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Changes to National Party Spokesperson Allocations

Home Insights Changes to National Party Spokesperson Allocations

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Published on: November 17, 2020


Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins last week announced her new Shadow Cabinet to hold the Government to account. A summary of the new spokesperson allocations is set out below, and you can view a table here detailing the full new line-up, including all changes from the team Collins took into the election. In terms of caucus rankings, the three biggest jumps go to Maureen Pugh, Andrew Bayly, and Chris Penk, who move up 18, 14 and 13 spots respectively. The three largest falls go to Gerry Brownlee, Todd Muller and Paul Goldsmith, who drop 13, 11 and 9 spots respectively. Chris Bishop and Nicola Willis, widely viewed as highly capable and representing the liberal wing of the National Party, have dropped albeit only slightly (both remain in the top twenty).  

Key details relating to the new Shadow Cabinet

  • Dr Shane Reti is the new Deputy Leader of the Opposition, and picks up the Children portfolio in addition to Health. 

  • The former Deputy, Hon Gerry Brownlee, did not seek re-appointment. He has dropped from number 2 to number 15 in the rankings and lost Covid-19 Border Response, but picks up Foreign Affairs and Associate Finance.

  • Collins has given herself the Pacific Peoples and Technology, Manufacturing & Artificial Intelligence portfolios, signalling these as key areas of focus for the coming parliamentary term.

  • The new Covid-19 Response portfolio goes to Chris Bishop, who loses both his previous portfolios of Infrastructure and Transport.

  • The Finance portfolio has been split in two (Finance and Treasurer), mirroring the approach taken in Australia. Hon Michael Woodhouse is the new Finance spokesperson, and will work closely with Shadow Treasurer Andrew Bayly. Bayly, formerly ranked at number 17, has moved up to number 3 in the caucus rankings.

  • Former Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith drops to number 12 and picks up Education.

  • Former National Party leaders Hon Simon Bridges and Todd Muller have both moved down in the caucus rankings, to 7 and 19 respectively. Bridges loses Foreign Affairs but picks up Water, Pike River Re-Entry and Māori-Crown Relations.

  • The new Chief Whip is Matt Doocey, who is supported by Maureen Pugh as Junior Whip.

  • Chris Penk replaces the outgoing Harete Hipango as Shadow Attorney-General.

  • Hon Jacqui Dean replaces the outgoing Hon Anne Tolley as Assistant Speaker.

  • New additions to the top 20 include:

    • Stuart Smith, who picks up Climate Change and loses Immigration

    • Simeon Brown, who picks up Police and SFO and loses Tertiary Education

  • ​All five new MPs pick up at least one portfolio and associate role. The new MPs are Nicola Grigg, Christopher Luxon, Joseph Mooney, Penny Simmonds and Simon Watts.

This article is intended only to provide a summary of the subject covered. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. No person should act in reliance on any statement contained in this publication without first obtaining specific professional advice. If you require any advice or further information on the subject matter of this newsletter, please contact the partner/solicitor in the firm who normally advises you, or alternatively contact one of the partners listed below.

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