Prime Minister John Key announced his new Cabinet this morning. The line-up is pretty predictable, but some of the portfolio allocations and rankings are interesting:
- The big winners are Steven Joyce and Hekia Parata, moving up 10 and 13 places respectively in the Cabinet ranking. Parata replaces Anne Tolley as Minister of Education.
- Paula Bennett’s reward for losing the Waitakere electorate is a promotion of 7 places. She keeps her role as Minister of Beneficiary Bashing.
- Tolley drops 5 places in the ranking and is given Police and Corrections as a reward for her sterling efforts in Education.
- We have a new Colossus of Roads, with Gerry Brownlee taking over from Joyce as Minister of Transport.
- Phil Heatley takes over from Brownlee as Minister for Drilling and Digging.
- Environment Minister Nick Smith drops 4 places and Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson languishes at a lowly No. 17 in the rankings. I guess that reflects the importance with which National views those portfolios.
- Judith Collins gets the job of handing ACC claimants over to be crushed by private insurers.
Update: Jan Logie has just pointed out that another feature is Women’s Affairs being allocated to a Minister outside Cabinet. Again a reflection of the importance with which National views that portfolio. Disability Issues is outside Cabinet too.