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Archived Government 06-09
Archived Government 02-05
Making a difference
The role of the Prime Minister
The role of the Leader of the Opposition
Government and MMP
Making the hard decisions
Cabinet Committees
New Zealand Cabinet Ministers
What Ministers do
Standards in public life
Ministerial Services
Servants of the public
The State Services Commissioner
Role of the State Services Commission
Review of the Centre
Managing the money
The role of government in the economy
Official Information Act
The central bank
Saving - the future
Planning for difference
Working for equality
How your voice may be heard
Climate change - it's our future
Building a fairer and safer New Zealand
Role of a government chief executive
Making NZ's case overseas
NZAID - New Zealand's aid agency
The right to fish
Even Kia Ora makes a difference
Security of the Nation
Resilient New Zealand
Local government and the new law
Local government in action
Different ways of seeing
New Zealand citizenship
Tertiary education on the move
Skills to chart a way through life
Welcome to New Zealand government - coming to a computer near you!




New Zealand Cabinet Ministers' Portfolios
from 19 October 2005, adjusted, and Associate Ministers

The Prime Minister, Helen Clark, may make further changes to her Cabinet, particularly as a result of the gap left by the resignation of a new Minister, David Parker, ranked number 18 in Cabinet, and the load caused by redistribution of his portfolios. On 21 March 2006 David Parker resigned all his portfolios; Trevor Mallard became Minister of Energy, and Peter Hodgson became Mnister for Climate Change, and for Transport. On 20 March David Parker had resigned as the Attorney-General and Dr Michael Cullen was appointed.On 26 April 2006 Ms Clark and Mr Parker indicated he may shortly return to Cabinet. Since 3 May David Parker has been Minister of Energy, Minister for Land Information and Minister Responsible for Climate Change.Annette King became Minister of Transport.Dr Cullen stayed as Attorney-General, and Trevor Mallard and Pete Hodgson dropped the portfolios that they had taken when David Parker had resigned. Find out more in the Cabinet updates issued by the Prime Minister January changes provided for Trevor Mallard to be Minister for the Rugby World Cup, and reflected the foreshadowed trade roles affecting Jim Sutton and Phil Goff. Find out more about Cabinet committee membership, following the 2005 general-election.

1 Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister
Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage
Ministerial Services
Minister in Charge of the NZ Security Intelligence Service
Minister Responsible for the GCSB

2 Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Finance
Minister for Tertiary Education
Leader of the House
Attorney-General (includes responsibility for Serious Fraud office)

3 Hon Jim Anderton
Minister of Agriculture
Minister for Biosecurity
Minister of Fisheries
Minister of Forestry
Minister Responsible for the Public Trust
Associate Minister of Health
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education

4 Hon Steve Maharey

Minister of Education
Minister of Broadcasting
Minister of Research, Science and Technology
Minister for Crown Research Institutes
Minister Responsible for the Education Review Office

5 Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Defence
Minister of Trade
Minister of Pacific Island Affairs
Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control
Associate Minister for Trade Negotiations
Associate Minister of Finance

6 Hon Annette King
Minister of State Services
Minister of Police
Minister for Food Safety
Associate Minister of Defence
Associate Minister of Trade
Coordinating Minister, Race Relations
Minister of Transport

7 Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister for Economic Development
Minister for Industry and Regional Development
Minister for State Owned Enterprises
Minister for Sport and Recreation
Associate Minister of Finance

8 Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister of Health

9 Hon Parekura Horomia
Minister of Maori Affairs
Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment
Associate Minister of Education
Associate Minister of State Services
Associate Minister of Fisheries

10 Hon Mark Burton
Minister of Justice
Minister of Local Government
Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations
Deputy Leader of the House
Minister Responsible for the Law Commission

11 Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister of Labour
Minister for ACC
Minister for Senior Citizens
Minister for Disability Issues
Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment (CYF)

12 Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Conservation
Minister of Housing
Minister for Ethnic Affairs

13 Hon Rick Barker
Minister of Internal Affairs
Minister of Civil Defence
Minister for Courts
Minister of Veterans’ Affairs

