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06 October 2014
National Security and Intelligence role created

Prime Minister John Key today announced the creation of a new role of Minister for National Security and Intelligence as part of wider changes to the way the security and intelligence area is governed.

“The security and intelligence sector has been undergoing significant change at agency and operational level,” Mr Key says.

“It makes sense for us to also take a fresh look at how the governance of the sector is structured.

“The Ministerial changes I am announcing today will make our structure very similar to that seen in Australia and Great Britain, and further strengthen the governance of what is an absolutely crucial sector for New Zealand.

“As Prime Minister I will take on the new role of Minister for National Security and Intelligence. In this role I will be responsible for leading the national security system – including policy settings and the legislative framework,” Mr Key says.

The roles of Minister Responsible for the GCSB and Minister in Charge of the NZ Security Intelligence Service will be filled by Christopher Finlayson, who is also Attorney-General in the new Cabinet.

“The arrangements mean I will lead the national security sector and set the overall framework it operates within,” Mr Key says.

“I will continue to have regular briefings from the sector’s Chief Executives about the security environment and developments both domestically and internationally.

“The Responsible Minister will operate within the framework I set and exercise ministerial oversight of the NZSIS and GCSB, including approval of warrants.

“Officials have examined models used overseas and what we are adopting is very similar to what is seen with our closest partners.

“Amy Adams will be appointed as Acting Attorney-General to exercise statutory functions where there is a specific role for the Attorney-General under New Zealand’s security and intelligence legislation.

“For example, Ms Adams will have responsibility for appointing reviewers to conduct the periodic review of the intelligence agencies, the legislation governing them and their oversight legislation,” Mr Key says.

The Ministerial changes are part of an ongoing programme of change within the sector, including the strengthened oversight of the agencies and the restructuring of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s intelligence coordination role.

“In addition to this it is my intention to create a new National Security Committee of Cabinet, which I will chair as Prime Minister, and with oversight of the intelligence and security sector,” Mr Key says.

The committee is likely to be made up of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister responsible for the intelligence agencies, the Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministers and Amy Adams. Other Ministers would be invited to attend as appropriate.

“Our national security system is well-placed to deal with events and threats in the ever-changing environment we see,” Mr Key says.

“The changes I’m announcing today will further strengthen our structure and ensure we have a clear and practical set-up into the future.”

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06 October 2014
New National-led Administration announced

Prime Minister John Key today announced the National-led Government’s new Ministry as it prepares to begin its third term in office.

“There is a lot of work ahead to continue implementing our plans to build a stronger economy, reduce debt and create more jobs,” Mr Key says.

“The new Ministry builds on the experience of the past two terms in office, and combines experience with some fresh talent.

“A number of Ministers have had significant portfolio changes, reflecting the need to give Ministers new challenges as well as providing a fresh set of eyes in some portfolio areas.”

Mr Key says a number of Ministers have been promoted either to the front bench, or further up the front bench, to reflect their strong performance in recent years and their promise for the future.

“Paula Bennett has been promoted to number five in the rankings, and picks up State Services, Social Housing and Associate Finance in addition to retaining her Local Government portfolio.

“Dr Jonathan Coleman becomes Minister of Health, and also picks up the Sport and Recreation portfolio, which will link nicely together.

“Amy Adams and Simon Bridges are promoted to the front bench, both with significant new responsibilities. Ms Adams becomes Justice Minister and Mr Bridges Transport Minister.

“Christopher Finlayson remains Treaty Negotiations Minister and Attorney-General, while picking up significant new responsibilities in the intelligence area. He becomes Minister in Charge of the NZ Security Intelligence Service and Minister Responsible for the GCSB, working closely with me in my new role as Minister for National Security and Intelligence.

“In this role I will continue to be responsible for leading the national security system, including policy settings and the legislative framework. Mr Finlayson will operate within the framework I set and exercise ministerial oversight of the NZSIS and GCSB, including approval of warrants.

“Officials have examined models used overseas and what we are adopting is very similar to what is seen with our closest partners.

“Housing continues to be a key area of focus for the Government, and a Ministerial team of Bill English, Paula Bennett and Nick Smith has been assembled to lead that work. Mr English will have direct responsibility for Housing New Zealand; Ms Bennett will focus on social housing, while Dr Smith will work on housing affordability and construction issues. The Social Housing portfolio will have responsibility for the government’s social housing functions, and for its relationship with the social housing sector.

Other changes include:

  • Gerry Brownlee becomes Minister of Defence, while retaining the role of Leader of the House and his Canterbury Earthquake Recovery and EQC portfolios.
  • Anne Tolley becomes Minister for Social Development.
  • Dr Nick Smith becomes Minister for the Environment.
  • Nikki Kaye becomes Minister for ACC.
  • Michael Woodhouse becomes Minister of Police. He also becomes Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety – a new portfolio title to reflect the modern focus of what had previously been the Labour portfolio.
  • Jo Goodhew becomes Minister for Food Safety.

