Sunday, February 25, 2024

Ross joins front bench after National Party reshuffle

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National Party leader Simon Bridges has unveiled his team to take on the Ardern-Peters Government. Photo RNZ

Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross has been promoted to the National Party’s front bench following party leader Simon Bridges’ reshuffle.

Ross is one of five new faces on the party’s front bench of its top 10 MPs.

The reshuffle sees Judith Collins move up to be fourth-ranked MP and will take on Labour’s Phil Twyford in Housing and Urban Development.

Other new faces on the front bench are Todd McClay, who takes on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Tourism; Mark Mitchell, who assumes Justice and Defence; and senior party whip Ross, who gets Infrastructure and Transport.

Paul Goldsmith will get a chance to change that – he is ranked at 9 and will take on the massive Economic Development and Regional Development areas, going head to head against NZ First’s Shane Jones and Economic Development Minister David Parker.

Nikki Kaye is at 10 and will keep the education portfolio. The top 10 is completed by current front benchers Jonathan Coleman, who keeps health, Bridges, deputy Paula Bennett and finance spokeswoman Amy Adams. Bennett has Social Investment, Tertiary Education and Women.

New Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown gets the Associate Education portfolio while Hunua MP Andrew Bayly takes on Building and Construction and the Associate Finance portfolio.

The National Party Leader today unveiled his new caucus line-up, saying it reflects his intention to make the most of the party’s considerable experience as well as new talent – and to recognise hard work, new ideas and success.

“The National Party caucus is brimming with energy and enthusiasm and a willingness to work in the best interests of New Zealand. This new line-up reflects that.

“It is a strong mix of former Ministers and senior MPs alongside emerging ones who have proven to me they have what it takes to hold this Ardern-Peters Government to account, to listen to New Zealanders and to develop new policies for the 2020s.

“This means the energy of all 56 of our MPs – Parliament’s strongest and most diverse caucus – is focused on the role of Opposition, ensuring every MP has a chance to directly contribute to taking on the Government and driving innovation and policies in the best interests of New Zealand.

“The team I have announced today also reflects the strength and talents of the women in our caucus, with three in the top five positions, and eight in the top 20. And they are there on merit.

“Unlike our opponents who believe in quotas and catering to special and competing interests, the National Party believes in rewarding hard work and success – in Parliament and out of it.

“That’s how New Zealand will continue to get ahead – through being focused and ambitious, innovative and smart.

“National believes in a New Zealand that is confident, outward and forward looking, and backs itself to succeed on the world stage.

“This team of MPs is an alternative Government in waiting. It will effectively hold this weak Coalition Government to account and ensure the National Party earns the trust of New Zealanders and the right to govern in their interests in 2020.”

National Party Spokesperson Allocations

  • Simon Bridges Leader National Security and Intelligence
  • Paula Bennett Deputy Leader Social Investment and Social Services Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Women
  • Amy Adams Finance
  • Judith Collins Housing and Urban Development Planning (RMA Reform)
  • Todd McClay Foreign Affairs and Trade Tourism
  • Dr Jonathan Coleman Health Sport and Recreation
  • Mark Mitchell Justice Defence Disarmament
  • Jami-Lee Ross Infrastructure Transport
  • Paul Goldsmith Economic and Regional Development Revenue Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage
  • Nikki Kaye Education
  • Gerry Brownlee Shadow Leader of the House GCSB NZSIS America’s Cup
  • Nathan Guy Agriculture Biosecurity Food Safety
  • Michael Woodhouse Immigration Workplace Relations and Safety Deputy Shadow Leader of the House Hon Louise Upston Social Development
  • Alfred Ngaro Children Community and Voluntary Sector Pacific Peoples
  • Christopher Finlayson QC Shadow Attorney-General Crown-Maori Relations Pike River Re-entry
  • Scott Simpson Environment
  • Jacqui Dean Local Government Small Business
  • Melissa Lee Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Ethnic Communities
  • Sarah Dowie Conservation
  • Anne Tolley Deputy Speaker
  • David Carter State Owned Enterprises
  • David Bennett Corrections Land Information Associate Infrastructure
  • Jonathan Young Energy and Resources Regional Development (North Island)
  • Maggie Barry ONZM Seniors Veterans Associate Health
  • Dr Nick Smith State Services (including Open Government) Electoral Law Reform
  • Barbara Kuriger Nominee for Senior Whip
  • Matt Doocey Mental Health Nominee for Junior Whip
  • Simon O’Connor Customs Associate Housing (Social) Associate Social Development
  • Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi Internal Affairs Associate Justice
  • Tim Macindoe ACC Associate Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Brett Hudson Commerce and Consumer Affairs Government Digital Services Associate Transport
  • Stuart Smith Earthquake Commission Civil Defence Viticulture
  • Todd Muller Climate Change
  • Dr Jian Yang Statistics Associate Ethnic Communities
  • Dr Parmjeet Parmar Research, Science and Innovation Associate Economic Development
  • Nuk Korako Maori Development Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations
  • Chris Bishop Police Youth
  • Ian McKelvie Fisheries Racing
  • Nicky Wagner Arts, Culture and Heritage Greater Christchurch Regeneration
  • Andrew Bayly Building and Construction Associate Finance
  • Dr Shane Reti Data and Cybersecurity Disability Issues Associate Health
  • Alastair Scott Forestry Associate Finance Jo Hayes Whanau Ora Maori Education
  • Simeon Brown Associate Education
  • Andrew Falloon Regional Development (South Island)
  • Harete Hipango Maori Tourism
  • Matt King Rural Communities
  • Denise Lee Local Government (Auckland)
  • Chris Penk Courts
  • Erica Stanford Associate Environment
  • Tim Van de Molen Nominee for Third Whip
  • Hamish Walker Associate Agriculture
  • Lawrence Yule Horticulture
  • Maureen Pugh Associate Children
  • Nicola Willis Early Childhood Education

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