The science sector has a new Minister after the Cabinet reshuffle announced today.
But this was not highlighted in the Prime Minister’s press statement, which perhaps is a measure of where research and science rank in the Government’s priorities.
Jacinda Ardern explained that she has made changes to her Cabinet line-up following the decision of senior Minister Kris Faafoi to resign from Parliament and Speaker Trevor Mallard’s nomination to a European diplomatic posting.
The changes will take effect following a ceremony at Government House tomorrow afternoon.
The press statement featured these points:
- Kris Faafoi resigns from Parliament. Kiri Allan promoted to Justice Minister, Michael Wood picks up Immigration
- Speaker Trevor Mallard to end 35 year parliamentary career in mid-August as he prepares to take up a diplomatic post in Europe. Adrian Rurawhe to be nominated as Speaker
- Priyanca Radhakrishnan moves into Cabinet and gains Associate Workplace Relations and Safety
- Kieran McAnulty becomes a Minister outside of Cabinet with a focus on regional issues – picking up Emergency Management and Racing. Duncan Webb to take over as Chief Whip
- Chris Hipkins takes over Police and passes COVID-19 Response to Ayesha Verrall
Much further down in the statement, the PM says:
“Dr Ayesha Verrall has played a critical role in our ongoing COVID-19 management this term. Having moved from the emergency to the ongoing response now is the right time for her to pick up the COVID-19 Response portfolio. She also picks up Research, Science and Innovation.”
The statement makes no mention of Megan Woods losing – or surrendering – the science portfolio to concentrate on housing responsibilities.
Source: Prime Minister’s Office