David Benson-Pope becomes the Minister responsible for the Education Review Office, an Associate Minister of Education, with responsibility for the compulsory sector and special education.
Hmmn this is a major promotion. He has picked up much of Education. The long standing rumour that Helen sees him as her sucessor may be coming true!
14. Damien O