Monday, February 26, 2024

McClay and eight others to look after primary sector

Neal Wallace
Cabinet list includes nine ministers with responsibility for ag and related matters.
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Todd McClay, the National Party’s Rotorua MP, will hold the portfolios of agriculture and trade, among others, in the new three-party government announced on Friday.

The primary sector and related interests will have no fewer than nine cabinet ministers, associate ministers or ministers outside cabinet look after its affairs.

National Party cabinet ministers include McClay for agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing and trade; and Tama Potaka for conservation.

From NZ First, Mark Patterson is one of three associate agriculture ministers and also has rural communities. Shane Jones has regional development.

ACT’s Andrew Hoggard has biosecurity and food safety and is an associate minister for agriculture, with responsibility for animal welfare and skills, and associate environment. Nicole McKee is associate justice minister with responsibility for firearms.

National Party ministers outside cabinet are Simon Watts, climate change; Penny Simmonds, environment; Chris Penk, land information; and Nicole Grigg is also an associate agriculture minister with responsibility for horticulture.

As expected, Christopher Luxon is prime minister with Winston Peters his deputy up to May 31 2025, after which he will be replaced by David Seymour. 

The 20-strong cabinet has 14 National ministers, three from ACT and three from NZ First.

It has been reported that at the core of the coalition agreement is a commitment to treat farmers with respect “again”.

McKee’s appointment reflects her party’s intent to re-write the Arms Act, part of which is a review to begin by next June to assess if it is improving public safety.

The coalition agreement includes a new agency, accountable to new Minister for Regulation David Seymour, to assess the quality of new and existing regulation.

Funded by disestablishing the Productivity Commission, one of the agency’s target areas will be regulations that impact the primary industries.

NZ First has once again secured agreement for a Regional Infrastructure Fund, with $1.2 billion available in capital funding.

Changes are in store for immigration, with agreement to increase the cap on the number of seasonal workers, changes to the parent category visa and removing the requirement of employers to pay those on skilled migrant category visas the median wage.

Seymour hailed his party’s policies that impact agriculture, which includes a rewrite of the Resource Management Act.

Others include ceasing the implementation of Significant Natural Areas policy, replacing the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management to rebalance Te Mana o te Wai so it better reflects the interests of all water users.

Climate change policies will maintain a split-gas approach to methane and carbon dioxide through to 2050 and the science of methane and targets will be reviewed in 2024.

Farm Environment Plans will be improved so they are more cost-effective and pragmatic and enable farmers and landowners to offset sequestration against their on-farm emissions.

The full list of ministers:

National Party ministers inside cabinet

Christopher Luxon – Prime Minister, Minister for National Security and Intelligence, Minister Responsible for Ministerial Services

Nicola Willis – Minister of Finance, Minister for the Public Service, Minister for Social Investment, Associate Minister of Climate Change

Chris Bishop – Minister of Housing, Minister for Infrastructure, Minister Responsible for RMA Reform, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Leader of the House, Associate Minister of Finance

Dr Shane Reti – Minister of Health, Minister for Pacific Peoples

Simeon Brown – Minister for Energy, Minister of Local Government, Minister of Transport, Minister for Auckland, Deputy Leader of the House

Erica Stanford – Minister of Education, Minister of Immigration

Paul Goldsmith – Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Minister of Justice, Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

Louise Upston – Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Minister for Child Poverty Reduction, Minister for Social Development and Employment, Minister for Child Poverty Reduction

Judith Collins – Attorney-General, Minister of Defence, Minister for Digitising Government, Minister Responsible for the GCSB, Minister Responsible for the NZSIS, Minister of Science, Innovation and Technology, Minister for Space, Lead Co-ordination Minister for the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission’s Report into the Terrorist Attack on the Christchurch Mosques

Mark Mitchell – Minister of Corrections, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery, Minister of Police

Todd McClay – Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Forestry, Minister for Hunting and Fishing, Minister for Trade, Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs

Tama Potaka – Minister of Conservation, Minister for Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti, Minister for Māori Development, Minister for Whānau Ora, Associate Minister of Housing (Social Housing)

Matt Doocey – Minister for ACC, Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Tourism and Hospitality, Minister for Youth, Associate Minister of Health, Associate Minister of Transport

Melissa Lee – Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Ethnic Communities, Minister for Media and Communications, Associate Minister for ACC

National Party ministers outside cabinet

Simon Watts – Minister of Climate Change, Minister of Revenue

Penny Simmonds – Minister for Disability Issues, Minister for the Environment, Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills, Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment

Chris Penk – Minister for Building and Construction, Minister for Land Information, Minister for Veterans, Associate Minister of Defence, Associate Minister of Immigration

Nicola Grigg – Minister of State for Trade, Minister for Women, Associate Minister of Agriculture (Horticulture)

Andrew Bayly – Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Minister for Small Business and Manufacturing, Minister of Statistics

ACT Party ministers

David Seymour (Deputy Prime Minister from May 31 2025) – Minister for Regulation, Associate Minister of Education (Partnership Schools), Associate Minister of Finance, Associate Minister of Health (Pharmac)

Brooke van Velden – Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety

Nicole McKee – Minister for Courts, Associate Minister of Justice (Firearms)

Andrew Hoggard (outside cabinet) – Minister for Biosecurity, Minister for Food Safety, Associate Minister of Agriculture (Animal Welfare, Skills), Associate Minister for the Environment

Karen Chhour (outside cabinet) – Minister for Children, Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence

Simon Court MP – Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Infrastructure, Minister Responsible for RMA Reform

New Zealand First ministers

Winston Peters (Deputy Prime Minister until May 31 2025) – Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister for Racing

Shane Jones – Minister for Oceans and Fisheries, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Resources, Associate Minister of Finance, Associate Minister for Energy

Casey Costello – Minister of Customs, Minister for Seniors, Associate Minister of Health, Associate Minister of Immigration, Associate Minister of Police

Mark Patterson (outside cabinet) – Minister for Rural Communities, Associate Minister of Agriculture

Jenny Marcroft MP – Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Media and Communications

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