Mr Key says, in announcing his new line up, three new Ministers will be appointed. Maggie Barry is to go straight into Cabinet as Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Minister of Conservation and Minister for Senior Citizens. Louise Upston and Paul Goldsmith will be Ministers outside Cabinet holding a variety of portfolios.

“Two ministers previously outside Cabinet have been promoted to Cabinet. Todd McClay will be Minister of Revenue and Minister for State Owned Enterprises, while Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga will be Minister of Corrections, Minister for Ethnic Communities and Minister for Pacific Peoples.

“Craig Foss remains a Minister, but will now serve outside Cabinet as Minister for Small Business, Minister of Statistics and Minister of Veteran’s Affairs.

“Chester Borrows will not be appointed to the new Ministry. He will, however, be National’s nominee for Deputy Speaker, and I want to thank Chester for his service as a Minister,” Mr Key says.

A number of Ministers continue largely in their current portfolio responsibilities. These include Steven Joyce in Economic Development, Hekia Parata in Education, Murray McCully in Foreign Affairs, Nathan Guy in Primary Industries, Tim Groser in Trade and Climate Change, and Nicky Wagner in Customs.

“The support party Ministerial and Under Secretary roles have already been announced, but I want to acknowledge again their contribution to the formation of a strong, stable National-led Government.”

Mr Key says the National Caucus will meet tomorrow (Tuesday 7 October) to elect its three whips for the coming parliamentary term.

The new Ministry will be sworn in at Government House in Wellington at 11am on Wednesday morning.

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05 October 2014
National-Maori Party agreement announced

National Party Leader John Key today announced the Relationship Accord and confidence and supply agreement with the Maori Party co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Tariana Turia.

“I welcome this agreement with the Maori Party,” says Mr Key.

“I look forward to working with Maori Party Co-Leader Te Ururoa Flavell and building on the successful relationship the National Party and the Maori Party have shared over the past six years.

“The agreement gives the National-led Government confidence and supply support throughout this term.

“Mr Flavell will be appointed Minister for Maori Development, Minister for Whanau Ora, and Associate Minister for Economic Development.

“In addition, National has agreed to work with the Maori Party on a range of priority policy areas including Whanau Ora, the Ministerial Committee on Poverty, and Maori economic and regional development. These are outlined in the confidence and supply agreement.

“I look forward to working with the Maori Party over the next three years,’’ says Mr Key.

“The Maori Party has brought an important dimension to this Government over the past six years. It is one of the reasons why we have a positive and forward-looking relationship between iwi and the Crown. I have no doubt that New Zealand is a better country because of it.”

2014 Relationship Agreement - Maori Party

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29 September 2014
National-ACT Party agreement announced

National Party Leader John Key today announced the confidence and supply agreement negotiated with the ACT Party.

“I welcome this agreement with the ACT Party,” says Mr Key.  

“National and ACT have worked together constructively over the past six years to provide stable government and to implement policies to promote a strong economy. I look forward to that relationship continuing and working with new ACT MP, David Seymour.

“The agreement gives the National-led Government confidence and supply support throughout this term.

“It provides for Mr Seymour to be appointed to the positions of Parliamentary Under Secretary to the Minister of Education and Parliamentary Under Secretary to the Minister for Regulatory Reform.

“Mr Seymour will also be a member of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee and a member of the Cabinet Appointments and Honours Committee.

“In addition, National has agreed to work with ACT on a range of priority policy areas.  These are outlined in the confidence and supply agreement.

“I look forward to a constructive relationship with Mr Seymour and the ACT Party in this term of government,” says Mr Key.

2014 Confidence and Supply Agreement - ACT

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29 September 2014
National-United Future agreement announced

National Party Leader John Key today announced a third consecutive confidence and supply agreement has been negotiated with the United Future Party.

“I am pleased that National has again been able to achieve an agreement with United Future Leader Peter Dunne,” says Mr Key.

“We have had a constructive working relationship with United Future over the past six years that has provided strong and stable government, and I welcome this new agreement.

“The agreement gives the new National-led Government confidence and supply support throughout this term.

The agreement provides Mr Dunne will be appointed Minister of Internal Affairs, Associate Minister of Health and Associate Minister of Conservation.  He will be a Minister outside Cabinet.

“National has also agreed to work with United Future on policies identified by United Future, and outlined in the confidence and supply agreement.

”I look forward to continuing to build on the constructive relationship National and United Future have established,” says Mr Key.

2014 Confidence and Supply Agreement - United Future