Ohariu MP Peter Dunne is back in Cabinet. The Prime Minister announced today that Mr Dunne – the leader of the United Future Party – is to be Minister of Internal Affairs and associate Minister of Health and Conservation.
“I am very much looking to returning to the Internal Affairs portfolio (which I last held 18 years ago) and to picking up the threads again of my roles in the Health and Conservation portfolios,” said Mr Dunne.
“Internal Affairs covers a range of diverse responsibilities, including working with the Government Chief Information Officer in the modernisation and upgrading of the Government’s IT services, and in particular ensuring proper protection for privacy and security of personal information,” he says.
Mr Dunne says UnitedFuture has worked well with the National-led government since 2008 to provide stable government, as it did with the Labour-led administration between 2002 and 2008, and he is pleased the Prime Minister has acknowledged that in statements today.
The Prime Minister said that Mr Dunne will be a Minister outside Cabinet as he was prior to his resignation in June last year.
“I am pleased to welcome Peter Dunne back as a Minister,” said Mr Key. “We have worked together well in the past, and United Future continues to be a valued partner in government. While 2013 brought its challenges, both Peter and I start this election year looking forward, not back.”
Internal Affairs and Local Government Minister Chris Tremain, who has announced his intention to retire from Parliament at the upcoming general election, will be resigning from the Ministry. Michael Woodhouse will be promoted to the vacancy in Cabinet, and will retain all his current responsibilities.
Paula Bennett picks up the role of Minister of Local Government, in addition to her current portfolio responsibilities.
The new Minister outside Cabinet will be Peseta Sam Lotu-liga, who will be appointed Minister of Pacific Island Affairs and Associate Minister of Local Government. Mr Lotu-liga is the MP for Maungakiekie and was first elected to Parliament 2008.
In other changes, Todd McClay will take up the role of Associate Tourism.
The Governor-General will swear in the new Ministers on Tuesday 28 January, prior to Parliament getting underway for the new year.