Grant Robertson takes on deputy PM role
Finance and Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson has been announced as the new deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand.
The announcement comes this afternoon as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces the new Cabinet line-up for the Labour Government.
“The next three years will be very challenging for New Zealand. With the global outlook worsening we won’t be immune to the ongoing impact COVID is having around the world,” says Ardern.
“With this in mind the new Labour Government will have two overarching priorities: to drive our economic recovery from COVID-19, and to continue our health response to keep New Zealanders safe from the virus.
“In what will be a difficult environment it’s critical we have our most experienced Ministers leading the ongoing COVID response to keep New Zealanders safe from the virus and to accelerate our plan for economic recovery."
Earlier today, Kelvin Davis ruled himself out as deputy prime minister.
Davis says he told the prime minister he didn't want the job, but would like to stay on as deputy leader of the Labour Party.
Grant Robertson will become Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Infrastructure Minister; drawing together the key portfolios central to that economic recovery.
“Our recovery plan includes $42 billion of infrastructure investment that will create jobs and ensure our economic recovery also delivers much needed improvements to our roads and public transport, to schools, hospitals and housing, while also continuing to support our regions," says Ardern.
“Chris Hipkins becomes the Minister for COVID-19 Response. This is a new role that will give the Minister responsibility for all aspects of our ongoing response, including the running of managed isolation facilities, our border defences as well as our health response including our testing and contact tracing systems and managing any resurgence of the virus.
“Andrew Little will become the Minister of Health, driving overdue reforms of the system aimed at improving health outcomes for all New Zealanders. He will be supported by Peeni Henare and Dr Ayesha Verrall who will focus on Maori Health and Public Health respectively.
“Nanaia Mahuta will become the Minister of Foreign Affairs – the first woman in our nation’s history appointed to hold the portfolio. She will bring the experience she has already built with an Associate Trade and Export Growth portfolio in the last term.
“I am excited by this team. They bring experience from the ground, and from within politics. But they also represent renewal and reflect the New Zealand we live in today.
“We know we have a big job ahead of us, but the skills, experience and commitment this team brings to the task is invaluable."
A full ministerial list can be viewed here.