Surprises in Ardern cabinet reveal

Clare Curran and David Clark. Photo: ODT
Clare Curran and David Clark. Photo: ODT
Incoming prime minister Jacinda Ardern pulled out some surprises when she named her first cabinet this morning, particularly around the splitting of primary industries out into their original categories.

There will be ministers of fisheries, forestry and agriculture instead of one minister overseeing them all.

Dunedin North MP David Clark will have the prime responsibility for overseeing the rebuild of Dunedin Hospital after being named as minister of health.

Dr Clark campaigned on rebuilding the hospital without a public private partnership, meaning the $1.4 billion hospital will be paid for from government capital expenditure.

Labour and New Zealand First both supported the idea of the hospital being built and Labour promised work will start in the first term of Parliament.

The work may be as simple as finding a site in the central city.

Importantly for the families of Pike River Mine victims, former Engineering, Printers and Manufacturing Union secretary Andrew Little has been made the minister responsible for Pike River.

Labour and New Zealand First were both adamant during the election campaign the mine, where 29 men lost their lives, would be re-entered.

Mr Little, who will also become minister of justice, will be regarded as an ideal person to oversee the project.

Dunedin South MP Clare Curran will become Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media.

She has made it clear Radio NZ has been underfunded and she will be lobbying for more money.

She will come in direct conflict with former National Party adviser and RNZ chairman Richard Griffin who has overseen a reduction in staff but a revamp of the services offered by the state broadcaster.

The cabinet will be sworn in tomorrow.


Jacinda Ardern: PM, Arts Culture and Heritage, National Security and Intelligence, Child Poverty Reduction

Winston Peters: Deputy PM, Foreign Affairs, State Owned Enterprises, Racing

Kelvin Davis: Crown/Maori relations, Corrections, Tourism, associate education (Maori education)

Grant Robertson: Finance, Sport and Recreation, Associate Arts and Culture

David Clark: Health, Associate Finance

Clare Curran: Broadcasting, Communications, and Digital Media, Government Digital Services, Associate ACC, Associate State Services (Open Government)

Phil Twyford: Housing and Urban Development, Transport

Megan Woods: Energy and Resources, Earthquake Commission, Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Research Science and Innovation

Chris Hipkins: Education, State Services, Ministerial Services, leader of the house

Andrew Little: Justice, Courts, GCSB/NZSIS, Pike River re-entry, Treaty negotiations

Carmel Sepuloni: Social Development, Disability Issues, Associate Arts and Culture and Heritage, Associate Pacific Peoples

David Parker: Attorney-General, Economic Development,  Environment, Trade and Export Growth, Associate Finance

Nanaia Mahuta: Maori Development, Local Government, Associate Environment

Stuart Nash: Police, Fisheries, Revenue, Small Business

Iain Lees-Galloway: Workplace Relations and Safety, Immigration, ACC, Deputy leader of the House

Ron Mark (NZF): Defence, Veterans

Tracey Martin (NZF): Internal Affairs, Children, Seniors, Associate Education

Shane Jones (NZF): Forestry, Infrastructure, Regional Economic Development, Associate Finance, Associate Transport

Jenny Salesa: Building and Construction, Ethnic Communities, Associate Education, Associate Health, Associate Housing and Urban Development

Damien O'Connor: Agriculture, Biosecurity, Food Safety, Rural Communities, Associate Trade and Export Growth


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