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Judith Collins line-up revealed, Todd Muller to take a break

Jul 16, 2020

New National leader Judith Collins has revealed her reshuffled caucus, promoting former leaders Simon Bridges and Todd Muller to the party's front bench.

The reshuffle was sparked by this week's leadership change and the resignations of senior MPs Nikki Kaye and Amy Adams.

Both Kaye and Adams were loyal Muller supporters, but Judith Collins said their resignations were not linked to her leadership.

"I'm really pleased that both Amy and Nikki are making decisions that they are happy with. I'm not so happy that they're leaving, but I understand it."

The deputy leadership role had taken a big toll on Kaye, Collins said.

"They have my eternal gratitude and respect for the way they have behaved, particularly over the last week, or even the last few days."

Adams was offered a "very senior position," she added.

Muller, who resigned as leader on Tuesday, has been handed the trade portfolio and will be ranked number 8.

He is going to have a few weeks away from Parliament, Collins said.

"He is feeling very, very happy with the trade portfolio and he is keen to come back, as soon as he is able, to part of our team at a senior level," Collins said.

Ranked at number four, Simon Bridges has picked up the justice portfolio and remains National's foreign affairs spokesperson.

"I have long been of the view that Simon should be justice and he has clearly always wanted foreign affairs, so he has got both.

"He's a very hard working MP and he's highly intelligent, and I'm absolutely certain he will play a powerful role in the incoming National-led government," Collins said.

He has taken the justice portfolio from Mark Mitchell, the only MP to challenge Collins for the leadership, who has tumbled down the rankings.

The party's transport and infrastructure spokesperson Chris Bishop has also been promoted to the front bench and is now the Shadow Leader of the House.

Nicola Willis has picked up Nikki Kaye's education portfolio and has been bumped up one spot in the rankings to 13.

Kaye was "absolutely adamant Willis was the right person for the job", which coincided with Collins' view, she said, adding Willis is an "an extraordinary person."

"She'll be excellent as a minister of education."

New leader Judith Collins outlined several changes in National's lineup at a media briefing in Wellington. Photo: RNZ / Ana Tovey

The party's deputy leader Gerry Brownlee will take on the Covid-19 border response portfolio.

Collins has placed the party's agriculture spokesperson David Bennett at number 11.

"By putting agriculture on the front bench we are making it very clear to the rural and provincial New Zealand that we understand the importance of agriculture to our economy and to our country as a whole," Collins said.

Collins spoke to every MP last night, before announcing the reshuffle this morning and said she enjoyed the process of forming a shadow cabinet more than she expected.

"This is a winning team. My hardest issue with this was, who didn't get into the shadow cabinet... at least I don't have the problem Jacinda Ardern's got."

Collins said she will be making a major announcement tomorrow.

National Party spokespersons Judith Collins - National Security Gerry Brownlee - NZSIS, GCSB, Covid-19 Border Response Paul Goldsmith - Finance, Earthquake Commission Simon Bridges - Foreign Affairs, Justice Dr Shane Reti - Health Todd McClay - Economic Development, Tourism Chris Bishop - Infrastructure, Transport, Shadow Leader of the House Todd Muller - Trade Louise Upston - Social Development, Social Investment Scott Simpson - Environment, Climate Change, Planning (RMA reform) David Bennett - Agriculture Michael Woodhouse - Regional Economic Development, Pike River re-entry, Deputy Shadow Leader of the House Chris Penk - Courts, Veterans Erica Stanford - Internal Affairs, Associate Environment, Associate Conservation Tim van de Molen - Third Whip, Building and Construction Maureen Pugh - Consumer Affairs, Regional Development (South Island), West Coast Issues Dan Bidois - Workplace Relations and Safety Agnes Loheni - Associate Small Business, Associate Pacific Peoples Paulo Garcia - Associate Justice Lawrence Yule - Local Government Denise Lee - Local Government (Auckland) Parmjeet Parmar - Research, Science and Innovation, Statistics Brett Hudson - Police, Government Digital Services Simeon Brown - Corrections, Tertiary Education, Youth, Associate Education, Associate Drug Reform Ian McKelvie - Racing, Fisheries, Forestry Jo Hayes - Whānau Ora, Māori Development Andrew Falloon - Biosecurity, Associate Agriculture, Associate Economic Development, Associate Transport Matt King - Regional Development (North Island), Associate Transport Tim MacIndoe - ACC, Skills and Employment, Seniors, Civil Defence Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi - Ethnic Communities, Associate Justice Matt Doocey - Junior Whip, Mental Health Alfred Ngaro - Pacific Peoples, Community and Voluntary, Children and Disability Issues Stuart Smith - Immigration, Viticulture Simon O'Connor - Customs, Associate Social Development, Associate Housing and Urban Development (Social Housing) Barbara Kuriger - Senior Whip, Food Safety, Rural Communities, Women Harete Hipango - Shadow Attorney-General, Crown-Maori Relations and Treaty Negotiations, Māori Tourism Jonathan Young - Energy & Resources, Arts Culture and Heritage Nicola Willis - Education, Early Childhood Education Jacqui Dean - Housing and Urban Development, Conservation Mark Mitchell - Defence & Disarmament, Sport & Recreation Melissa Lee - Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Data and Cyber-security Andrew Bayly - Revenue, Commerce, State-Owned Enterprises, Associate Finance, Small Business and Manufacturing Dr Nick Smith - State Services, Electoral Law Reform, Drug Reform

Photo: RNZ / Ana Tovey

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