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National tweaks portfolios after Collins reviews MPs’ performance

National Party Leader Judith Collins has completed performance reviews with her MPs. It’s resulted in some tweaks to portfolios. 

National leader Judith Collins. Source: Getty

“This week, I’ve met with members of caucus via Zoom to discuss with them how they can best contribute to the National Party team,” Collins said.

Former leader Todd Muller has lost all of his portfolios. It follows his announcement in June he won’t be running in the next elections, and his booting from caucus after his unflattering comments about returning MP Harete Hipango in a Newsroom article

Meanwhile, Hipango has been allocated the Children/Oranga Tamariki, Whānau Ora, Māori Development, and Māori Tourism portfolios. 

There’s also a shift in the Shadow Leader of the House position. Michael Woodhouse replaces Chris Bishop as Shadow Leader of the House. Collins said that leaves Bishop “to focus solely on his critical role as National’s Spokesperson for the Covid-19 Response”.

Simeon Brown also gets a promotion, becoming Deputy Shadow Leader of the House. He retains his Police, Corrections, and SFO portfolios.

Matt Doocey now holds Brown’s old youth portfolio, and retains his suicide prevention portfolio. He remains chief whip.

There weren’t many changes to MP rankings, only those reflecting Nick Smith’s resignation in May, Muller's ousting from caucus, and Hipango’s return.

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The changes are line with some predictions the party’s more liberal wing, which includes the likes of Bishop, Nicola Willis and Erica Stanford, wouldn’t be demoted because of their performance, despite suggestion Collins wasn’t happy with how the conversion therapy debate played out

Willis loses her associate economic development portfolio and retains her housing and RMA portfolios, and Stanford retains both Immigration and Early Childhood Education.

Deputy leader Shane Reti picks up a new portfolio, child poverty, and retains health. 

David Bennett takes on the Transport portfolio, previously held by Woodhouse, and his previous Agriculture portfolio goes to Barbara Kuriger.

Louise Upston will be spokesperson for Regional Economic Development, and Christopher Luxon takes her old Land Information New Zealand portfolio.

Luxon also picks up Research, Science and Manufacturing, in addition to his existing Local Government and Associate Transport roles.

There is no change to Gerry Brownlee’s portfolios, which are Foreign Affairs, GCSB & NZSIS and Associate Finance.

Former leader Simon Bridges also retains all of his portfolios: Justice, Water, Pike River Re-entry, and Māori-Crown Relations.