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Few surprises in sector’s Cabinet appointments

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It’s mainly business as usual for the primary sector following the announcement of the Labour government’s new Cabinet positions.
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Kiri Allan | November 04, 2020 from GlobalHQ on Vimeo.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor retains the job, while picking up Trade and Export Growth, taking that role from David Parker. In the previous government O’Connor was Associate Minister (later Minister of State) for Trade and Export Growth, so he should be well-placed for the step up.

O’Connor also retains responsibility for Biosecurity, Rural Communities and Land Information.

Parker keeps his position as Minister for the Environment, which is likely to be time-consuming this term with reform of the Resource Management Act already signalled.

He picks up Oceans and Fisheries – essentially Fisheries renamed – which was with Stuart Nash last term.

Nash instead picks up Forestry and Economic and Regional Development.

Foreign Affairs, which had been tipped as a choice between Parker and Andrew Little, instead goes to Nania Mahuta, the first woman appointed to the role.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says Mahuta will bring the experience she built when holding an Associate Trade and Export Growth portfolio last term.

Kris Faafoi keeps his Immigration role, so groups trying to get overseas workers into the country as soon as possible will hope his understanding of the portfolio will help expedite that process.

Other appointments that will have a bearing on the primary sector include Meka Whitiri picking up Associate Agriculture, with responsibility for animal welfare; first-term MP Kiri Allan being the new Minister of Conservation, along with the associate minister for the Environment portfolio; while Megan Woods retains Research, Science and Innovation.

Former Minister of Transport Phil Twyford is now outside Cabinet, although he picks up the roles of Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth, Associate Minister for the Environment and Associate Minister of Immigration.

Also outside the Cabinet, Green Party leader James Shaw will keep his Minister for Climate Change position.

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