Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Our New Cabinet

The new cabinet portfolios are being announced.

Michael Cullen: Continues as Minister of Finance and Leader of the House. He loses his post as Attorney-General and becomes the Minister for Tertiary Education.

Jim Anderton: loses Economic Development and picks up Agriculture, Biosecurity, Forestry and Fisheries. I feel he's being put out to pasture. His other responsibilities are Associate Porfolios for Tertiary Education and Health as well as responsibility for the Public Trust.

Steve Maharey: Picks up Education and the Education Review Office. He retains Broadcasting and Science.

Phil Goff: Picks up Trade, Pacific Island Affairs, Disarmament and Defence. Helen's still determined to keep him out of sight as Mark Burton wasn't very visible in the Defence Portfolio. Hopefully he won't defend the country by disarming our armed forces and shaking hands with the likes of Yassir Arafat. The appointment of the PI Portfolio will come as a relief to those islands as it keeps them out of Winston's way. He will also pick up Trade Negotiations when Jim Sutton retires and has an Associate in Finance. I suspect Michael Cullen will be wary of him as a possible replacement for the Finance Portfolio.

Annette King: loses Health and picks up Police. It'll be a breeze for Annette after Health and the Police will finally have a Minister who can tell her arse from her elbow. My only worry is that she might instill the Police with the ethos of the murder-house. She also becomes Minister of Food Safety, State Services and Race Relations as well as an Associate in Defence and Trade! Why do the Defence and Trade Portfolios require an Associate? Doesn't Helen trust Phil?

Trevor Mallard: Becomes Minister of Economic Development, Industry and Regional Development, and State Owned Enterprises as well as continuing as Minister for Sport and Recreation and an Associate in Finance. This smells like a demotion to me. Jim Anderton was hardly challenged in Economic Development and so I assume Trevor has lost credibility with Helen as a fixer.

Pete Hodgson: Becomes Minister of Health and retains Land Information. He's going to become unpopular given that Michael Cullen has already said that we can't keep throwing money at Health.

Parekura Horomia: Keeps his job as Maori Affairs Minister as well as his Associates in Fisheries, Social Development, Education and State Services. Helen couldn't get rid of him even if she wanted to without any viable successor.

Mark Burton: becomes Minister of Justice, Local Government and the Law Commission. He also continues in charge of Treaty Negotiations and Deputy Leader of the House.

Ruth Dyson: becomes Minister of Labour and continues with her other portfolios of ACC, Senior Citizens, Disability Issues and CYF.

Chris Carter: Picks up Housing and continues as Minister for Conservation and Ethnic Affairs.

Rick Barker: picks up a number of Portfolios. He is now Minister for Internal Affairs, Civil Defence and Veteran's Affairs and continues his old role as Minister for the Courts.

David Benson-Pope: Picks up Social Development and Environment. Since he has been leapfrogged by Rick Barker and has not returned to Education, the Tennis Ball of Damocles still hangs over him.

Lianne Dalziel: becomes Minister of Commerce, Women's Affairs and Small Business. I'm surprised by the lack of serious portfolios as she used to be a heavyweight once.

Damien O'Connor: becomes Minister of Corrections and Tourism, and continues as Rural Affairs Minister and Associate Minister in Health.

David Cunliffe: takes over the Immigration portfolio and picks up an associate in Economic Development. He continues as Minister for Communications and Information Tech.

David Parker: becomes Attorney-General and also picks up Energy, Climate Change and Transport. I can only presume that Russell Fairbrother who was Cullen's PPS to help him with legal matters last term didn't do a very good job. There is a odd footnote that he has responsibility for the Serious Fraud Office. Is there some reason why Mark Burton won't handle this?

Nanaia Mahuta: becomes Minister of Customs and Youth Affairs. She avoids being Minister for Family Affairs but also has an associate in Environment and Local Government. The Maori Labour Caucus is reportedly spitting tacks that she got promoted despite her opposition to the Seabed and Foreshore issue.

Clayton Cosgrove: is now Minister for Building Issues and Statistics. Helen still hasn't forgiven him. But he has associates in Finance, Immigration and Justice, which could prove the foundations of a bigger role in a post-Clark cabinet.

Jim Sutton: continues as Trade Negotiations until Christmas.