Judith Collins has stamped her authority on the caucus in less than 24 hours after her elevation by stripping the Health portfolio from MP Michael Woodhouse as a mark of her displeasure for the manner in which the private details of Covid-patients were handled.
Mr Woodhouse, has however, been retained in the new frontline bench with two new additional portfolios of Regional Economic Development and Pike River re-entry, after the first caucus-reshuffle.
The other major reshuffle included the return of former Leader Simon Bridges in front benches at number four behind deputy Leader Gerry Brownlee and Finance Spokesperson Paul Goldsmith. He will retain the Foreign Affairs portfolio that he had asked from the previous Leader Todd Muller after being rolled over by him in May earlier this year, along with getting the new Justice portfolio in now reshuffled caucus.
Dr Shane Retti, who has been at the centre of attraction throughout the major part of the 53 day tenure of the previous Leader Todd Muller for being the – face of the diversity – (read Maori representation) has been elevated to number five in the list along with getting the full-fledged Health portfolio.
MPs Chris Bishop & Nicola Willis, who were believed to have played a major role in the former Leader Todd Muller’s successful rolling over of then Leader Simon Bridges have made entry into the coveted frontbenches within Judith Collin’s caucus.
Chris Bishop, the MP from Lower Hutt has been elevated to number eight and getting additional responsibility of shadow Leader of the House along with retaining the Infrastructure and Transport portfolios.
Nicola Willis has not only been elevated to number thirteen but also handed in the portfolios of Education and Early Childhood Education that were previously held by the now retiring former deputy Leader Nikki Kaye.
The position of the two Kiwi-Indian MPs Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and Dr Parmjeet Parmar has been left largely unchanged, with the former getting an additional portfolio of Associate spokesperson for Justice, apart from retaining the role of Spokesperson for Ethnic Communities.
Dr Parmar, has retained her portfolios of Research, Science and Innovation, Statistics.
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