14 Hon David Benson-Pope
Minister for Social Development and Employment
Minister for the Environment

15 Lianne Dalziel
Minister of Commerce
Minister of Women’s Affairs
Minister for Small Business

16 Hon Damien O’Connor
Minister of Corrections
Minister of Tourism
Minister for Rural Affairs
Associate Minister of Health

17 Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Immigration
Minister of Communications
Minister for Information Technology
Associate Minister for Economic Development

18 Hon David Parker
Minister of Energy
Minister for Land Information
Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues

19 Nanaia Mahuta
Minister of Customs
Minister of Youth Affairs
Associate Minister for the Environment
Associate Minister of Local Government

20 Clayton Cosgrove
Minister for Building Issues
Minister of Statistics
Associate Minister of Finance
Associate Minister of Immigration
Associate Minister of Justice

21 Hon Jim Sutton
Minister for Trade Negotiations


22 Hon Judith Tizard
Minister of Consumer Affairs
Minister Responsible for Archives New Zealand
Minister Responsible for the National Library
Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage
Associate Minister of Commerce
Associate Minister of Transport
Auckland Issues

23 Hon Dover Samuels
Minister of State
Associate Minister for Economic Development
Associate Minister for Industry and Regional Development
Associate Minister of Housing
Associate Minister of Tourism

24 Hon Harry Duynhoven
Minister for Transport Safety Associate Minister of Energy

25 Hon Mita Ririnui
Minister of State
Associate Minister of Corrections
Associate Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations
Associate Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health

26 Winnie Laban
Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector
Associate Minister of Pacific Island Affairs
Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment
Associate Minister for Economic Development

27 Mahara Okeroa
Minister of State
Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment
Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage
Associate Minister of Conservation


Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister for Racing
Associate Minister for Senior Citizens

Hon Peter Dunne
Minister of Revenue
Associate Minister of Health

Delegated authority to associate ministers, as presented in Parliament 15 November 2005

Content and links updated 28 May 2006



Making a difference

Knowing how government works helps citizens get their voices heard. Knowing how the machinery of government works helps diagnose the problem when the results are not what you want.

Ministers, who are members of Parliament and are accountable to Parliament, shape the direction of government. They decide the government's policies together in the forum of Cabinet and Cabinet committee meetings. Government policies and administration are also influenced by its agencies’ baseline policies in the portfolios of each Cabinet Minister that carry on until changed.

It is a continuing challenge for governments to pull together whole-of-government advice and whole-of-government solutions to problems, even though that is what citizens and Ministers may want. A government is not by nature tidy or well organised. Advice is often developed within individual government departments, and inter-agency consultation can be time-consuming and difficult. This creates a "silo" effect. Central agencies such as the Treasury and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet try to ensure that a whole-of-government view is brought to bear on issues, and Cabinet meetings provide an opportunity for Ministers from across a range of portfolios to think about issues collectively.

Cabinets set strategies and tactics to advance the policies they consider important – and ministers have to develop the policies in the light of their colleagues’ preferences, their officials’ capacities, the budget resources negotiated annually, the priority setting competition in which they have to engage and the political will.

Different Cabinets have different views as to how government resources should be spent. Cabinets, influenced by their parties and the electorates that put their Members into Parliament, may have ideological or interest group support that influences how they allocate resources. Some Governments would prefer extra government income to be distributed to families, others would prefer to support corporates by cutting taxes.

So if you are an interest group working for families, or for corporates, you need to understand the direction the Cabinet wants to take – its political will. Understanding your interests and beliefs – and the direction of the central policy makers and the agencies (the silos!) of the government you seek to influence – helps you target where your voice should try to make a difference.

The MMP factor
A decade of MMP has downgraded the winner takes all approach - and replaced it by a consensus building approach between political parties. The government arrangements in which no one party has a majority in Parliament means planned and unplanned influence by smaller on larger parties.

The planned part of this approach is reflected in the agreements to do certain things in exchange for support on votes of confidence and for supply in Parliament. The agreements to advance agreed policies are reflected in the government budget formation process. The unplanned influence tends to be just that - unplanned. But established processes may be called into place to address the unplanned challenges responsible government needs to address.

Content updated 10 February 2006