Steven Joyce first became prominent when he helped pick up the pieces after National’s 2002 disaster but was not embroiled in any of the infighting that followed. Many, including me, doubted the wisdom of his appointment to Cabinet before he had even been sworn in as an MP, but Mr Joyce has met Mr Key’s expectations and exceeded those of everyone else.
In Mr Joyce, Mr Key has entrusted his personal priorities of sorting out New Zealand’s shocking transport and IT&T infrastructure, and he is deeply involved in decisions about Auckland governance.
Associate to Bill English in Finance and Infrastructure, it is to Mr Joyce that the prime minister will turn when the government hits a major crisis.
Key and Joyce have a number of similiarities – in that they both have 20 years or more of commercial experience, and both very sucessful when in business.