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Key Announces Cabinet Today

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
John Key
John Key

NZPA political reporters

Wellington, Nov 17 NZPA - Prime Minister-elect John Key will announce a 20-strong cabinet today and three other ministerial positions after he cut deals yesterday that secured a strong majority for his National government.

Through those agreements with ACT, the Maori Party and United Future, Mr Key has ensured he will have 70 confidence votes in the 122-member Parliament.

Mr Key yesterday handed out five ministerial positions outside cabinet to National's support partners and today will announce an all-National cabinet lineup.

Mr Key today said on TVNZ's Breakfast programme that his cabinet would have 20 members. In addition he will announce another three ministerial positions outside cabinet.

He said that would take the total size of the executive to 28, the same as the previous Labour-led government's after the 2005 election.

He said the cabinet would be "new look" and a good mix of experience and fresh talent.

Mr Key has already stated he will take the tourism portfolio, his deputy Bill English finance and Tony Ryall health.

Gerry Brownlee is expected to take the energy portfolio as well as organising the legislative programme as leader of the House.

Simon Power is expected to take justice, Nick Smith environment and climate change, Murray McCully foreign affairs, Tim Groser trade, Chris Finlayson treaty negotiations and Anne Tolley education.

Newcomer Steven Joyce is expected to be vaulted straight into cabinet, possibly in the new infrastructure minister role.

National's most senior MP Lockwood Smith has been tipped to pip list MP Richard Worth as Parliament's next speaker.

Yesterday's fast-moving series of announcements included the historic signing of the agreement with the Maori Party which would have been hard to imagine three years ago.

Mr Key scrapped National's policy to abolish the Maori electorate seats, saying it would be too divisive to do that without the agreement of Maori.

Under the deal a group will be formed to look at constitutional issues including Maori representation, there will be a review of the Foreshore and Seabed Act and Maori Party co-leaders Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia will be ministers outside Cabinet.

Dr Sharples will be Maori Affairs Minister and Mrs Turia will be in charge of the community and voluntary sector. They will both also associate portfolios.

ACT leader Rodney Hide takes local government and the new portfolio of regulatory reform, while his deputy Heather Roy picks up consumer affairs and associate education and defence roles.

United Future leader Peter Dunne retains the revenue and associate health ministerial roles he had under the Labour-led Government.

But in terms of policy all three support agreements are thin on detail with few immediate concessions.

There is little cost to the new government in dollar terms.

In most cases, where policy differs from National's there is agreement to set up a review, a taskforce or a committee to look at the issue.

Labour leader Phil Goff today welcomed the new government, but said Mr Key would have to manage "the diverse and conflicting views" of its support partners if the arrangement was to be stable.

The cabinet and the ministers outside it are due to be sworn in on Wednesday and Mr Key will fly out on Thursday to attend the Apec summit in Peru as New Zealand's new Prime Minister.

Parliament will be recalled on December 8 to sit for two weeks.

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