Gerry Brownlee becomes Foreign Minister

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Wellington, April 24, 2017
Gerry Brownlee has been appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, succeeding Murry McCully, who announced his retirement recently.

He also announced the appointment of Nikki Kaye as the Minister of Education, following the resignation of incumbent Hekia Parata.

Prime Minister Bill English made the announcement today along with a number of other Ministerial changes.

Mr English also announced the appointment of Nathan Guy as Minister of Civil Defence, Nikki Kaye as Minister of Education and Mark Mitchell as Minister of Defence.

The changes follow the resignations from Cabinet of Hekia Parata and Murray McCully.

Other Appointments

In other changes Simon Bridges has been appointed Leader of the House and Nicky Wagner has been made Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration.

Mr Mitchell has been promoted to Cabinet.

Tim Macindoe, a former chairman of the justice and electoral select committee and Nationals senior whip since the 2014 election, and Scott Simpson, Chairman of the local government and environment select committee have been appointed ministers outside cabinet.

Mr English issued the following statement:

This is a government focused on the future. Our careful stewardship of the Governments books over the past eight years has given us a rare opportunity to make a difference to peoples lives and we are going to take it. These changes illustrate the depth of talent within Nationals parliamentary ranks.

As Education Minister, Ms Parata has changed the conversation in our schools and driven sharp rises in achievement for all our students, particularly Mori and Pasifika.

As Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr McCully has improved existing relationships and developed new ones, all the while running a truly independent foreign policy for New Zealand.

Neither will be easily replaced but in Nikki Kaye and Gerry Brownlee, we have two very well qualified successors.

The same holds true for the Ministers who are picking up the roles relinquished by Mr Brownlee to take up the demanding foreign affairs position.

Mr English said he particularly wanted to pay tribute to Mr Brownlee for his untiring efforts to put Christchurch back on its feet after the 2011 earthquakes.

Having worked alongside him as associate minister for several years his successor, Ms Wagner, is ideally placed to replace him.

Housing Portfolios

I have also announced some changes to the housing portfolios.

Social Housing Minister Amy Adams will remain responsible for Housing New Zealand and all aspects of the governments supply of social and emergency housing. She will also take responsibility for the Crown land programme and have a closer involvement in the governments overall house building programme.

Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith will continue to oversee the various aspects of building regulation, including planning, minimum codes and building sector productivity issues.

The new ministers will be sworn in next Tuesday (May 2, 2017) and the new Cabinet will hold its first meeting on May 8.

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Photo Caption:

New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English

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