Nick Smith is back, now that the final step in the
National-led Government's cabinet reshuffle is complete.
The new ministers were sworn in by the Governor-General this
A visibly moved Dr Smith returned to Cabinet as housing and
conservation minister at the ceremony at Government House.
He stepped down from the Environment and ACC portfolios last
year after he was found to have written a testimonial
supporting a friend's ACC claim.
Prime Minister John Key said Cabinet had missed Dr Smith's
intellect and "prodigious work-rate".
Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye was sworn in as minister for
food safety, civil defence and youth affairs.
Dunedin-based list MP and former chief whip Michael Woodhouse
was given responsibility for immigration and veterans'
Mr Key told them: "Very few things or events will bring so
much pride and joy and excitement to you as the day you
receive your first warrant.
"You've got here because you've demonstrated in your time in
Parliament that you have good judgement, that you're prepared
to work hard, and that you have the best interests of New
Zealanders at heart."
Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae acknowledged departing
ministers Kate Wilkinson - who held the Labour and
Conservation portfolios - and Phil Heatley, who held the
energy and resources and housing roles.
Tauranga MP Simon Bridges took on the energy and labour
Mr Key said: "The hard work begins at 3.01pm when we elect a
Former Minister for Primary Industries David Carter was
expected to be elected as Speaker this afternoon after the
departure of Lockwood Smith.
- Isaac Davison of the NZ Herald